5 tips for staying organized in a small space

It’s officially been 2 years since I moved into #mytinybungalow and, boy, have I learned a lot about small space living! I used to think that staying organized in a loft was hard to do because there wasn’t a room to hide clutter in… but now I’m convinced that living in less that 700 sqft is even more of a challenge! And now that Sean lives here, too, things can get out of hand pretty quickly. I know I’m not alone in this, so I wanted to share some of my best tips for staying organized in a small space!

Actually create a place for every single thing.

You know the saying ‘a place for everything, and everything in it’s place?’ In a small space, that saying rings especially true! We don’t have the luxury of putting something away in a different spot… because space is so limited. When I grab the tape measure to quickly figure out a renovation, I always make sure it goes back where it came from, the metal shelf next to the dryer! Not only does this mean I know where it will be the next time I need it, it also means I’m not going to be chilling on the couch and see my tape measurer. I’m a lot happier when there isn’t clutter.

Purge to the point where you have empty drawers.

When we installed the closet last year, both of us conducted a major wardrobe purge. I probably shed at least half of my wardrobe! As we were finally putting away the keepers, it dawned on us that a few of the baskets and drawers were totally empty. So instead of going back through the purge pile to see what we could keep, we left them empty. It’s nice to have room to grow if you need it, but also it’s just nice to live a pared down life!

Try to tidy up for about 15 minutes every day.

I absolutely hate seeing clutter, so I actually set a timer on my phone and try to put away as much as possible in 15 minutes. In a small space, you can do a LOT in that time! I know it sucks to clean up every day, especially if you’ve worked late, but I promise it makes a difference. For us, these daily cleaning springs mean that it only takes about half a day to do our weekly deep clean (floors, bathroom, kitchen, etc). Not bad!

Nightstands count as storage, too!

You know what is currently in my nightstand? 10 books I want to read, my bulky winter socks, and scarves. I needed a place to put those things, so in they went. Otherwise, the space would have stayed empty. On a related note, I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to store things in their assigned space. For example, our extra towels will soon be organized in the credenza in our living room.

p.s. here’s a refresher about my nightstand search.

Maximize your vertical space.

My tiny bungalow didn’t have a single closet if you can believe it. When it came time to finally add one, I realized I could make it huge by simply filling the entire wall with modular closet fixtures. We got creative with the vertical space in order to create storage for out-of-season items and bedding. It’s amazing where you can add shelves to squeeze in more storage! Try putting some above your doorways, in an unused corner, or above the hanging rod in your closet.

What other tips do you guys have for staying organized?

photography by Ellie Lillstrom, styling by Jojotastic.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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