How to Squeeze Functionality Out of Your Small Living Space

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Ridiculously organized, here you come.
So you live in a tiny apartment. But just because you can't fit a home office, meditation corner, and entertainment center inside a postage-stamp sized room doesn't mean you can't have a super functional (and Instagrammable) space—the key is in how you arrange it.

There are many advantages to de-cluttering your home, but according to Anna Bauer, professional organizer and owner of Sorted by Anna, the biggest one is all the time you’re going to save. “We waste so much time in our days looking for lost or misplaced items,” she says. “[Being organized] so you can see all your items ensures you save yourself time and can easily find what you need.”

Of course, to actually bring your home to magazine-worthy level, organizational essentials are must. But don’t worry: Bauer has recommendations for that department, too—and they’re all from IKEA.

Scroll down for 4 tips on how to make the most out of your small living space.

ikea closet organization

1. No closet? No problem

Even if your bedroom doesn't have a closet, you can create a space to store your clothes with a standalone wardrobe. With IKEA wardrobes you can mix and match pieces to create a personalized storage system that integrates seamlessly with your room's style (and has a designated section for your leggings collection).

Have a (mini) closet? Bauer says you can make the most of even the tiniest spaces through organization.

It might seem like a daunting task at first (especially if your closet is not currently living its best life), but Bauer says to start with baby steps—beginning with taking everything out. “Emptying out your closet helps you reimagine how you could set it up,” she explains.

Plus, the process forces you to reexamine what you love and what you should probably donate (do you really need that Carrie Bradshaw-inspired tutu that you’ve never worn?).

ikea bedroom storage

2. Use bedside storage for multi-task purposes

When you're short on space, your nightstand can act as a desk, a display area for pretty baubles, and a place to stash bedtime must-haves (talk about multi-tasking).

But since it's the first and last space you interact with when waking up in the morning and before going to bed at night, keeping it organized will also keep you feeling calm. Using tabletop boxes to sort nightly essentials like lip balm, essential oils, and your sleep mask will keep surfaces looking tidy, while in-drawer storage trays can keep less-used items tucked away—but still easy to find when you need them.


3. Make space for the things you love

Your home should be a reflection of you no matter the size of your space, so crafting a designated space for your hobbies and interests is an important (but too often overlooked) element of home organization.

Shelving is a great way to optimize wall space while displaying items that bring you joy (like those awesome knick-knacks from your latest travel expedition that are currently living in a box under your bed).

Even better, if you have shelving with multiple compartments, you can carve out recreational space to share—whether it's with your kids, roommate, or even your pet (so. many. toys).

4. Create the illusion of more space with room dividers

Bauer says room dividers are another must-have. Bonus points if they have shelves. "This helpful solution keeps the pile of clothes you have folded on a closet shelf from forming one large mess," she adds. 

Another smart tip is to make sure you label your stuff. "Creating labels in your closet ensures you know where to find an item, and more importantly where to put it back." Bauer says. Because once you switch over to the organized side, you'll never want to go back again. 

In partnership with IKEA

Photos: IKEA

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