I have lived in many tiny places since becoming a card-carrying adult. I’ve lived in a 500 square foot apartment in Chicago, I’ve shared a slightly larger apartment with three people where I had about 10’x10′ to myself, and, most frighteningly, I’ve shared an apartment with three men. Trust me when I say that I value my space.
Having a tiny spot to yourself is essential to a high-quality life experience, in my opinion. If you haven’t lived in a shoebox, you pretty much haven’t lived. You learn a lot about yourself when your bed takes up 70% of your space and you have about 250% more stuff to add.
…Mostly you learn the things you can’t live without. One of my personal discoveries was: storage.
I’m already an emotional hoarder who keeps everything from concert tickets to a chestnut I found on the ground during a particularly awesome day hanging out with my mom. Yeah maybe it’s a little bit crazy, but I have a plethora of warm fuzzy fodder – do you? Guess you’ll look at sidewalk garbage a little differently now, won’t you? (It’s okay if you don’t pick up garbage off the sidewalk and actually I’d prefer if you didn’t.)
Particularly if you’re a clothing collector (which, if you’re reading this, there’s a very good chance you are), storage is indispensable. Give away that ring you got from a flea market in California? Yeah, right! Never gonna happen. So you need smart storage in your tiny space, and that storage is best served vertically.
Use your walls wisely
Look up. Look at all that wall space between the spot in front of you and the spot where the wall meets the ceiling. What a ridiculous waste of space to leave that empty! Imagine that wall – just as adorable – but full of storage opportunities for all the crap you don’t need to keep but are keeping anyway.
It’s such a clever idea to line a shadowbox mirror with cork board so it can easily double as a bulletin. Or, well, I guess it would be triple as a bulletin board since it’s already a mirror and a bookshelf…
I’m pining for that over-the-door organizer, as well. It’s so simple, but I could have a lot of things that I use every day all together, and readily accessible as I’m literally running out the door.
Put your closet to work
I know, I know, your closet space is precious. But, as you’ll remember or discover about living in a small space, sometimes you don’t have a choice. Luckily, there are some cool products out there – I found these at PBDorm – to help solve this issue because you’re sure as hell not paying for a bigger place, am I right?
These take up space that often isn’t even being used, anyway, and actually expand your closet by a huge percentage.
I have the closet storage set on the far right – two of them, actually – and they have served me well for several years. I use them to hold sweaters, jeans and basics, while the drawers were used for underwear and socks! Who needs a dresser?
Organize your jewelry – yes, just do it
I know, the thought of going through your gobs of jewelry finds and keeping them organized can sound like a huge challenge, but there are easy ways to accomplish it without losing your mind! Maybe you have to purge a little bit, and/or figure out what pieces you’ll wear most frequently while keeping the rest tucked away in a jewelry box… or just a box. (Sorry, hard to hear but you know you don’t wear all of it!)
Yet another product I’m proud to own: a hanging jewelry organizer. Mine, identical to the one above left, is full of necklaces, rings, and my collection of plug earrings, and I’m 100% sure I would have lost them without this.
The organizer on the right if a bit more romantic, and has some added functionality. There are tons of hooks for all of your favorite jewels and, now that I think of it, you could keep your less-worn pieces in a closet hanger so they’re not so far away! Scratch my stupid “box it up” idea from earlier, this one is way better.
Thank you to PBDorm for sponsoring this post and letting me gush about teen products.