Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Big Reveal

After mulling over the issue of maximizing the use of my apartment space and reducing the amount of stuff I own, this is what ultimately transpired:
Exhibit A – The office/dining room/music room/guest room/laundry drying area

The plan is to eventually purchase a folding table and chairs for hosting dinner parties. I would be able to store these in one of the storage closets. For now, the small table and two chairs suffice for both dining and as a workspace. The floor space in this room comfortably accommodates an air mattress for guests. It is also big enough to set up my laundry drying rack. I love the IKEA Expedit shelving unit – it’s a surprising amount of storage space. The basket on top is for everything that is either 'to be dealt with' or 'at risk of getting lost.' The little pots were discussed previously.

Exhibit B: Kitchen

I tried to keep things pretty simple in the kitchen. One of my favourite features in this room is the washing machine. It’s a nice visual reminder to toss in a load once or twice each week while making dinner. I find I keep on top of the laundry more now than when I lived in a house with the laundry room in the basement. I keep two large hampers in the cubby designed to accommodate a dishwasher. I put all dirty clothes directly into the hampers (rather than on the floor in piles, which was my previous system); laundry is already sorted when it comes time to turn on the machine.

 Exhibit C – Reading area/bedroom/sitting area/painting area/yoga area
The 'coffee table' is actually two super cheap ($10 each) tables from IKEA side by side. This way, they can be easily separated and moved when entertaining. The hanging cubby thing in the coat closet is a great space saver - I keep all my day-to-day footwear in there. I'll have to figure out something else come winter/spring when it's wet. Sports gear and winter gear live in baskets in the same closet.

Even though it really is just one big room, I chose to wall off the bed area (again with an Expedit shelving unit) to create a pseudo-bedroom. It just seemed weird to entertain people while sitting next to my bed. Plus, now if I don’t make the bed in the morning, it’s not the first thing you see when you walk in the door. The shelving unit serves as both a room divider and a dresser. The fabric boxes contain most of my wardrobe (work and formal clothes are hanging in the bedroom closet).

I hang my clothes sorted first by type, then by colour. I realize this sounds a little OCD, but it makes it easy to find things that match and to resist sale items when I know how many blue shirts/black pants/etc. I already have at home.

Another space saver is the shoe organizer under my bed, which I picked up at a clearance sale for $5.

My yoga mat stays tucked away in a closet when not in use, but the floor space in the living room is sufficient to practice. Same goes for my painting easel. The internet connection is next to the sofa. I chose to opt out of wireless internet (more on that next week when we talk about time management).

What are your best tips on making the most of smaller spaces?

Note: This post concludes the organizing space module of the month of gorganization. Getting a small, simple space organized was a surprising amount of work. I wouldn't qualify the process as 'pleasant' by any stretch, but it really is nice to be able to find things and not to be drowning in clutter.
The next topic we will explore is organizing time. If you have any specific post topic requests, please feel free to either post them below in the comments section, or send them to me via email (kissingtoads12@gmail.com).
A big thank you to all my readers. I'm flattered by the number of hits this site gets daily so early in the game. I encourage you to leave comments on posts so that we can learn from each other over the course of this one-year project.


  1. Looks Fantastic! Something to aspire to.

    1. Thanks, Danielle! Work in progress, and certainly no Martha Stewart design touch - but, it's very functional, and I'm really enjoying the simplicity.