Staying Organized in a Small Space

The Never Ending Decluttering and Organizing Dilemma

We’ve agreed (I hope) that the first step to maximizing small spaces is clearing clutter and organizing what we use in our homes.

I rely on several resources…books and periodicals that I refer to from time to time when I need inspiration.

A Really Good Book on Organizing

The first is an excellent book by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

of all, it’s easy to read. And it’s fun to read! Kondo teaches exactly how to declutter any space so that when you’ve finished, everything you have left will bring you joy! She doesn’t go room-by-room, the method most organizers employ, she teaches category-by-category.

She actually does teach classes in this method in Tokyo and last I heard she has a three-month waiting list for enrolling. So if you’re in Tokyo, you might want to check that out!

My daughter was recently visiting me from Kansas and after browsing through the book, she took it home with her. So I bought another!

Another Favorite Organizing Book

Melissa Michaels is a best selling author and creator of the popular blog The Inspired Room.  If you haven’t discovered her blog, yet, I can tell you it’s truly inspiring!

She’s written several books but this one is my favorite. She attacks the issue of clutter with a vengence.

As she says, “A pile of clutter doesn’t make anyone happy.” So her method for paring down to just what you love makes sense.

It’s called the “Make Room Challenge” and it’s detailed in this terrific book. Not overwhelming, at all…it’s sensible and doable.


Domino MagazineDomino – The Magazine!

The latest issue of Domino has a great article on small space solutions that illustrates how Manhattan designer Brittany Chevalier (and managing editor of Domino Magazine) arranged her New Jersey apartment to maximize the space.

South Seas Bar Cart

South Seas Bar Cart from

For example, the South Seas Bar Cart does double duty as an end table beside her perfectly scaled sofa and as an essential serving piece for parties.

Plus, it has a casual elegance that makes the most of her small living room. The mirror adds dimension and balances the rest of the gallery wall that helps define the living room.

To unify the entire space, she used Ralph Lauren Tibetan Jasmine paint for every wall in the apartment. 

A Favorite Organizing Magazine

Martha Steward Magazines

My basket of Martha Steward Living Magazine!

Regardless of how you feel about Martha Stewart, I will tell you that there is nobody who knows organizing better than Martha. I truly admire her and am a faithful reader of her magazines and books.

I have issues going back several years but, true to lessons learned from Marie Kondo’s book, I periodically sort through my stack and donate my least favorites.

My favorite section of Martha Stewart Living is Good Things. Every single month I find something useful.

For example: In the June 2013 issue (yes, that’s a very old issue but I’ve already said I’m a magazine collector), Martha suggests:

Next time you’ve hit the bottom of the pickle jar, reserve the salty, vinegary goodness of the brine. You can use it as a base for salad dressing, as a flavor booster in potato or tuna salad…”

Well, I do that, now! I also will marinate carrot and celery sticks in the pickle juice. A good snack!

A couple of other suggestions from Martha that are great for small space decor:

MS mag 2

Using a bike basket as a wall storage vessel…it’s a Good Thing!


MS Mag

If I had a cabin, I’d copy this rustic towel bar…it’s a Good Thing!

A  Bookcase for Small Spaces

You can read my review on this terrific bookcase HEREbookcase

Honestly, it’s hard to find small bookcases that are classy and smart looking.  This one fills the bill, for sure.

Your thoughts?

Do you have any special resources for organizing your small space? I’d love to add them to my list, too, so let me know in the comments below.

Cheryl K Logo

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 thoughts on “Staying Organized in a Small Space

  1. I think my number one pet peeve is clutter . I am a believer in clutter-free environment = clutter-free mind. Having two young boys I have found that baskets and ziploc bags of all sizes are my best friends . Thanks for the good advice – I wish I had heard of you years ago!

    • Honestly, sometimes I just marvel at how quickly clutter gathers so I’m with you on that! I love baskets, too. Baskets are great to have for storing small toys and books and if you can get the kids to help with that, all the better. The key is getting rid of clutter before it takes over…something I’m constantly working on! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  2. Just found your blog through a pnirtest post – love this! and I’m going to have to follow your blog so my friends and family will think I know what I’m doing for parties and holidays! Thanks ;)Marissa @

  3. Cheryl, you have some great ideas for small space dwellings. We need to declutter but we love all our ‘stuff’ and each declutter exercise gets rid of very little.

    I have a friend who is very good at this. She even wrote a book on it. It took ages for her to get it published etc and ready for sale. Everyone she approached told her the book was too small and she should fill it out more! She didn’t believe cluttering up a decluttering book was a good thing. I think the publishers missed the point. I am going to send her your website address.

    Keep up the decluttering.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *