According to today’s standards, I have a large family.
2 adults + 4 kids = 1 big happy family.
Our house is…well…not so large. When we first saw it, we knew the floor plan was a good fit for our family, but we needed to be intentional about organization to really make it work.
We probably won’t be winning any minimalist living awards just yet, but we’ve worked hard to make the most of our living space.
Here are 7 creative ways we’ve organized our home to squeeze one big happy family into one teeny tiny space.
1. DIY Lockers
In a small house, especially one without a coat closet, we knew we needed a place to store the kids’ shoes and book bags, or we’d be in a constant frenzy trying to find them. We got the idea for the lockers from the blog The Polkadot Chair. It’s easier than it looks. It’s basically 4 IKEA Billy bookcases bolted together (read The Polkadot Chair’s blog for further instructions). The shelves are adjustable to suit your space needs, and we hung hooks on the outside of the locker system, too, to hold long coats. Once we had all the materials, this project only took one day to complete. If we can do it, you can, too. Promise.
2. Entryway Organizer
I got this entryway organizer on the clearance shelf at Target for less than $20. I hang my purse on the hooks at the bottom, so I always know where it is. We use the baskets for monthly receipts, coupons, and keys.
Strategically-placed baskets are your best friends. We measured the height of the empty space below our love seat and bought two baskets to fit. We put our two-year-old’s toys inside the baskets for easy accessibility and quick clean up.
4. Over-the-Door Shoe Hanger
I can’t say enough about these things. Until recently, I only used them for shoes, but then I realized you can organize just about anything that’ll fit in the compartments. This one hangs inside of our master closet. We use it for computer cords, jewelry, belts, and other miscellaneous items.
5. Bathroom Shelf
This shelf was another Target find. We arranged the shelf mostly with items that we use everyday, to save space under the sink. I put everything I need to get ready for the day (make-up, hair spray, brush, etc.) in one basket on the shelf, so that I can easily pull out the whole basket when I need it and put it back easily as well.
6. Toy Bin Organizer
At this point, Target should totally be sponsoring this post, because *YES* I bought this 9-cube shelf + bins at Yours Truly. We love it. No more toys scattered across the floor or pushed into corners. As the old adage goes, “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
7. Personalized Coasters
I openly admit that this is not as much of a space-saving idea as it is a keep-mom’s-sanity-intact idea. Do your kids use multiple glasses throughout the day because they can’t find the last one they drank out of? Do cups collect around your sink? Are you constantly loading your dishwasher with *yep* drinking glasses? Give yourself (and your dishwasher) a break by implementing this easy DIY coaster project.
All you need to purchase is chalkboard spray paint, a chalk pen, and as many ceramic tiles you need for the number in your family. It’s so SIMPLE. Spray paint the tiles with a couple of coats (follow the directions on the can), preferably outside. Let them dry. Then, write each family member’s name on the tile. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can let your kids decorate their own coaster with the chalk pen. (I’m not very adventurous. : )
**For other ways DIY chalkboard paint projects, check out our post 10 Whimsical Ways to Decorate your Home with Chalkboard Paint. **