How to Get Organized in a Small House

how to get organized in a small house

Carve out an entry and storage with a small cabinet! via BHG

I love small houses. Part of the appeal for me is the challenge to make the house cute, organized and functional all at the same time! I love a good house challenge! My favorite thing is to find a way to make everything in the house earn its keep while looking cute or stylish at the same time, and that often means things need to do double duty. It’s my favorite small house organizing trick! I happened upon some great ideas while scrolling through the Better Homes & Gardens site today, so let’s take a look!

So many small houses don’t have separate foyers, and really that is OK if you can figure out how to create one simply with a piece of furniture. If you walk right into your living room from your front door as many people do, a small chest or dresser as you come in the door not only gives the entry a little definition, but it offers attractive storage for those excess shoes, hats and book bags!

how to get organized baskets

Built-ins with boxes, baskets and bins! via BHG

In a small house, built ins can make a world of difference in how the home feels. Free standing furniture can appear cluttered and doesn’t always make the best use of the space you have. So tucking in a built in or a banquette, wherever possible, helps maximize space while offering attractive storage too. Glass doors on a built in keeps the visual space more open while offering organizational options at the same time.

banquette storage

If you are fortunate enough to have a small breakfast nook or dining room, built in banquettes can offer tucked away storage for those extra dishes, entertaining platters, seasonal items and small kitchen appliances, as well as offer the maximum seating for sit down meals! That is a WIN WIN!

how to get organized

Small space organization BHG

Tiny awkward cabinets like this can end up being a jumbled mess. Instead of being frustrated or limited by its diminutive size, find attractive and appropriately sized containers to organize items inside, making it CUTE as well as useful! And when a cabinet is actually CUTE inside, you are much more likely to keep it looking that way. Am I right?

Hanging back of the door clear shoe storage racks also make the most of a small unused wall or cabinet door by rallying small items that would easily get lost or hard to find in a larger space.

Don’t let what little space you might have go to waste! Put it to good use and make it look pretty in the process.

how to get organized

double duty organization via bhg

Big walls for hooks and memo boards such as whole wall “family command centers” can be so handy and attractive! But small houses do not always have large walls available to create an extensive system like that. But, you can still make the most of the space you have!  If you can carve out a small area to organize a “landing” space for each child’s school supplies, remember to think ‘double duty.’ A metal bucket for each child could have a magnet or clip for personalizing daily reminders! I like that idea!

back of the door organizer

back of the door organizing via BHG

So, we don’t all have dedicated craft rooms. Bummer, how will we survive? Obviously craft rooms are nice, but in a small house space is at a premium. But living in a small house doesn’t mean we can’t have cute dedicated spaces for crafts and wrapping! Think beyond the “whole room” to how you could use portions the space you have. You probably will have to pare down and not keep as much or as many craft supplies as someone who has entire rooms dedicated to crafting or projects, but you should be able to find a little nook or cranny for the basics of what you love to do!

I have my eye on a couple of doors in my own house that I’m determined to use to store craft supplies and wrapping paper. I may not have an entire room for craft supplies, but that is no excuse for not getting organized! When you can find what you are looking for in just a few moments, you are much more likely to USE your craft supplies, so that is a big plus too!

Dish Cabinet

Do you have a lack of cabinet space in your small kitchen? I use a freestanding cabinet for extra dishes (see it above!). I also created a pantry under our staircase. By taking the door off and making the small awkward space an attractive little nook by the kitchen, it does double duty by enlarging our usable kitchen space. It even holds our microwave! You could create a pantry in a cabinet or closet in a nearby hall or other room or with a dresser next to a kitchen or dining table. Come see our small pantry!

How to get organized in a small house

Creating an attractive, dedicated space for everything you use in your home, no matter how small of a space you have, helps get a small house organized in style. I like that!

What organizational projects are you working on?

Related Post: How to Organize Your House {Making the Best Use of Your Space}

If you need more tips for organization and homemaking, check out my homemaking gallery for more tips and ideas!

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Comments

  1. I love the back of the door organization. What a great place for wrapping supplies. I am going to have to look into this. I even have a perfect place for it. Thanks for the information.
    Gretchen Peacock recently posted..Journal Prompt and 2013 GoalsMy Profile

  2. My utensil drawer.

    My last two homes have been small and I love it … but you are so right … everything must be worth keeping and work.

    Fondly,
    Glenda
    Glenda Childers recently posted..Morning PagesMy Profile

  3. Ha! You wrote this one for me!! We have a small house and 3 kids! It has been my mission to make this space work for us! Love the inspiration…have a lovely weekend!
    Nicole recently posted..why should we settleMy Profile

  4. Love this post! Thank you!

  5. I’m trying to get my picture albums and loose pictures organized in the bottom of my china cabinet. Right now, they are in boxes in my dining room. Oh my!
    Sandy recently posted..Most Viewed Posts of 2012My Profile

  6. Totally going to attempt the small space organization. : )
    Alison recently posted..Decorating a bookcase with flea market findsMy Profile

  7. Thank you for sharing these wonderful organizing tips! I am going to have to revisit this post several times to soak it all in. My current organization task is in my children’s rooms and play area. These tips will come in handy as I set out to attempt the toy wrangling :-). Have a wonderful day!

  8. I love the over the door gift wrap organizer. I have the tall gift wrap bins and I am forever bottoms up in the air digging to reach the bottom of them.
    Leslie recently posted..Bizarre Things No Wedding Planner Ever Wants To HearMy Profile

  9. Great ideas, Melissa! I really need to build a banquette into my breakfast room bay window area. Perhaps I’ll add that to my 2013 to-do list. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. I’m CRAZY over that white, windowed breakfast nook!

    We started off with a small house {where we had people in/out all the time}, graduated to my dream house about 20 years ago, and are now looking ahead to downsizing once again. Bigger is not always better … more to buy, organize, clean, fix, maintain, re-organize, clean some more.

    Ah … I want to use my energy in the next season in simply walking by the sea …
    Linda Stoll recently posted..He’s In the Center of ItMy Profile

  11. Well my plan is to start with my linen closet today…and then move onto my hall coat closet…its the start of freeing up space for my spare bedroom overhaul. We live in a 1450 sq ft modular home and are now empty nesters but of course still holding things for the kids as they really arent out on their own yet. Too many towels that can be purged, coats that dont get worn not to mention shoes and gloves and scarves…by cleaning out those closets I can work on the closet in the spare bedroom and go from there to reno my extra room into something I want to enjoy using instead of it being a dumping/collection space!

  12. I took on the 2013 project by splitting it up between our gardens and our home. For me, the outside means as much to me as the inside being an avid gardener. I’ve been working on bringing the outside in to keep it all feeling like it flows from one direction and then back. Inside I’m working on organizing our closets with prettying them up too. I am lining the front edge of each shelf with a strip of colorful ribbon which I’ve done in the pantry. Every time I open that door it greets me. One of my outdoor organizing projects isn’t as glamorous, but it is important. That would be our compost pile. I want to make that look like a more defined, deliberate area. I’ve seen too many gardening books to know that what it looks like now can definitely look better. Thanks for all the inspiration everyone…love these projects!

  13. I’m trying to organize my crafting room without spending a fortune!

  14. I’m working on our office area right now. Whew! It’s an adventure. I love this post about small house organization though – we have a tiny apartment, and everything has to multitask. You’ve gotta be creative to get it to work, that’s for sure! But it’s also part of the fun :).
    Chaney recently posted..Operation {Re}Organization: The OfficeMy Profile

  15. I’m just planning my new extension and I love, love, love that banquet with storage. I need all the storage I can get – just a fantastic idea.
    Liz ( recently posted..A Room Fit For a TweenMy Profile

  16. Hi!

    I’m so happy to have found your blog today, I’m a fellow Washington gal up North!

    I feel like my style, in my head at least, is somehwhat similar to yours, loving your posts…

    xoxo- Kaara

  17. In love with that breakfast nook with the booth seating. Beautiful!
    Margaret Feinberg recently posted..The 21 Days of Wonder ChallengeMy Profile

  18. Thank you for these cute ideas. I especially love the cabinet organization ideas. Sharing this post with our readers as we are talking about room by room organizing on our blog.
    Alexis, A Moment with MOM recently posted..Wood Family Hot CocoaMy Profile

  19. I couldn’t agree more! I absolutely love small homes… especially older ones with all of the character. My mom lives in an 1800s home and we are slowly working at “decluttering” or making better use of the items she has. Our first big change was placing a dresser in the main entrance (which is the kitchen). It’s a small antique one which matches the board and batten character perfectly. It creates enough of an entry point without getting in the way. :)
    martha.anne recently posted..DIY Pendant Lighting with LampshadesMy Profile

  20. And ps…..I just booked Haven!!!! So excited!!!!

  21. This is WONDERFUL for me to read. I currently have an approximately 8×10 room that needs to serve as storage, a guest bedroom, future nursery, and be a place where my extra storage freezer sits. Thankfully the freezer is small and the bedroom MIGHT only be used once a year (if that), so I don’t have to focus too heavily on those, but some clever space usage is a must, haha.
    Celena Green recently posted..power outage family dinnerMy Profile

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