We all want a home that is calm and orderly, but that can be easier said than done – especially if your home is lacking in storage space. If you’re looking for ways to organize a small room, we’ve got you covered. From ideas for how to integrate storage into every nook and cranny to strategies to display essential items in a more organized (and stylish) way, we’ve rounded up our favourite ways to declutter – one room at a time.
Entryway: Shelf It
If you’re stumped as to how to begin organizing your house, start with the first place you see when you walk in the front door: the entryway. Entryways are prime places for chaos with jackets, bags and hats, but there isn’t always space for a closet to store your going-outside items. To add organization and functionality (without taking up square footage), a simple system of hooks and a shelf goes a long way. To keep the look subtle, take a note from this Montreal bungalow and paint your hooks and shelf the same colour as the wall.
Kitchen: Hang It Up
Low on counter space in the kitchen? Take a two-pronged approach to organization. Start by removing visual clutter from counters a la Marie Kondo – donate or properly dispose of any dishes, small appliances and other unused items that tend to accumulate on counters. Then, once you’ve decluttered the non-essentials, look for ways to make use of vertical space by adding hooks, shelves and even a magnetic knife rack (as this compact kitchen demonstrates beautifully).
Kitchen: Divide and Conquer
Even spacious kitchen drawers and cabinets can feel cramped and disorganized if you just pile things in. Make the most of the kitchen storage that you do have by adding dividers and inserts to create separate spaces for different types of items. To keep things organized and stylish, opt for dividers that match the look of your cabinets, like the teak cutlery drawer divider featured in this Yaletown loft.
Dining Area: Create a Coffee Station
Sometimes, the easiest way to add major organization to your home is to set up a dedicated spot for items that you use every day. If your coffee machine, mugs and coffee supply are creating a lot of clutter by keeping them in the kitchen, consider creating a separate coffee station. Here, we love how the homeowners added a floating cabinet to a narrow wall in the dining room to set up a functional (and kitchen-countertop-sparing) coffee station that’s perfect for daily mornings and entertaining.
Home Office: Make Things Moveable
Whether you have a dedicated home office or you’ve carved out a work-from-home space in a multi-functional room like the living room, organization is key to keeping your work area as productive as possible. In a smaller workspace, a modular system is often the perfect solution. As professional organizer Tinka Markham Piper and DIY expert Maca Atencio explain here, a tiered cart provides storage – and allows you to organize your office supplies tier by tier.
Living Room: Drawer Space
From kids’ toys to extra blankets, the living room can become a bit of catch-all space for clutter. To keep things organized, look for furniture that doubles as multi-compartment storage. This could mean a coffee table with hidden shelving where you can stow baskets for toys, remote controls and other oft-used items. Or, you can ditch basic living room wall shelving for a dresser. As this bright Toronto living room shows, a dresser behind the couch gives you surface area to display decor items while also providing drawer space to easily organize essentials (and keep them out of sight).
Bathroom: Put It in Plain Sight
As much as we love decluttering, a totally minimal bathroom isn’t always practical. If your bathroom lacks storage space, the best solution might just be to store your toiletries out in the open by making use of a curated collection of woven baskets and pretty containers. This compact bathroom, for example, makes use of a variety of containers on slim shelves for easy organization that doesn’t require a lot of space.
Bedroom: Seasonal Storage
When it comes to your bedroom closet, decluttering isn’t always about donation – keeping seasonal items out of the way when they’re not in use can make your closet or wardrobe feel much more organized. To keep season-specific items (like swimsuits and shorts in the winter or gloves and coats in the summer) out of your daily rotation, make use of baskets (as DIY Danie did with a row of stylish baskets on top of her bedroom cabinets here) or look for under-bed storage (here’s how to make the most of the space under your bed).
Kids’ Room: Create a Little Library
One of the easiest ways to keep kids’ rooms organized is to create a little library with a dedicated space to store books. For kids’ rooms without the floor space for a big bookshelf, however, we love a few rows of gallery shelves. These slim shelves take up barely any space, and they also let you display book covers – making it easier for little ones to choose their favourites when storytime rolls around.
Laundry Room: Look Up
Laundry is rarely a fun task, even under the best of circumstances – but it’s much more difficult and time-consuming of a chore when you’re in a super-cramped space. To keep laundry essentials like detergent, dryer balls and clothespins organized – yet also easy to reach when you need them – look to the surrounding wall space for places to add a shelf or cabinet. As designer Hilary Farr showed with this Love It or List It laundry room, you can then add baskets and clear jars to the new shelf space to pack a lot of functionality into a smaller space.