If you are running out of counter or cooking room in the kitchen, open up your lower cabinet top kitchen drawers. Lay a cookie sheet or cutting board across them. I like to do this when baking and need more room to put my cooking racks on for baked goods to cool. They are light weight and won't pull down on the drawers.
I used to live in a small one-bedroom apartment with my 4 year old son. We didn't have a lot of room so the space we did have was very important! Some of the inexpensive and easy ways I used to maximize space were:
Use shower organizers. I had one that hung over the shower head and one that hung over the shower bar. I put shampoos and conditioners in one, and hung our sponges from it, and in the other I put soaps and body washes. This also helps keep mold and mildew from forming as fast on the edges of your tub since your products aren't sitting there trapping water. Cost? I spent $1.50 for both of them. I went to the Dollar Store and a discount store.
Pretty stacking baskets are a great way to make more room in your linen/bathroom closet and to make it look pretty. I got some at the Dollar Store and Wal-mart, and use them for organizing spare hygiene items, curling irons, bath toys, and anything that might get lost in among the towels.
Try putting a small rolling cart with drawers in your bathroom for items like toilet paper, hand towels, Q-tips, styling products, and other items you use a lot. I got mine for $6.99 at Wal-mart and it has 3 roomy drawers but doesn't take up a lot of space.
In my son's bedroom, I use cute pop-up totes for toys. I got them for $15.00 for 3 Disney Cars totes medium, large, and extra large. They are great because they keep his toys easily in reach. They also help to keep them organized and contained while adding some decoration to his room. It is easier for him to put his toys away too, because he can just look in each tote to see what goes in them.
In my kitchen, I have an old small cabinet salvaged off someone's lawn. It originally had doors on it, but they were broken so I guess that is why they threw it away. I took the doors off and cleaned it, and my toaster oven sits on top of it. I use the 3 shelves for cookbooks, my ramekins and ceramic baking dishes, and boxes of cereal. Cost: Free.
Another way I maximize space, is in my bedroom, on top of my dressers, instead of stacking stuff on top, I use small Rubbermaid organizers and pretty baskets from the Dollar Store to put my makeup, jewelry, and other items in. It keeps it where I have easy access, but I can fit more, and it looks neat and decorative. Cost: I spent $7.00 for 3 baskets and a 3 drawer organizer that is 9 inches tall. I found a cute little wood cabinet with drawers for jewelry on someone's tree lawn.
I have been having fun reading everyone's posts, and looking back at the things I learned when I needed to find out how to store things, like shoes and clothes.
I read on here to use kitchen size garbage receptacles. It turned out to be a great tip! They are all over the house in corners, and they are wonderful make shift "closets."
Our home does not have any closets. Not even one of them. So this idea really has worked out for me a lot. When clothes don't have anywhere to go for a season, we use the kitchen size garbage receptacles for those too. They are great for seasonal clothes and shoes.
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Here are questions related to Living in a Small House.
I want to live in a bit of country, perhaps near a city with some work like a courier job. I want to totally downsize to a 1 bedroom, 1 bath house somewhere near Auburn, CA where my 3 grandkids are. My health isn't gonna last forever and I would like to buy something I could pay off within 10 yrs. I'm willing to get rid of a lot stuff and start living and loving the people most dear to me.