Monthly Archives: July 2012

10 Tips for Small Space Living

We hope you enjoy this helpful article from Apartment Therapy. 10 Tips for Small Space Living.

Double duty. We try to find and highlight furniture that does more than one thing: an ottoman that also provides storage, a bench to sit on, put your tv on or store baskets underneath, etc.

Regular edits. We run the Cure each spring and Fall and even if you don’t want to commit to the whole thing, it’s a great way to make sure you’re reviewing your possessions twice a year to keep them to only the things you use and/or love. Sell your extra stuff on craigslist, use freecycle or just donate it at the local goodwill, get that stuff out of your house so that you have more space for living! Check out the Spring Cure in its 3rd week.

Convert a closet. A friend recently moved into a small studio and had too much furniture to fit into the room so we figured out that since she doesn’t have that many clothes, the bookshelf (and later possibly her desk) can fit easily in half the closet without cluttering things up.

Go vertical. All those waist high shelves you have are great, but if you really want to maximize storage, have those shelves go all the way up. If you keep them tidy and just have one wall of shelving it won’t overwhelm or clutter the space.

Digitize media. We ripped all of our cd’s onto a hard drive and made some extra cash and freed up a ton of space. Next we tackling our record collection.

Have a landing strip. This will keep clutter from overwhelming a small space. It could be as simple as a hook for you coat and a shair for your bag and mail. Just something so that when you walk in the door everything in your arms doesn’t end up on the bed or the floor.

Have a space for everything. If something doesn’t have a home, it’s not going to get put away and will likely be sitting around for months. Use some small space shelving ideas to make sure that you have enough room for the things you own.

Put your apartment on a diet. This is good for your space and your pocketbook. Only bring things in if you’re taking something out. This way more stuff isn’t accumulating and it gives you a chance to really consider your purchases and whether you’re willing to give something up for it.

What do you see? Abby rounded up some great small space solutions including keeping things monochromatic and considering site lines to make a space feel larger.

And finally, we asked you what you’re best tips are and here they are ranging from using furniture with legs because they feel lighter in a space to taking your time when purchasing furniture. Our favorite quote from reader, marigael:

“stop designing for who people expect you to be. find out who you are & what you need. then, start to edit.”

Check out the whole article with photos here:

Organizing Small Spots

It can be hard to organize small or insufficient spaces. Things get crammed in and it’s hard to find what you need when you need it. We specialize in getting small spaces organized. Learning how to organize small spaces will help you to feel like you’re living in a neater, bigger space.

1) First determine what you need to clean. There are usually “hot spots” around small homes that collect junk. Tackle one area at a time. Use the counters, beds, dressers, or coffee table to start organizing. Take everything from the pile and divide it into categories.

2) Create a pile for each category so that you can get an idea of what types of organizational products you might need. You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to get organized. For storage, you can use old shoe boxes, plastic zipper bags, things of that nature. Avoid making a miscellaneous pile. This is what generally gets us into clutter mode to begin with. Make sure that similar items are kept together so that you can find what you need when you need it.

3) You may want to install some shelves in a closet or in the corner of the room. Shelves give you a space to put boxes, bins and other containers that are storing your belongings. Label boxes so that you can easily locate things when you need them. As a general rule, store things that you don’t need very often up higher or down lower than everything else. Place things that you use more often at about eye level so that you can have quick and easy access to them.

4) Get creative with storage space. There are lots of furniture pieces on the market that are designed to save space in small apartments or homes. Couches have armrests that open up to reveal cup holders, storage for remote controls, magazines, and more. Coffee tables have tops that open up to reveal storage. Even ottomans can open up and provide storage for blankets or anything else that you need them to. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, check thrift stores and used furniture places for trunks and other things that can serve as storage or tables.

5) You can make more space in your closets than you realize by utilizing space saving hangers, like velvet hangers. These hangers are all the rage because they allow you to double or even triple the space in your closet. The slim design helps clothes to fit closely together. The finger clips and cascading hooks allow you to coordinate outfits. The possibilities are endless. You just have to use your imagination.

About the Author: Rick Miller is on the staff of Only Slimline Hangers, a leading online resource for velvet hangers which are space saving hangers, non slip hangers and slim line hangers. For more information, please visit

More Space Saving Tricks for Your Home

Small homes and apartments can be so hard to keep clean because of the limited space that you have to stay organized. It can become a necessity instead of a luxury to have an organized home if you live in a small space. Living in small spaces makes it so that you have to get creative and use your imagination. You can also use these tips to get you started on your way to finding all of that storage space that may be right in front of you!

1) Furniture can be your best friend in a small home. If you can, invest in furniture that has built in storage. It could be that the arm rest opens up to reveal storage for magazines, remotes, and hidden cup holders. Or, you can find coffee tables that open up to reveal storage inside. You can even use a trunk instead of a coffee table to keep books, photo albums, and throw blankets. Ottomans and end tables can also open up to reveal storage.

2) Install shelves all over the place. Installing a shelf over each doorway of your home gives you a convenient place to display photos or memorabilia. But, you can also use that space for storing books. You can store smaller things inside of interesting containers that compliment your décor. You can also use that space for baskets or bins that hide everyday items, like camera chargers, video games, or office supplies.

3) Shelves can also easily be installed in other neglected areas. Up each side of your fireplace, underneath windows, and in unused corners of the room can all be utilized as storage space. Shelves are a great way to add storage space for very little money. You may only need the board and brackets to make the shelf look nice. Paint them black if you want them to blend in with darker surroundings or pop out as a contemporary accent.

4) Make the space look bigger than it is by using sheers instead of curtains, adding light sources around the room, and leaving the space simple. Busy fabrics and decorations can make a space seemed more closed in. However, using them as accents will actually make a space look larger if they are in contrast to lighter colors surrounding them.

5) Utilize your closets to their full potential. Most closets have a design that wastes the space that they have to offer. Use that area up high on all sides of the closet. Use those neglected front corners for shelves and cubbies. Figure out how to most effectively use shelves and bars for making the space work for you. Use space saving hangers, like velvet hangers, to maximize space on the bar when you’re done.

About the Author: Rick Miller is on the staff of Only Slimline Hangers, a leading online resource for velvet hangers which are space saving hangers, non slip hangers and slim line hangers. For more information, please visit

Save Space In Your Closet

Enjoy these great closet space saving tips from The Container Store.

Save Space In Your Closet

For many of our customers, their closet is at the top of the list of areas in need of organization. Here are some quick and easy strategies to immediately create space and add organization to your closet.

Follow the two-year rule to purge outdated or ill-fitting garments. If you haven’t used it or worn it in two years, it’s safe that you won’t use it again.
Get rid of anything that doesn’t belong in the closet. Move it to another area of the home, donate or sell it.
If possible, move out-of-season garments to another area of your home. The space under your bed is a wonderful solution when you use an underbed storage box.
Take advantage of all vertical space by stacking sweaters, shoes and handbags on shelves. Use stacking drawers or shelves to prevent items from toppling over.
Use add-on hangers which take up as much space as a single hanger and store four times the amount of clothing.
Remove empty hangers from the closet rod; throw away or recycle unused wire and plastic hangers.
If most of your clothes are short hanging, add an extra closet rod to instantly double the amount of hanging space.
Separate clothing by long-hanging and short-hanging items. Color coordinate items to make selecting an outfit easier.
Utilize the back of a closet door to store shoes, belts, jewelry and other accessories.
We can show you how to maximize your closet space with elfa, our premier closet system. Try our FREE design services!

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Space Saving Tips for your Home

Do you live in a small apartment or home that just doesn’t have enough space? The good news is that every home, no matter how small, has potential storage space that we just don’t use or notice. With these space saving tips, you can discover the storage space that you didn’t know you had.

1) Reuse containers that your food comes in if you are able to wash it. Butter tubs can be used for craft supplies, two liter soda bottles can be used for dispensing yarn, oatmeal canisters can be used for toys. The possibilities are endless and you can make space by organizing all of those little things that can make an area turn into a heap of junk.

2) Make space under the bed and furniture. Risers are readily available and are so useful when it comes to making space. Risers are plastic stands that go under the legs and feet of your beds, couches, end tables and more. You can raise up an end table, cover it with a table cloth or sheet, and have instant living room storage underneath. By raising up your couch, you can store things under it. You can store toys, large shallow containers filled with winter coats, art supplies, or even your broom. You can do the same thing with your beds, making instant space for storing out of season clothes, books, files, shoes, or anything else.

3) Installing small shelves in the kitchen can double your pantry space. Start by cutting and staining boards that are 6” wide. Install them about 8” apart on a side wall of your kitchen. These are perfect for storing all of your canned goods, freeing up cabinet space. You can install doors on the front, a sheer curtain, or just leave it open to give your kitchen that charming country feel.

4) Use bags that you can suck the air out of with your vacuum for storing bulky clothes and linens. These space saving bags can save up to 80% of the little space that you have available. You can stack thick comforters, sweaters, sheets and more in a fraction of the space that they took up in the linen closet. Another benefit of this is that they come out smelling as nice as when you put them in!

5) Get rid of whatever junk you can. We tend to hoard things that we think we can use later. Donate extra office supplies to your local school or church. Clothing can be donated to help clear out space in your closet. Once you get it cleared out, you can still save more closet space by using space saving hangers, like velvet hangers to maximize the space that you have left.

About the Author: Rick Miller is on the staff of Only Slimline Hangers, a leading online resource for velvet hangers which are space saving hangers, non slip hangers and slim line hangers. For more information, please visit

Get Organized Quickly

Being organized takes patience and some skill. But the first step is committing yourself to a project. So, to start, how about organizing your closet?

Whether you hire a professional to do the work for you of organizing your closet or you take it on yourself, start with a clear, well-conceived plan. Why plan? Once you start taking on a big project such as organization, it is easy to get distracted and sidetracked. By having a plan you can stick to what you are aiming for and in the end not end up with a mound of stuff piled on the floor with absolutely no idea how to organize it in any better manner than the way it was. This kind of impulsive behavior leads to frustration and discontent.

With a carefully crafted plan, you can also look forward to a smooth and swift process. The finished project will be comfortable to live with, and you won’t encounter any difficulties or unpleasant surprises during or after the project’s completion. Remember this simple equation: The more time spent planning, the less time or money spent later in physical labor or correcting mistakes.

With closets, you may find that yours isn’t big enough or is out of date. If this is the case, you may look into getting an estimate for a new closet or hiring a closet designer who can take what space you have and restructure it.

All right, now to get started on organizing your closet. Believe it or not there are some specifics to stick with or tips in getting things organized. Some are common sense but here they are:

Keep It Simple. Conserving space is important, but not if it makes the system harder to operate than a system using a little more space. Keep it simple; a system that isn’t being used isn’t a system at all, no matter how much space is conserved.

Tall or short people might consider shelves to accommodate their height, for more comfortable access.

Someone whose wardrobe leans heavily to folded sweaters has different requirements from someone whose closet is crammed with hanging suits.

A person with an extensive collection of shoes or hats might need more shelves and bins than hanging space.

If a bedroom is small and crowded, some bedroom furniture can be eliminated if, for example, a dresser is built into the closet.

Compromise. Few things in life, including organizing a closet, can be attained without some amount of compromise. You may have to forfeit advantages in one area to achieve advantages in another. Many parts are contingent on other parts, just like the pieces of a puzzle.

Hanging Your Clothes – Now for the other part of organizing your closet – how to hang things properly. Clothing has a particular way it should be hung, be sure to read the requirements. For hanging blazers, leather jackets etc, you should look out for heavy wooden or slim line hangers, that can give your ensemble that extra support to carry off their weight. Pants demand a proper folding style, which is placing both the legs parallel one on the top of the other. While hanging them ensure that there is enough space between different trousers in the cupboard.

Uniformity. The finished project will look more attractive if the products, hardware, materials, and appointments go together well. Personal preference influences whether the look will be utilitarian or decorative, but standardization and unity are impressive ingredients.

Organizing your closets can appear to be a daunting task. But with the right determination and well-crafted plan, you can work your way toward a well-organized closet!

About the Author: Rick Miller is on the staff of Only Slimline Hangers, a leading online resource for velvet hangers which are space saving hangers, non slip hangers and slim line hangers. For more information, please visit

Finding Space for All of your Closets

Coat Closets

Coat closets can easily become cluttered, especially as the seasons change. We tend to buy new coats or jackets every year, but our old ones rarely become worn out enough for us to think “I should get rid of that”. Add to that the shoes that are often kept in coat closets. Winter boots, tennis shoes, kids shoes, rain boots and more can become a cluttered heap at the bottom of the coat closet.

Adding shelves underneath the coats can help. Make more space here by moving your hanging bar up higher in the closet. Put a hanger in your hand and see how high you can comfortably reach. If it’s higher than the current bar, then you should move it up higher. If the closet is deep, you may be able to move the bar back some, making the bottom of the closet more visible and easier to manage.

If you have small children, you can either put a bar down low, just for them, or install hooks for their jackets. Think about putting their bar on the left or right side of the closet so that they don’t obstruct the view of the the shoe shelves.

Linen Closets

Make more space in your linen closet by getting the things that you don’t use often out of there and into storage. You can install a hanging bar up high in the closet to take advantage of the vertical space. Here you can hang things like table cloths, quilts, curtains, sleeping bags, or even sheet sets.

Bedroom Closets

Here’s where most people have problems. Bedroom closets are notorious for causing organization problems and clutter. Of course, the first thing you should do here is to go through and get rid of some things. Organize by color or clothing weight and type to see what you have too many of. If you have four, black long-sleeved, mid-weight shirts, then maybe you can keep your favorite and get rid of the other three.

Using specialty hangers can really save you a lot of space. The best space saving hangers on the market are the revolutionary velvet hangers. These hangers grip clothing to hold it perfectly straight and wrinkle free. They fit so closely together, that they take up the space of a wire hanger, without all of the snagging, shifting, crossing, and rusting. Velvet hangers are the favorite of closet organizers everywhere. If you try them, you will instantly see why.

About the Author: Rick Miller is on the staff of Only Slimline Hangers, a leading online resource for velvet hangers which are space saving hangers, non slip hangers and slim line hangers. For more information, please visit

Steps to Maximize Closet Space

Tips from that we just thought you could use!

Maximize Storage in Your Closets
Techniques to Create More Usable Closet Space

Extra storage is always a plus, whether you are selling your home or staying put, but if you are indeed planning to sell, maximizing your storage space is essential. Extra storage space helps attract home buyers–and lets you stay organized while the home is still yours.
Adding storage can be expensive, so unless you’re ready to part with the dollars your first step should be to revamp your existing closets. You can do it, and for less money than you might think. Let’s get started.

First Step: Declutter

Do you really need to keep all that stuff? I’m as guilty as anyone out there of hanging onto things, and paperwork is my downfall, everything from old magazines to fifteen-year-old cancelled checks. But I’m trying to get better, taking a hard look at everything I own and trashing things that aren’t important.

So before you decide how much storage you need, decide what you can throw away, sell, or donate. And look on the bright side–if you pitch it now you won’t have to pack and move it later.

Evaluate Bedroom Closets

Are there single rods running from end to end in each closet, with a single shelf above each rod? That arrangement is typical in the traditional smallish closets we see in extra bedrooms, and sometimes even in walk-in closets.

How about your clothes, are they packed so tightly that you can’t find what you’re looking for? Are the top shelves filled with things you haven’t seen for years?

Start emptying the closets, one at a time, putting items in three piles:

Things to keep… that will stay in the closet
Things to dispose of… trash, donate, sell
Things that are stored in the wrong place… put in a plastic bin to tote to other areas
Every Budget, Every Need

Look at the items that will go back into the closet. Is the pile mostly clothes, or odds and ends? Do you have tons of shoes? Sweaters? Belts and ties? Lots more short items than full-length clothing? There are organizational helpers available for every storage need and every budget:

Turn the top, catch-all shelf into a series of shelves that stretch to the ceiling. That will keep items separated and allow you to retrieve things easily, without pulling a stack of boxes down on your head.
Increase space for short items by installing double-decker rods in a portion of each closet. Closetmaid makes economical closet organizer solutions to fit into any size closet.
Go a bit farther and install special modules in a portion of the closet–with slots and shelves for shoes, cubbies or drawers for clothes that should be folded, and built-ins for other special items.
Do-it-Yourselfers can try this wooden closet organizer project. If you’re not into DIY, look for wooden closet organizer components at your local home building store.
Walk-in closets offer all sorts of organizational possibilities. Closetmaid and Rubbermaid both offer storage ideas on their Web sites. Schulte Storage is another good place to explore closet options.
It won’t help organization, but installing cedar panels or hanging cedar blocks in the closet helps repel insects and makes the closet smell great.
Other Closets

Inspect every closet in your home as if you are seeing it for the first time. What will a buyer think when she opens the doors? How can you improve your storage potential?

Use little totes and bins to help you keep small items under control in a bathroom or linen closet.
Stackable baskets are a nice addition to a kitchen pantry, and can be used to store all types of items, including food staples.
Is your garage large enough to add a series of closets along one wall? Or economical shelving? Storage helps turn a cluttered garage into a usable space that will actually hold a car!
How about the basement? If it’s dry, can you add closets or shelves down there? Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels if necessary.
Cleaning out your closets is the perfect pre-sale activity, even if you don’t do too much to increase storage space. Just getting rid of unused clothes and other items is sometimes all it takes to make closets appear larger than they truly are. So get started and look at everything with a critical eye. If you haven’t used it for two years, do you really need to keep it?