Last year we sold our four bedroom, two bath home and downsized to a 2 bedroom, 1 bath single wide mobile home. We plan to stay here 3-5 years while we save up to buy a farm. In the meantime, I have had to figure out how to organize all of our stuff into a much smaller space. The first step was to get rid of a lot of stuff. Everything we didn’t need and couldn’t fit in our shed was sold or donated. I have found this step crucial as you can’t stay organized if you don’t have a place to put stuff. So if you are already living in a small living space go through all your cupboards, closets, and drawers. Get rid of things you aren’t using or don’t need. One thing a friend of mine suggested is to take everything you think you need but don’t use regularly and box it up. Put it in your shed or garage and whatever is left after a few months get rid of. There are a few exceptions to this rule, so use your discretion. For example, I only use my canning supplies a couple months out of the year, but when I do use them I use them a lot. Canning supplies are something I cannot borrow from a friend because they would all be using them during the times I would need to. Obviously I should keep my canning supplies!
Once you’ve downsized and have a practical amount of possessions for the size of your living space you are ready to get organized. For those of you who are not good organizers check out Fly Lady. She offers great advice and it works great for even the most disorganized people!
When purchasing furniture looking for items that can be multifunctional. A good example of this is my wicker trunk that I bought at Pier 1 Imports back when we first got married. My husband thought that it was a waste of money at the time, but now agrees it was one of our more practical purchases. I use it to store my sheets, blankets, and quilts and it also functions as a coffee table.
You need to utilize all the space in your house. Instead of a traditional couch we got a nice futon. I can put baskets underneath it for storage and have a nice place for company to sleep. I am utilizing the extra space, which helps my home stay clean and organized.
Everything MUST have a place. We have one “junk” drawer and one basket for miscellaneous paperwork which I routinely go through every two weeks on pay day. Other than that everything we own has a spot where it belongs. If you don’t have a place to put it then you need to revert to the beginning of this post where I mention that you can’t have more than your home can hold.
Learn to love baskets! Baskets can be your best friend when organizing. Watch yard sales, thrift stores, and clearance sales for them. I use them to store the kids’ toys, candles, books, homeschool supplies, miscellaneous fabric, yarn, and much more.
I organized all the toys into baskets and put them on shelves in the kids’ closet. They are allowed one basket at a time and that basket has to be picked up before any other baskets are out. There are a few toys which are out all the time like our basket of puppets, basket of play food, and board books since they are used a lot and easy to quickly pick up. This helps a lot with keeping the house picked up. When living in a small space a small mess can look big.
So get rid of stuff, buy functional furniture, utilize the space you have, and buy baskets to organize stuff. It sounds simple putting it all in one sentence, but I realize it’s quite the task. Good luck and feel free to post a comment with your ideas! I am always looking for ways to keep my home organized.