Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Maid for Mondays: How to make the most of a small…ish space

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If you’re like me, you probably have a smallish space in your house that you need help with. Well, I hope this post will help you with just that. Our house is 1600+ sq ft and we have 6 people living here. Now, that doesn’t sound too bad, until you realize the only reason we have that much room is the previous owners enclosed most of the garage to make more of a living room space. The old living room is the dining room area and the kitchenwell, it’s just all different.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our living space. But, it quickly became apparent to me when our 4th child was born that I needed to do something different. The closets in the kids’ rooms are so small and not good for multiple children’s clothes. That is what eventually led me to make our laundry room/extra space into a central closet of sorts. (I’m still working on it, but it’s getting there.)

But, what about some of those other spaces in your house? How can you make that small, narrow utility/linen closet work for you? Well, here are some tips I hope will help you.

  1. Decide what you need out of that space, not just what you want.
  2. Organization is KEY!!!
  3. Be creative for storage. Re-purpose things like furniture, boxes (see tutorials herehere and here). This beside the fridge, slide-out can pantry is A-MAZING!!!
  4. Think outside the box! This site gives 22 Tips to organize your craft room! WOW!!!
  5. Purging as you go is a great way to get rid of those things you don’t use (or might be outdated in a pantry) and makes room for the items you really need the space for.
  6. Painting the space is a very inexpensive way to re-do a space!

Now that you’ve figured out what you need out of the space and found some practical ways to organize it, here are steps to take so you can begin changing your space.

  1. Take some measurements of your space. You’ve got to know what you’re working with!
  2. Draw out a plan for your space. There are quite a few FREE online planners you can use. I just googled Free Online space planner and found some great sites. These three are my favorite: Floorplanner.com3 Dream, and Icovia Room Planner. Or you could do it the “old-fashioned” way and use graph paper!! I just like to draw it myself, but seeing the 3-D planners was quite intriguing.
  3. Once you’ve got your plan in place, it’s time to start doing! But, plan carefully. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for the project. A hall closet re-do might take a well-planned afternoon. But, a pantry might take an entire weekendor longer!
  4. Enlist some good help!! Now if you have older kids, they should be great help. But, if you’re like me and have 4 young kiddos, you’re going to need some major help!! My kids are very curious and would mean well wanting to “help”, but they can get seriously hurt. Plus, Mommy is still Mommy and so I am not much help to my husband when I’m Mommy.
  5. Make it happen!!! I don’t know about you all, but for me this can seem like the hardest step. I don’t know if it’s nerves about messing up or what, but I can plan and plan and plan to my hearts content. But actually getting it done is so difficult for me.

So, there you have it! Annette’s practical tips for making the most of a smallish space!!

Have you re-done a smallish space in your home? What tips to you have?
Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us!! Be sure to leave a comment or link so we can all benefit!


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