It’s not impossible to organize a small home … especially with these 5 tips!
By Danielle Tate, Contributing Writer
Living in a small home has benefits but it can a challenge to organize a small home. Once my family downsized, we became full-time RVers, but it took me a few months to get our small space organized. In fact, it’s still a work in progress.
With the exception of our last house, all of our homes have been on the small size. I owned a mobile home, and then we had a small farmhouse that was lost in a fire. During the rebuilding process, we lived in our 23-foot travel trailer and now we’re back in slightly larger RV.
I’ve had to organize a small home most of my life and I’ve found there’s more to organizing than cute baskets, bins, and storage containers. (Although fun and functional storage solutions are a nice addition.)
Like healthy eating and intentional faith, organization is a lifestyle to embrace on a daily basis. It isn’t something you do once and expect to last a lifetime. Here are a few tips to help you organize a small home:
Declutter on a regular basis
Clutter is costly and the currency is time, money, and stress. Once you embrace the organized lifestyle you’ll realize you must keep a routine of decluttering if you want to stay organized and not feel like your things are taking over your life. Small spaces will look disorganized quickly so you can’t let stuff pile up. Get yourself on a daily, weekly, and monthly decluttering routine.
More than throwing stuff away, decluttering is about keeping the spaces you have available clean and organized. Even if you’re a naturally unorganized person, you can set a routine that works for you.
- Put away all shoes and clothing
- Put toys away
- Make beds
- Wash and put away dishes
- Put everything in its place before bed
- Tidy bookshelves
- Clear and wipe counters
- Organize bedrooms
- Clean the entryway
- Organize outside
- File, shred or toss paperwork
Keep the Floor Clutter Free
Floor space is on of the worst areas to keep clean in a small home, especially with kids. With limited counter space in the RV, I even put some of my ferments on the floor so I know what it’s like to end up with too much stuff where you walk. Doing a nightly 10-minute clean up of just the floor can make a big difference in the feel of your home. This is where your storage bins will come in handy.
Image by: Tappancs
One in/One Out Rule
To organize a small home you must be deliberate about what comes into your house. Establishing a One In/One Out Rule can help. Generous friends and well-meaning grandparents want to give and give to your kids (or even to you) and it can be hard to say no. If you can’t say no, enact the One In/One Out Rule and evaluate what goes when you get home.
Another way to avoid bringing in excess toys into your home is to ask for them to stay where they are. Establish with the family that some new stuff won’t be able to come home but it can stay there for the times your children visit. We actually had a Stuffie Adoption when we downsized and the grandparents got to adopt a stuffed animal our son didn’t want to donate but couldn’t keep. Now he gets to spend the night with them when he visits.
Limit Unnecessary Gadgets and Goodies
I can’t define unnecessary for you, but I can tell you it is likely you have unnecessary stuff cluttering up your home. I did and I still do (that is why #1 happens often in our place). As you evaluate your things, ask yourself:
- Can I get by without this?
- When is the last time the kids read/played with this?
- How many of these do I realistically need?
- Do I have something else that serves the same purpose?
I realized I have way too many mixing bowls. (I have glass, bamboo, and stainless steel.) All are great quality, functional and wonderful but I don’t need nine mixing bowls. In my next purge, I will decide which ones go. It won’t be easy, but I truly do not need them all.
Look at your gadgets and goodies with an objective eye, not an emotional one, and evaluate what needs to go.
Image by : WindowsObserver
Go Digital – photos, books, school keepsakes
I love holding a physical book and my son’s drawings and writings bless me. But to get organized in a small home, you have to rethink how you keep these things.
By going digital you can still hang on to photos you adore, books you love and keepsakes that bring back wonderful memories. Ebooks are a great way to read and wonderful space saver. I have over 400 ebooks on my laptop. Imagine what 400 books would look like in an RV! And for your kid’s amazing artwork try an app like Artkive, At My Kids Made, or Canvsly. And for your photos, there’s Dropbox, Amazon, Google Drive and more.
If you’re working toward ways to get organized in a small home don’t stress out. It can seem overwhelming but a little work and creativity will keep down the stress for you and your family. Small homes have charm when there’s less clutter and you’ll enjoy your space more with less to manage.
For more help getting rid of unnecessary stuff, grab my free decluttering printable.