As someone with way too much stuff shoved into a tiny New York City apartment, I know all too well how difficult it is to stay organized in a small space. Life is so much easier when everything you own has a home, but so many pieces of organizational furniture are too big—or too ugly—to work. Maeve Richmond, organizing coach and founder of Maeve’s Method, explains that while organizing small spaces is tricky, it’s definitely possible to do in a way that's both effective and pretty.
“Getting organized means taking apart a busy or cluttered space and putting it back together again—with new systems in place. This can be overwhelming to take on in a small space because we need room to work and to generate fresh ideas,” says Richmond. “A great way to invigorate this process is by using pretty storage options as you work, rather than plastic bins, tubs, and drawers. This way, any element you introduce into the room will also serve as home decor, adding style and personality.”
“When choosing furniture pieces for your space, always consider both form and function—how a piece looks, but also the utility it can provide,” she says. “When selecting any piece of furniture, ask yourself: 1) What fits best? 2) What kind of storage am I lacking or would like to add in my space? 3) What would align best with my aesthetic?”
From there, it’s time to get shopping!
“Whatever you choose, make sure it makes you smile before you decide to keep it in your home. Everything in a small space should be functional and decorative. So, if you look at it and don’t love it, move on to something else,” says Richmond. “Don’t be afraid to bring in color, texture, and even contrast—like shelving at different heights—as you work. Variety gives the eye more places to look and magically expands your visual footprint.”
Shop Richmond and La Fond’s favorite organizational furniture pieces below.
Organizational furniture that are equally functional and stylish
1. Room and Board Slim Desk, $449
“The 36-inch-wide size packs a punch in a small home,” says Richmond. “Use it as a desk, a table, or even a console.” The shelf is discreet, with enough clearance to hold a tray for small stuff, like “pens, paper and binder clips, or even your diary.” It’s available in 15 colors.
Shop now: Room and Board Slim Desk, $449
2. West Elm Haven Storage Bed, $1,799
“Under the bed is the biggest lost opportunity for storage,” says La Fond. “We love a storage bed like this to give you tons of storage for seasonal items, or bulky pieces like luggage.” This bed is available in a full, queen, or king and can be made to order in dozens of different colors and fabrics.
Shop now: West Elm Haven Storage Bed, $1,799
“This Ikea sectional is perfect for small spaces,”says La Fond. “It pulls out to make a cozy guest bed and even has space to store additional linens.” The sectional is available in five colors. It's great for movie nights with the whole family, too.
Shop now: Ikea Friheten Sleeper Sectional With Storage, $699
You can use this “as a side table, a coffee table, or extra seating for your guests," says Richmond. “Tuck the small stuff of life inside, so it’s hidden nicely away until you need it.” Bonus: It’s easy to move around your home. The stool is available in seven colors.
5. West Elm Mid-Century Side Table, $399
“Rather than opting for open shelves on nightstands and side tables, look for pieces like this with drawers that give you more storage for small items that you want to keep within reach,” says La Fond.
Shop now: West Elm Mid-Century Side Table, $399
“Storage benches are a great way to add additional storage, and they double as seating in any small space,” says La Fond. “I love this wood and leather option, which would work well in an entryway, giving you space for anything from reusable bags to hats, scarves, gloves and even shoes.”
For a fabric storage bench, Richmond loves this piece’s vibrant color and easy-to-clean material. It’s perfect to use in an entryway, at the foot of your bed, or anyplace you need more storage.
Shop now: Christopher Knight Home Mission Fabric Storage Ottoman, $160
“Beautiful bins like these are great to hide seasonal items you’re not using regularly under a bed or couch,” says La Fond.
Shop now: Open Spaces Underbed Storage—Set of 2, $130
9. West Elm Mid-Century Bar Cabinet, $799
“Don’t have space in your kitchen for glassware? Add a bar cart or cabinet in your living or dining room to give you storage and extend your entertaining space,” says La Fond.
Shop now: West Elm Mid-Century Bar Cabinet, $799
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