Tips for Living in a Small Space

Do you live in a small space? Are you constantly competing for square footage with your partner or kids? Even if you live in a household of one, you may feel hemmed in by belongings that threaten to overwhelm your space — and well-being.

You might be trying to make things work in a one-room apartment with your significant other, or navigating the pleasures of parenthood with a family of five in a modest two-bedroom. Maybe you're trying to figure out where you could put the grandkids for a long weekend — backyard camping?

From tiny houses to studios to converted school busses and houseboats, even the smallest dwellings have proven accommodating for some. We have some tips to help you survive and thrive in your small space.

Give it Up

Give it Up

Marie Kondo famously advises to let go of items that don’t “spark joy.” While your camping stove might not exactly spark joy, you’ll need it if you enjoy off-grid excursions — or “roughing it” with kids in the backyard. On the other hand, it’s time to take that defunct printer to an electronics recycling outlet.

If you have things that aren’t being used, worn, or otherwise deeply valued or enjoyed, it’s time to say goodbye. Sell, donate, dispose, or give away belongings that no longer serve you. Those ill-fitting boots aren’t going to get more comfortable, and no one needs three sets of dishes.

Get Organized

Get Organized

Expand your existing shelf space using coated wire shelving that gives you a second “story” of storage under sinks, in pantries, and kitchen cupboards. Put mugs on the “ground floor”. Glass tumblers on top.

Elevate pots and pans with a sturdy pot rack to conserve cabinet space and stack small to medium-size lids in an attractive basket. A ceramic planter or metal canister makes a perfect countertop caddy for long-handled utensils — or consider a wire grid with “S” hooks for hanging them up.

Take advantage of shelving for the backs of cabinet and pantry doors. In fact, make all your doors do double-duty with over-the-door hooks and hanging storage, like shoe bags or even an ironing board. Use drawer organizers throughout the house — you can fit more in with a bit of organization.

Divide & Conquer

Divide & Conquer home space

Shelves are a great way to create separate zones in an open area while providing needed storage for books, craft items, documents, photo albums, and special objects you treasure. Keep shelves clutter-free using attractive storage boxes available at craft stores.

If you’re handy, you could build a floating wall as a perfect place to display art and hide kiddie clutter — or your bed, on the other side.

The way you face your furniture and things like rug placement can help distinguish areas for dining, lounging, or working. Small furnishings are not always better. Although it seems counterintuitive, sometimes a large piece like an oversized sofa can make a room seem bigger.

Multipurpose It

Multipurpose It

Store the kids’ toys or all your winter clothes in beds with built-in drawers. If you can’t afford a new bed, substitute shallow boxes and hide them with a bed skirt. A trunk can store pillows and comforters. Add a cushion, and voilà, it’s a bench seat.

When space is tight, go vertical. Make dual-use of an area by buying or building a loft bed and use the area beneath it for a sofa, table, or desk.

Get the Hang of It

Get the Hang of It

If your dining area is oh-so-tiny, hang your kitchen chairs on pegs when not in use. Use the same concept for things like bikes — or surfboards! Just be sure these are hung properly with adequate support for their weight.

Mirrors and paintings are another way to create more visual space. A well-placed mirror can make a room feel twice as large. Additionally, a large painting with lots of visual depth can create an illusion of space when strategically placed.

Make Life Better at Home


Shapermint is dedicated to making you feel your best. That means shapewear that supports you in comfort and style, and tips for everyday living that are sized to fit.

Look to us for more fun ways to make a house a home — like cooking a delicious and fragrant bowl of ramen in your cozy kitchen.