When we moved into this tiny apartment nearly two years ago, we did not think we’d be staying this long. But we did, and through this time I learned a lot about small home organization, and what it takes to keep a tiny space neat and clean.
There are many challenges presented with keeping a tiny space looking nice.
- A small mess fills more space, making the entire home look messier.
- It can be hard to navigate bulky cleaning equipment around small spaces.
- There is simply less space to put things.
I decided to organize these small home organization tips into three steps that will ensure your tiny house stays spic ‘n span.
Our new Hoover Air Cordless 2-in-1 stick and handheld vacuum has really helped us with maintenance and keeping our place clean. The cordless experience has transformed the ease of my housework, and the slim profile has allowed me to reach deeper into the corners that comes with our small home.
Follow along with the small home organization tips below to see how it can help you!
Small home organization step 1: A place for everything
A while ago, I posted my three step plan for an organized home, with the primary agenda being “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
This is essential for all spaces, but more challenging with small spaces. Here are some fixes:
- Use your vertical space. Add a hutch to your desk, use tall bookshelves for toy storage, and add wall cabinets and shelves in strategic places. We used to have our garbage can in a corner in our kitchen. We purchased a bookshelf with doors so that we can place the garbage inside, and use the space above it. And don’t forget that under bed space!
- Maintenance is essential. “Everything in its place” means just that. When you’re done with something, put it right where it belongs, avoiding a clutter build-up.
- The same goes for clean up. Clean messes as they happen. When your toddler’s high chair is a few feet away from the bedroom carpet, you’ll want to catch the spilled cereal right away.
- Double up your furniture. Furniture that also acts as storage is a HUGE bonus. My toddler’s crib has a handy drawer underneath. A bench or ottoman can have LOTS of storage (if you have space for an ottoman…)
Small home organization step 2: Don’t have too much STUFF
For those of us living in small homes who don’t necessarily live minimalist lives, it can be hard to determine where to draw the line with having “too much stuff”. Especially when you have children, you may not want to streamline their toys or art supplies.
Take my toddler’s toy kitchen for example. It’s pretty small, but still takes up a nice chunk of my REAL kitchen. But he plays with it for many, many hours. I simply am not willing to give up on things like that.
- Don’t forget: A place for everything. If you have space for it, it’s okay. If not, either say no, or make the space.
- Replace what you don’t need. When we got that toy kitchen, we got rid of that tool bench that was missing the tools. Any time I buy a new top, I go through my closet and get rid of three that I haven’t worn in two years. If you can’t find a home for it, make a home for it.
- Once again, double duty does the trick. Go for things that do more than one job. Think multi-purpose kitchen appliances, a vacuum cleaner that also works as a hand vacuum, and convertible furniture, such as a futon.
Small home organization step 3: gear up!
One challenge of living in a small home that is not often discussed is the clean-up challenge. Interestingly, I was always under the impression that smaller homes are easier to clean because there is less to clean, this isn’t always true. There is a happy medium somewhere that seems to be the “easiest.” But a very small home presents the challenge of navigating around grouped furniture and small corners to catch that dirt.
While there are fewer rooms to clean, it can be frustrating to try to reach a home that is mostly nooks and crannies. There are no open rooms to clean. In addition, the dirt travels much faster. While we normally eat in the kitchen/living/dining room, it takes a few footsteps for those crumbs to reach the carpeted bedroom.
So, the same amount of dirt that a family of three produces is simply spread in a smaller area and reaches the corners and “hard spots” faster.
I have a confession to make. I had more-or-less given up on this. I had a very basic upright vacuum cleaner, that was simply impossible to use in our home. It was hard to get out of the corner it was stored in. It was nearly impossible to drag around corners, with the bulky cord. And it didn’t even reach into half the areas of our home, meaning that when I DID actually vacuum, I only got the two square feet in the center of the room, and not the corners with all the dirt.
I will provide you with more details of our new Hoover cordless vacuum, but meanwhile, I’ll provide you with three key features to look for in cleaning gear for your small home.
- Go cordless. Again, it’s simply a pain to navigate a bulky cord around a tiny space. Cordless not only makes it that much easier (just switch it on and go), but it also takes up less space.
- Go double duty. Did I mention this before? The rule of double duty applies to everything – including cleaning gear. Our vacuum cleaner includes a hand vacuum, which means that we can grab that mess as it happens (before it reaches the bedroom). But it doesn’t take up more storage space as it’s built right into the vacuum. And if it works as a floor sweeper too – even better!
- Go small. Not only does small take up less of a footprint in your home, but it will help you reach into the smaller areas that come along with living in that tiny space. In other words, you already know that you don’t need to buy an industrial-sized broom for your shoebox, so why is your vacuum cleaner so big?
The Hoover 2-in-1 hand and stick vacuum is all of the above – and still powerful! It works with the same powerful Windtunnel 3 technology, and I just needed one swipe to get all the buildup clean.
It did an amazing job even with slightly larger dirt, like the leaves that get tracked in at this time of year. So, it had the profile and ease-of-use of a stick vacuum, but the power of a full-sized vacuum cleaner.
The hand vacuum is easy to remove, but locks in place securely when I put it back. It also helps me prevent that mess from spreading further so that I don’t need to clean the whole house after every meal. It works very well on dry floor and is so easy to learn and use.
The rechargeable battery is interchangeable with the rest of Hoover’s line of cordless products. These include this vacuum, two more full-sized options, and a wet hard floor cleaner. I was very impressed with the small size of the battery – I can charge it on my kitchen counter, alongside my phone and camera battery.
The LithiumLife battery has double the power of the standard 18-volt lithium Ion batteries. I get a few full house cleans from one charge, with enough for touch-ups in between. If you have a large house, you might need to charge between each clean, but it should last out a full house clean regardless.
And my favorite feature: there is no cord. While cords might be a pain for everyone, in a tiny apartment, it’s easier to trip and tangle. The cord-free experience has really made all the difference for me!
With these three simple steps, your small home should stay sparkling clean and organized throughout the day
Which small home organization tips do you have to share? Comment below!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.