You don’t have to have a big house to create an amazing space. In fact, many homeowners today are opting to downsize to a simpler life without all the clutter.
While a large home can feel open and full of possibilities, it can also put pressure on you to fill it up with “stuff” so it doesn’t feel empty.
A smaller home, on the other hand, forces you to rethink each of your purchases and really separate your wants from your needs so that you ultimately consume less. After all, there is that saying that “the things you own end up owning you”?
Despite what Pinterest or Houzz.com will show you, there is nothing wrong with having a small space.
Sure, there can be moments of frustration when you really want to buy an Air Fryer or a 3-Tier Tray but recognize you either have to toss out a coffee maker or forever keep your new item on display on your countertops (just be sure to buy a pretty one!).
But there is something rejuvenating in being thoughtful with every inch of space you have.
Likewise, you don’t have to feel bad about having a large space. There is no need to sell your home and cram it all into a tiny house just to have a more functional space.
Whether you have a large home or a small home, you can use these small space tips to make the most of your space.
Below we discuss how to make the most of your small space and offer our favorite tips from people who also have small spaces.
This one may seem obvious, but for many, decluttering is the hardest part of downsizing. What do you let go and what do you keep? What if you regret getting rid of that one item?
It’s hard to let go of things you made plans for. Maybe it’s an old tray you only use when you’re too tired to handwash your other trays, or a yogurt machine you had really high hopes for making homemade yogurt in.
Knowing what to let go of can be hard, so lay out some rules for yourself.
Ask Yourself: Does It Bring You Joy?
We love Marie Kondo’s “Spark Joy” rule about getting rid of an item that no longer sparks joy within you. If the answer is “Yes”, keep it. If you use it regularly, put it in your “Keep” Pile. But if you only use it once a year, put it in your “Storage” Pile.
If The Answer Is “No”, Ask Yourself: Does It Serve You?
Or does it serve the 10+ guests you invite over for dinner every week? A spatula may not spark joy deep within your heart, but it sure is convenient to have when you’re serving a bunch of dishes to your dinner guests.
Follow the same method above: if you use it regularly - keep it out, if you only use it annually - put it up in storage.
If The Answer Is “No,” Ask Yourself: Why Do I Keep Buying This Junk?
And then stop buying this junk.
Once you’ve gotten rid of items you don’t need, it’s time to make the most of your storage so you can easily access your most-used items.
Keeping your countertops as clear as possible and using only uniform decor to put on displays will make your countertops look larger while giving you more workable space. Therefore, it’s important to make the most out of the hidden storage space you have.
There are a few basic easy tips that can expand your space. This includes using racks inside the cupboard to maximize your vertical space so you can stack different-sized plates and coffee mugs.
For fabric items such as extra aprons or tablecloths, take advantage of space-saving vacuum bags.
Keep large utensils on your countertops in a stylish yet simple holder.
Only keep out small appliances you use every day. Anything else can go in a closet, pantry, or cupboard.
And lastly, keep a junk drawer. There’s gotta be at least one place you can toss that random pencil or screwdriver.
Choose Light Colors. While clutter can make a space feel small, the right decor choices can create breathing room in your home. As a general rule, shades of white, light greys, or soft blues can add light to a room in just the right places, making it instantly feel more spacious.
Want to maximize this effect? Pair your new white walls with minimal accessories, like a piece of statement art or a potted plant. The white walls will really help any color you bring into the space pop!
Manipulate With Lighting. This is also a great opportunity to use layered lighting to expand your space.
Start at the top with an overhead light, either a singular light source or recessed lights that add some interest.
Then move down with a pendant lighting over the sink or island.
Continue to move down to brighten up the shadows and illuminate your workspace with under cabinet lighting. You’d be amazed how this can counteract the space your upper and lower cabinets take up.
Use Reflective Backsplash. The backsplash can be a great opportunity to add some interest without cluttering up your kitchen. Similarly, with the colors you choose for your kitchen, we recommend choosing tile that reflects light, either in color or material.
You could try glass, polished marble or quartz, or any natural stone that has a bit of a sparkle to it.
A light backsplash paired with under cabinet lighting opens up a whole new world for space.
Another great way to save space is to downsize your appliances. Many popular brands like KitchenAid and Bosch make refrigerators, ranges, and dishwashers that are only 18-22” inches wide, allowing you to save almost a foot of space!
You can also opt for counter-depth refrigerators that sit flush with your lower cabinets so you can have more space to move around in your kitchen. Here are a couple of our favorites to get you started on your search!
Refrigerators. Many homeowners think they have to get the largest, full-size refrigerator they can find on the market to keep enough food on hand.
However, by being smarter about meal prepping, the number of condiments you actually need on hand, and utilizing your freezer storage, you likely don’t need as much refrigerator space as you think, especially with a family of 4 or less.
Fortunately, there are refrigerators designed for small homes and apartments that take up less space both in width and depth. You can replace a refrigerator with an apartment-sized refrigerator or a mini fridge with a freezer.
Range. The standard range is 30 inches and features at least 4 burners. But if you really think about it, how often are you using all 4 burners at once? In fact, it’s more likely that you never even use 3 burners at one time.
If you have very limited counter space available, opting for a 20-inch cooktop or range could save you a whopping 10 inches of usable space.
Dishwasher. When you’re limited on lower cabinet space, a standard-sized dishwasher can take up valuable real estate.
The standard dishwasher size is 24-inch wide. Therefore, by choosing an 18-inch dishwasher instead, you’ve just added 6-inches by 30-inches of cubic space to store your dishes.
Washer/Dryer. Another easy space-saving solution is to compact your laundry. Today, you can save half the space with a stackable washer and dryer, a stacking kit for a front load washer and dryer, or a compact washer and dryer that is on machine with double duty, or have even more flexibility with a portable washing machine that can be put up as needed.
If you’re ready to upgrade an appliance or put together a custom home appliance package, give us a call at 303-665-6850. One of our helpful and knowledgeable sales representatives would love to help!