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Monday, September 12, 2011

Picking my organizing brain!

My friends like to pick my brain whenever I'm over at their homes.  They "casually" mention that they just can't seem to come up with anything to organize a certain space, then take me in and show me the dilemma.  Well, I DO love to solve a good organizing dilemma and so that always gets me thinking how we can make this work for them.





My good friend, Ann and her husband, had our family over for a BBQ on Labor Day.  And that's exactly what she did - picked my brain!  They live in a tiny house. It has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a teeny-tiny kitchen!



Her dilemma was her kids' room - three kids in one little room.  As you can see, three beds doesn't give room for much.  I don't normally do "house calls" because my biggest mantra is that YOU must learn to let go of the clutter - and Ann has! She regularly goes through their stuff and gets rid of as much as possible, since the tiny 600+ square foot house can quickly close in on them {with a small bonus/laundry area they keep toys}!  I told you it was small!




So, her dilemmas were two things....she had too deep of a drawer for her daughter's dresser and wanted to figure out how we could make it get more storage. With a tiny space, you need to make use of every inch that you can!



My solution was this:  Put some of her less-used blankets/quilts on the bottom and use a tray {or in this case a cardboard box/tray} to hold the rest of the clothing on top.


So, we took a quilt that she doesn't use much, but wanted it to be accessible, and we put it on the bottom of the drawer. She found another smaller one and put next to the large one.  


On top of that, I used a cardboard tray that I had leftover from a purchase of water bottles. 


As you can see, what this does is raise up the area that you can put folded clothing. If you chose to, you could cover the edges of the cardboard tray with pretty paper or fabric, or just leave it as is.



Ann folded the shirts using the method I've shown you before


Take your shirts and fold it with sleeves behind, then from top to bottom, then fold again from top to bottom - so it's in quarters.


This allows you to put the kids clothes away organized and line them from front to back - kids {or you} can easily see what shirt they want..


...reach in and grab it without causing a whole pile of shirts to come undone!




Her kids also share a closet. So, Ann has hung up all her boys' shirts in the closet and just her daughter's dresses.  Then, she made cute clothes' dividers out of a cereal box! I brought over some pretty paper and she glued to the make-shift dividers and she can eventually put their initial or names on each.



Her second dilemma was her son's short and pants - from the picture above you can see them laying on the shelf. She has a small bookshelf in the closet for their books and a few small things. I had two left-over containers that I had bought for $1 each and didn't need.


I took those and folded the pants in quarters and the shorts in half. Here's her littlest one {her other two were in school}, helping us to organize!
 


Next, I'll show you another small space challenge and some future ones that she {or you} could incorporate to utilize even MORE storage! I suggested that she put a couple of baskets {or even cardboard boxes} for the kids below the last shelf of the bookshelf. I also suggested to teach them that when they take the clothes off the hanger to put the hanger in the basket {on the side is best} so that when the laundry is sorted, all the hangers head to the laundry room/area to be hung right up after they come out of the dryer.



Then, above the closet rod is a HUGE waste of space. This would be an ideal place for all her paper towels {see LEFT of picture above} and toilet paper. 



Putting a shelf into a rental house is probably not do-able.  But, she COULD put larger baskets of some sort to hang like I did in my family room that needed a shelf and hang from much larger hooks from the ceiling OR from the back of the wall.

  
Or, I found THIS on Pinterest of what to do with that empty space in the closet, too:
Source

The last thing I suggested was she look for "roadside freebies" such as dresser drawers - I see old dressers on curbs and alleys quite often! She could put wheels on them or gliders to slide easily in and out from under the beds. They could hold more clothing or toys. She could also use some sort of hooks on the end of the bunk bed - either Command hooks or over the door hooks if she didn't want to screw anything into the wood. 


Here is an example I found on Pinterest: 

Source


Living in a tiny place DOES limit how much stuff you can have.  But you can still keep it clean and neat.  Ann has done an incredible job at de-cluttering her home and keeping up with the stuff that can creep in. Do you have a tiny place?  What small space challenges do you encounter?



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