How to optimize small spaces

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I live in London and I love it… The problem is that London is an expensive city, so I could only afford to have a small bedroom. Of course, I had to store ALL my things in this little room (it’s a real challenge, believe me!). BUT the good thing is that it taught me how to optimize small spaces, organize and tidy up my belongings and be creative with any extra space I could get in order to fit everything in the room! (unbelievable I know, but true!).

How to optimize small spaces

I thought I should share a few tips with you as you might be in the same situation than I was. So if you have a small room/studio apartment with very little space to store your stuff, then you might find the below tips on how to optimize small spaces useful.

1. Boxes under your bed

If you have unoccupied space under your bed, then you just found one solution to your problem, congratulations! You have the possibility to purchase plastic storage boxes (with or without wheels), which you can easily store under your bed. You should be able to fit around 4 boxes under a double bed.

This is the best place to store any item that you wouldn’t need to access on a daily basis. Among others: shoes, jackets, bed sheets or towels… You can also use these boxes as a seasonal storage area by switching the clothes in your wardrobe on a seasonal basis.
For instance: it’s currently summer, so store your summer clothes in your wardrobe (the one you currently use every day) and store temporarily your winter clothes in the boxes under your bed until winter comes. When winter comes, you can do the contrary (because Winter is coming… Yes, John Snow said it…)

What do you mean I’m a fan a GoT?! I don’t know what you’re talking about!

Under bed storage boxes

Anyway! You can find under bed storage boxes pretty much everywhere (Ikea, Argos, Amazon, etc.), but make sure to check the dimensions!!! The box has to fit under your bed, so check the heights!

Personally, I got mine from Argos and I am pretty happy with it: good size, with wheels and enough storage.
You can find the link here (I literally have 6 under my bed, no kidding!)

2. Use vertical storage rather than horizontal storage

Your clothes are stored in a chest of drawers? Maybe you should switch it to a wardrobe, or a vertical shelving unit (or even 2 shelving units side by side if you feel like you need even more space).

Your shoes are on a long shoe rack? Switch it to a vertical one with 12 layers instead.
Here are some options from Wish, Amazon* and Argos.

3. Use the space behind your door

The space behind any door is often being considered as dead space and not used. However, this space could be occupied if you give it the right “tools”, like hangers, a hanging organizer or a door shoe rack!

If you have tons of pairs of shoes, a huge collection of scarves and gloves, or a lot of coats and jackets, this is probably one of the best ways to store them. It won’t be in your way, won’t take much space and you can still access them easily.

If you are renting the place and can’t fix anything directly to the door (the easiest is to check your contract to see if anything is mentioned), no worries! It exists now a lot of movable options with hooks, that don’t require any screws. I would prefer you not to upset your landlord!!!
Check these options instead:
– hangers
– hanging organizer
– door shoe rack*

If you decide to fix it to the door directly, please be careful and make sure that the fixation is strong enough to carry the weight of your items.

4. Switch basic furniture for options with more storage

This one is a bit trickier to explain, so I will share some examples with you:

Switch your bedside table for a 4 cubes storage unit: Why just have a bedside table, when you can have a “storage-side table”? It’s quite easy to replace but it has the benefit of giving you extra storage for the same amount of space. Pretty handy!

Use dead spaces as much as you can:storage unit and mirror

1. If you have space on top of your wardrobe (and the wardrobe is strong enough!), then put your suitcase or any plastic storage box on top of it. If you can, fill it in with items that you don’t use on a daily basis to spare some space in your room (for instance shoes, coats or even another smaller suitcase!). Any luggage or box would protect your things from the dust, which is also a great thing!

2. There is a small space between the wardrobe and the wall? Slide your iron board in it. Space between your fridge and the wall? Put your airer in the free space. You can also use one of these sliding shelves from Wish for instance.

3. You have a chest of drawers? Then use the space on top to add a TV, a mirror and/or few small plastic storages to keep your jewelry or your beauty products for instance.

5. Use smart space savers

Nowadays, it gets easier and easier to create extra space in your different room as brands and stores are proposing items especially developed to serve this purpose.

You’ll find below a list of different examples of items you can use to create storage space:

Space-saving for shoes from Wish: instead of having your shoes next to each other, you have them on top of each other! Which means you can buy even more shoes! Youhouuuu shopping timeeee!!!

Multifunctional organiser from Wish: perfect to hang kitchen utensils or roll paper. You just have to slide it on the bottom part of your cupboard and tadaaaa no screws needed!

Floating shelves from Argos: you have to fix these ones to the wall directly so if you are renting the place, make sure your contract allows you to make these kinds of modifications in the flat.

Space saving table* from Amazon: it’s like an all-in-one table with stool and table included and you can make it bigger for when you have guests! (you have the possibility to fold the sides).

Under Cabinet storage* from Amazon: these are like small baskets to add in your cupboard/under your cupboard to create an extra shelf.

Tree-hangers* from Amazon: These are perfect to use in your wardrobe to store more clothes. Just be careful that your wardrobe is strong enough to support the total weight of all your items!

Vaccum storage bag* from Amazon: The concept is simple – you basically put clothes, blankets, pillows, towels or sheets in this bag and then use the vacuum to deflate the bag. The size of the bag will reduce, which will make it easier to store! (I have 5 of these that I mainly use when I move house and I can guarantee you that they are life-saver!)

With all these little tricks and tips on how to optimize small spaces, I hope you will be able to reorganize your space and make it as optimal as possible to make your life better and avoid any suffocation due to a lack of space!

Do you know any other tricks that you would like to share to help someone?
Let me know below if this was helpful to you!

Signature Laura

Related topic: How to find a new flat?

7 thoughts

  1. When I moved house in March this year I really started to miss my space under the bed, even though the bedroom itself was bigger! I love using the dead space too as you called it. Every spring I contemplate getting those vacuum storage bags but never bother and I really should! I really struggle with storing shoes…

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    1. Yes, the space under the bed is sooo useful! You should definitely use the vacuum storage bags, these are sooo useful!! Give it a try!
      You should get a hanging storage for your shoes 😉 The ones with the pockets and the hooks, so that you can hang it behind your door 🙂

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      1. If I got hanging storage I think I would struggle to find somewhere to hang it! My wardrobe is already much too full and my door has coats and stuff on the back and some bags! 🤣🤔

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      2. I’m pressed for wall space b/c the room is a strange shape! I don’t really mind it – it actually helps me to not buy more shoes, but I deffo need the space saving bags for my clothes x

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