Archives for January 2013

How to Get Organized in a Small House

How to Get Organized in a Small HouseCarve 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 in a Small HouseBuilt-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.

How to Get Organized in a Small House

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 in a Small HouseSmall 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 or over-the-door organizers 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 in a Small Housedouble 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!

How to Get Organized in a Small Houseback 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!

How to Get Organized in a Small House

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 Posts:

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

5 Things Every Small Bedroom Needs

Small House Solutions

If you want more organizing ideas for your home, check out my home organization shop here!

How to Get Organized in a Small House

Get your copy of my book Simple Organizing at Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

Getting organized can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Bring order and purpose to every room when you create an orderly vision for your home, design organizational systems to inspire you, and focus on progress, not perfection. Full color images.

How to Get Organized in a Small House


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Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

A a part of our home remodel projects at the end of last year (which included our kitchen remodel and new hardwood floors), we added some new trim work and wainscoting. We were excited to give our new house a little bit more charm and character and to cover up drywall with something a little more durable in the form of real wood tongue and groove wainscoting through a high traffic area in our entry and hall connecting to the kitchen.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

But since one project leads to another, you can’t just add new woodwork without painting it. Well you could, but then you’d have another unfinished project and I have made it my goal in life to FINISH more things. While interior painting is obviously a project most people can do themselves, we decided to splurge a bit and hire professionals for this job.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

There were several reasons we opted for professional painters over doing it ourselves.

1. We are prone to painting accidents and mishaps.

2. Wood work is a bit tricky to paint. While we want our new woodwork to have the charm of yesteryear, we didn’t want a less than beautiful paint job to drag our house down and make the house or our remodel look cheap. Old houses can handle a lot more imperfection and still be called charming. Newer houses can look pretty bad when projects or updates aren’t done well. At least that is how I feel about it at our house.

3. We didn’t have the time or patience or skill for doing a quality paint job ourselves. My husband doesn’t love DIY projects or have the time for it, but he is a perfectionist when it comes to painting. I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to painting so hiring someone else to handle this project this was a marriage saving decision. 

4. We decided to have our woodwork sprayed on rather than brushed and that took this big job to a whole new level of preparation and skill. We have learned our limitations.

We chose spraying over brushing, to give the wood a smooth new looking finish since we have a newer house. I guess I wanted the best of both worlds, the charm of older style woodwork with the finish of new.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

A project of this size requires a ton of preparation.

To get started, we had to move out all of our furniture (again, sigh). Fortunately we had space to move furniture into other rooms and didn’t have to actually take furniture out of the house. But still, it is a pain in the rump to keep moving furniture.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

The painters made big tents out of  plastic, tape and even poles to basically create a “painting booth” for spraying in our living room and entry.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

They covered the glass of the windows with paper so they can spray the trim without getting paint on the glass.

They also covered doorways with plastic and all of our lovely new floors and walls with paper and tape too, they aren’t taking any chances of a mishap.

The painters also do a lot of caulking, sanding, sweeping and preparation BEFORE painting in order to ensure that everything is clean, smooth and ready for paint since so many things can negatively affect the quality of the finish.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

They removed the three interior doors they are going to paint (my hope is to someday put in more charming real wood doors instead of our “new house doors,” but for now we are just freshening what we have with paint. All along I  intended to paint these doors gray, charcoal or even a color  to give them a little more personality, but decided for now to just stick with white for simplicity sake, until we can get new doors. This also made it easier for spraying since they could spray the doors along with the other white woodwork. Changing colors complicates things. Our front door will remain black on the inside.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

Once the trim is painted, we will need to be careful of it, both while it is drying and for the next couple of weeks as the paint cures. The painters also painted my open shelving in the kitchen, so we’ll have to be careful there too to not set things on the paint until it is fully cured. So, basically the next couple of weeks we’ll be being careful and then putting things away!

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

Then at that point I have great hopes we will be ready to get back to normal people life without being in the middle of so many messy remodeling projects! Of course, this certainly won’t be the end of painting projects around our house. We have lots more trim to paint (someday down the road!).

 Have you tackled a big trim or woodwork painting project at your house? And more importantly, have you ever hired out a potential DIY job around the house as a marriage saving decision?