How to Organize a Home With Little Space

How to Organize a Home With Little Space

Organizing a small home is a big undertaking! But don't worry, this complete guide will equip and motivate you to gain control over the chaos.

Some basic organization principles apply to every room of your home; these include as purging unnecessary items, decluttering often, and using all available space. Moving room by room, take just 15 minutes a day to purge and organize the remaining items. Finally, stick with your new system to keep your home organized and beautiful!

There's no time to waste! Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of organizing a small home.

Small Home Organization 101

In order to effectively organize your home, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

Separate Into Zones

Take organization slowly. Start with one room, or if one room is too much, start in one section of the room. Stay focused on that one area until you're satisfied with it.

Another way to organize is by dividing your home into zones. This method was made popular by Marla Cilley (also known as the FlyLady). For example, zone 1 is the kitchen, zone 2 is the master bedroom, and zone 3 is the bathroom. Then, spend only 15 minutes a day organizing (or, once your home is organized, cleaning and decluttering) one zone and be surprised at the results!

Embrace The Purge

In order to keep a small home organized and tidy, you can't hold onto extra stuff. Often, houses are cluttered and disorganized not because the home doesn't have enough space but because there's too much stuff.

When you begin organizing your home, it's vital to do a deep purge. This can be tough at first; emotional attachment to objects is a real thing! Or perhaps you rationalize that you might use an item in the future. Tiny Buddha offers these tips for releasing your attachment to objects:

  • Start with an easy, annoying, or distracting area
  • Set a time limit
  • Only keep the essential or "beautiful" items
  • Challenge yourself to keep as few items as possible

As you move through your zones, be intentional about purging each area. Keep only the items you need or bring you joy. Then, decide whether to donate, sell, or trash everything else. A garage sale is a great incentive to purge (but be sure to donate anything that doesn't sell!).

Take Inventory

While you're in the process of purging, make note of what storage solutions you might want or need for your remaining items. There are so many options to choose from! Take your time to find the ones that are right for you.

Declutter Often

It's not enough to do a one-time purge; it's important to regularly declutter each area of your house to keep items from piling up. This is where zones are particularly helpful! Assign a zone for each day, and spend 15 minutes or less cleaning and decluttering.

Use Vertical Space

It's easy to think of storage as what's easily accessible. But in a small home, every square inch counts! Don't be afraid to use space from the floor to the ceiling. This is particularly important in closets but can be applied anywhere in your home. Bookshelves, storage units, shelves, hooks, trundle storage, and more, are effective ways to maximize space.

Be Choosy

When you have a small home, you have to be very choosy about what stays and what goes. There's not endless tabletop space for décor or cabinet space for an extra kitchen gadget. Holding onto these things will not only make your home more cluttered but will also reduce the function of your storage space. Again, routinely declutter your zones to regularly evaluate what items no longer serve a purpose.

Stick With It

Old habits are hard to break. Your new organization system may feel awkward at first, but be intentional about putting items away correctly, decluttering regularly, and carefully choosing which items you keep.

Room By Room

Now that you've got your decluttering and organizing tool belt on, it's time to get to work! Below is a room-by-room breakdown of specific organizational hacks.


A top tip for organizing your garage is to not put anything on the floor! This is particularly important so your tools don't incur any damage from water, avoid them from being a tripping hazard, and keep children and animals safe.

Find a storage space for all of your garage items either on a shelf, cabinet, bin, or otherwise hung or stored on the walls. The garage is one place where you can utilize magnetic storage, which allows you to still see all of your tools but keeps them out of reach of small hands.


Bathrooms primarily look disorganized due to a lack of storage. The first order of business is to add extra storage space! Some popular and cost-effective ways include small floating shelves, mounted cabinets, rolling carts (to fit between the toilet and sink), or over-the-toilet storage.

Once you've added extra space, you can designate certain areas for everyone's items, or give each person their own multipurpose organizer to arrange how they please.


Disorganization can make bedrooms feel smaller than they are! Here are some ways to organize and declutter your bedroom so it appears more spacious:

  • Over-the-door laundry baskets - Remove the eyesore of an overflowing laundry basket and give yourself some extra space by using a hamper that hangs over the door.
  • Too Much Furniture - Small bedrooms can feel even smaller when too much furniture is crammed into them. You might have to pick and choose so your bedroom is more functional. For instance, a bed caddy or mattress pocket organizer can take the place of a nightstand. If your closet allows, put a low dresser inside and hang clothes above it.
  • Under the Bed - Use various containers to store seasonal items under your bed. Beware though of storing clothes in plastic containers, as they can become susceptible to mold growth.

Living Room

In your living room, choose furniture with a multifunctional purpose. For instance, use a storage ottoman for blankets and make sure all of your tables have drawers or shelves for books, magazines, and electronic storage.

Don't waste your wall space! Choose tall bookshelves or cubbies, which give the option for functionality, storage, and decor display. Or, utilize hanging shelves for storage.

Laundry Room

Although laundry rooms are justifiably chaotic, especially those on the smaller side, they don't have to be! For instance, install a fold-down ironing board, add some hanging bars for freshly-ironed clothes, and mount a Slatwall rack to store detergent, stain removers, and cleaning agents.


Kitchens are easily cluttered with too many gadgets and cookware. It's crucial to purge your kitchen of all non-essential items! Replace single-purpose appliances with multi-purpose appliances, cut back on your potholders and cooking utensils, and give away decorative dishes that you don't use.

Many cabinets will allow you to add storage space on the back of cabinet doors, like those featured in If you have a pantry, utilize every square inch with tiered shelves, canned goods storage, and over-the-door organizers.


Closets are additional spaces that quickly overflow with extra clutter. This is not only annoying, but it also reduces the function of your closet space! Use an over-the-door organizer for shoes, hats, and mittens.

Don't be afraid to use high and low spaces: add an extra shelf above your hangers for extra vertical storage or use a shoe organizer or storage bins for low storage. Installing a custom closet is yet another option for maximizing space, as referenced by the pros at Clever Closets in Four Tips for Organizing Your Custom Closets.


Organizing your small home can feel overwhelming, but getting started is the hardest part! Divide your home into zones and work on one zone for 15 minutes to purge unnecessary items and take inventory of what storage solutions you might need.

Moving zone by zone (or room by room), implement your new methods. Once you've organized your small home, be sure to stick to your new system and declutter often so it stays that way!


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