My room is an absolute disaster and its only a 12' by 12' room. Things I have: a queen bed, a six drawer dresser, a large corner desk, a small 3' by 3' closet and, a floor lamp. I currently have everything under my bed and in my closet. I need to organize and we can't go out and buy anything.
First, get rid of the queen bed. go double or even single, (if you can). Also, think vertical, multi-purpose. See if you can get trade-in credit at a thrift or consignment shop. Try a hide-a-bed or even a daybed or futon that folds down to a bed at night.
A small room looks even smaller when large things are moved in. If you downsized to even a double, you may gain more space.
Have each piece of furniture do more than one duty: Desk that has a drawer for hanging files instead a separate stand for them. Dresser that will hold a TV, DVD player, etc, as well as clothes.
Go through your clothes with an objective mind. If you did not wear it in the last season it was meant for, donate it.
Same with books. Keep only a few that really mean a lot to you. Donate the rest. Magazines? Scan the articles you bought the magazine for, then donate to shelters, doctor's offices, and hospital lounges. (just be sure if you subscribe to that mag, your address does not remain on the mag, even if you have to use scissors to cut out that info.)
Post on local sites (like freecycle or craig's list) and maybe you can trade w/someone locally w/o any money changing hands. (just be careful if you have someone come to your home).
A note of files, receipts, etc:
I have a filing system that works for me. In a portable filing box (I bought it at Office Depot, it has locking tabs, like a briefcase) and I keep the current year's bills/receipts in it). I have three colors of folders: Red: Bank statements, rent receipts, anything legal, such as taxes, etc. Anything that needs immediate attention that is not a regular occurring thing. Yellow: medical, online purchases, schooling (report cards, progress reports, etc) Things that are not usual in everyday living, but not as urgent as red. and Blue: Bills. anything that comes with a regularity. Car payments, including insurance, DMV business, etc. Have a sub-folder in there for each car you own. We only have one, though.
Keep a black folder for new appliance handbook. Staple the receipt on the INSIDE of the cover of the handbook. Keep warranty information with the handbook.
For everything you bring in, one thing must go: buy a new purse, one old one goes out.
I know some of this sounds harsh, but I also live in a very small living space. I have gained a lot of space doing this.
Good luck. I'd be interested to know what you do with your space.
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I have a very small bedroom and am in desperate need of ideas. Does anyone have any for me?
By Lena from Portland, ME
The basic theory here is you need to go "up" to make more room. If you haven't filled up yet on furniture you can get a wardrobe with drawers in the lower half and room to hang in the upper half.
You can get a hanging shoe rack: it has a hanger top and many pouches normally for shoes, but you can use the pouches for many things. Hang it on the back of your door or in the closet if you put stuff in it you don't readily need.
If you have a head or foot board on your bed devise pouches to hang on those for room.
Of course under the bed is space to use, but it helps if you can organize it. That shoe storage box they advertise on TV is really ideal and again you don't have to put shoes in it. Ask for one for Christmas.
Good luck. (11/24/2009)
Floor to ceiling book cases are the way to go. You have to build them, but the lumber yard will cut them to the size you want. If you stabilize them to the wall with a bracket they can be taken apart and moved with you. You can place plastic boxes on them and you won't believe the amount of storage space you have on the top shelves and the usable space you have on the lower shelves. (11/28/2009)
If you can, put shelves around the entire room about 18 inches from the ceiling. You can put things up there that decorate, but aren't needed below eye level. Good luck. (11/28/2009)
I rent a small bedroom and I go nuts trying to find anything like hair stuff, a measuring tape, trinkets, etc. It seems like my stuff is everywhere since I put things away on impulse then forget where I put them. I need help grouping miscellaneous stuff and how or where to store it. I want my room to look nice.
Loni from Albuquerque, NM
People have a tendency to cover the floors of a room and forget the walls have lots of storage area. I suggest you buy an inexpensive particle board shelving unit you can take with you when you move. This unit can be used to store folded clothing or anything you like. If you want to store small items like hair barrettes, etc, use plastic shoe boxes from the dollar store. You can label them as to what's inside, or just see through the plastic. Best of luck. (07/31/2006)
By Carol in PA
I use an old Christmas tin to put hair things in, another to put stuff like nail clippers, tweezers, etc. I also bought some of those little plastic baskets from the dollar store and keep make-up, medicines, pens, pencils, and paper in them. (08/01/2006)
I have a similar problem with a closet in my bathroom. To organize cosmetics, toiletries, nail polish lipsticks etc., I have collected an array of small straw and wire baskets. I put alike things in each basket and have gotten used to putting things back in the correct basket after use. This makes getting ready for work each morning so much easier. I rarely spend any time searching for anything; I can go right to the correct basket. You could do the same in your closet, in dresser drawers, or on shelves. Keeps things looking neat and orderly. (08/01/2006)
The stackable plastic drawer units are nice. We have this one thing we keep in the bathroom, it has 3 small drawers and my daughter keeps her hair accessories in it. You could also use baskets that you can see what's inside, or those clear plastic shoe boxes with lids are nice and you can stack them. (08/01/2006)
Those are all great and workable ideas. You might also try this for a neat and tidy "open space" room. Purchase one of those inexpensive clear vinyl shoe holders that can hang on the back of your bedroom door; there are 20 or so clear "pockets" that really don't hold up well to storing shoes, but are superb at sorting socks/nylons, hair pieces and barrettes, (don't put a hot curling iron in!), brushes, make up, even the tape measure/sewing kits, nail care items, etc. And the best part is when your door is open, your dresser/furniture tops can be less cluttered and all your items are tucked safely behind the door! (08/01/2006)
In my room I put cheap black wire shelving in with baskets and patterned boxes from the dollar store, Wal-mart, etc. I think it looks really nice for low dollars. I keep a master list of what's in each box or basket. Or you could label the containers directly. (08/05/2006)
By Rebecca Dunham
Well, being a frugal queen sometimes, I actually learned that when someone tosses an old dishwasher, which happens frequently in our city, I grab the utensil basket from each one, which is usually either white or blue/green, and each one usually comes with a handle, all for free. These hold separate items well, frequently match in size, shape
and color, are almost always very clean and unstained, are sturdier than dollar store plastics, and can fit most any shelf.
Drawback is that they are not out of sight or covered from dust. However, they're VERY easy to keep clean, keep things dry, and I'm in most of them often and it doesn't matter too much. I place them on wire stacking shelves when I find those ALSO being tossed by wasteful folks. Secret: Simplify, don't keep accumulating more than you REALLY need. I use them in every area of my home for everything from gardening tools, glue bottles, bath items, under sink storage, garage for string, odd shaped small items, paint brushes and crafts. This is the best way I know to recycle them and prevent the good items from being destroyed unnecessarily in the city dump. Hope this helps. Good luck and God bless. (08/13/2006)
Lynda, what an idea, never thought of that. I have seen dishwashers at the curb quite a bit. One day in fact, I stopped and took a bottom rack from one, just to come home and be disappointed that it didn't fit my dishwasher but it was worth a chance. Mine had areas that had rusted. I would think that the utensil caddies would be good for pens, pencils, kid's crayons, art supplies perhaps, paint brushes. I'm not exactly sure, but I could probably put some to good use and will definitely pay attention on trash day in the future.
I really don't want to accumulate more "junk" in my already crowded house, but if it's something I can really put to good use, then I'm all for it! (08/29/2006)
Save up toilet paper cardboard rolls to stuff pantyhose in them. It keeps them organized and you can tell what color they are right off. Especially helps with the socks that you can never find a pair of. (07/10/2007)
I buy hat boxes at thrift stores and stack them, good for little things you have no places for. Also suitcases, I have some old vintage suitcases to store things in and just stack them. For my socks and etc. I have small tins that I picked up at the dollar store and put them on my shelf in my closet. Baskets work great for hair dryers, curling irons etc. (03/28/2008)