Make the Most of Small Spaces

Working as a volunteer in a non-profit thrift shop for the past year, I learned how to make the most of small spaces. The store is crowded and the space seemed woefully inadequate but we make it work very well. The tips I learned there would work for small houses, apartments, or any tiny living space.

They sound simple, but carried out on a consistent basis result in a much smoother operation: keep things organized, go vertical if you do not have enough floor space, consolidate, purge and rearrange.


Organization is the key. Every piece of merchandise, every donation, needs a home. The main thing is to decide on how to organize the space and do it consistently. Make an organizing plan that works for you. Change it as needed.

Go up

No more floor space? Are you falling over your feet? Is stuff stacked everywhere or hidden under other furniture?

Going up expands usable space. Whether you install shelves, cabinets, hooks, or anything else on the walls, you suddenly have lots more places to put things. Everything looks neater and is much easier to find. Customers raved about how much better the shop looked with floor to ceiling shelves installed.


Donations come into the shop on a regular basis. Sometimes large donations come in one after another. The shelves groan with stuff. We pile it on and under the tables and need to consolidate in a big hurry. We sort, quickly tossing items into the proper totes, linens in one, and shoes in another. When it calms down, we further sort, process, price, and put them on the sales floor.
This reduces the volume of stuff and makes room for incoming items.


Clutter is messy, looks bad, and is hard to clean. Ask yourself, “Do I really need all that stuff?” You know the answer. Clutter is different things to different people. Bless people in your life with the stuff cluttering up your life. Donate it thrift stores, sell it on Ebay, or host a yard sale. Just as a writer makes every word count, make every item in your home count. Your peace of mind is all the thanks you need.


The most efficiently organized system turns messy in a hurry if neglected. Constant vigilance, weeding out, and cleaning as you go are necessary to ensure serene spaces and personal sanity.

No Room?

Of course, there is always room. We just have to make it. If we remember to organize, expand up, consolidate, purge, and rearrange, it is there for the taking. It is a small price to pay for serenity and peaceful surroundings.

Now take these tips and go make some space in your own place.

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