Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Working with What You Have: Storage

Warning - this post is a lengthy one!

I absolutely love J & my condo in Boston. It may not be much, but its ours. And for the past 3 years, we've done our best to take advantage of our city location.  Yes, I've been very open about my desire to head to the suburbs soon and gain more square footage, but I can't really complain about our current living space. Can I complain about the parking, the bus schedule, the lack of grass for Tucker? Sure. But if I had to chose a 1 bedroom condo in the city again, I'd like to think I'd still pick ours.

So what's this post about? Working with what you have. In our case, it would be what you don't have. With 700 square feet of living space, storage is a premium. We have a total of 2 closets in our place. Our bedroom closet, and a coat closet by the entrance. That's it. So when Emily invited us to link up with how we work with what we have, I thought this was the perfect time to go through how we make it work.


One word: Baskets! (well, and shelves...)

A quick mental count; we have 3 baskets in our living room, 4 in the kitchen, 4 in the bathroom, 4 in our bedroom. Wouldn't you rather look at a pretty, simple basket than clutter? Because we sure do have plenty of clutter too!

Oh, and have I mentioned that J works from home? So somewhere in our 3 room condo, we needed to make room for an office. Or quasi-office in this case. We happen to have about 30 sq feet near the entrance to our place which ended up being the perfect spot for J's desk. Don't ask J if he'd call it perfect....because I'm sure I could guess his answer. Don't worry dear, a home office is at the top of the must-have list in the next place!

Storage Solution #1: Best use of space
Storage Solution #2: Shelving

 I don't interfere with the man's work, or gym resistance bands. This is his little piece of our condo...if he wants to tape job reference material to the wall, I'll cringe and look the other way....In addition to his desk area, the shelves above house more work needs, personal laptops, printer paper, books, etc.

Storage Solution #3: Sweater hanger turned storage space 

The closet by the entrance of our place is also right next to the kitchen, and across the hall from the bathroom. #smallspaceissues

Storage Solution #4: Storage bench

Storage benches are ideal for small spaces. We've had this one since we moved in and I don't know what we'd do without it. It houses an air mattress, extra sheets, and blankets for guests. We honestly have no where else to put these items so a storage bench was a no brainer. Tucker loves using this bench to keep an eye on the neighborhood for us.
Using the extra wide window ledge as a bookshelf isn't such a bad idea either. Especially when you have such awesome books to display....along with J's extra

 Storage Solution #5: Baskets

Like I mentioned above, baskets are amazing storage solutions. They work their magic to turn clutter into fooling your guests into believing you are so organized.

Living room baskets to hide DVDs, games, cable provider paperwork

Living room basket to house Tucker's toys. Don't worry, he figured out how to take every single toy out, every day. If only he knew how to put them back.

Kitchen baskets to hide my mail and important documents, J's mail/documents, J's work mail, Tucker's mail brush, nail clippers, and  miscellaneous items that need a hidden home.

When I mentioned we have one extra closet besides our bedroom closet, that means no linen closet. Womp womp. Our solution? Open shelving and baskets for the win.

Lastly, baskets in our bedroom closet. They have been the perfect solution to organize/hide my wallets, wristlets, purses, beach bags, etc. 

Not exactly basket storage, but we happened to find a bed we loved that came with drawers underneath. The perfect place to store extra bed linens.

Storage Solution #6: Update your closet

Major selling feature of our condo? The walk-in closet. I can't believe I might be giving up closet space to gain more overall space in a future home! But, the closet had a one bar system across two of the walls. What a waste of space! So we updated the closet with a Martha Stewart closet system from Home Depot. It has worked out so well. J also installed a shoe storage area for me. What a guy!

A picture from the closet install day. Look how tiny Tucker was!

And a look at the finished closet with plenty of hanging space as well as shelving, and a unique place for shoes.

So there you have it, how to solve storage issues in a small place. Or any place for that matter!

How do you control clutter and storage? I am always looking for ways to improve/get rid of the extra clutter in our small space. 

If you like this post please let me know by leaving a comment or liking my Facebook page. You can also follow along on TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Let's stay in touch!


  1. Great inspiration for how to make a small space work for a family! I'm impressed. Thanks for linking up :)

  2. Thank you!! And thank you so much for stopping by! I really enjoy reading your blog, and love this new series of working with what you have, such a great idea.

  3. Great ideas! My husband and I bought our first house this summer, and both our bedroom and master closet are significantly smaller than in the two bedroom apartment we were renting. That said, we've made it work, and the square-footage in the rest of the house and giant backyard for our son more than make up for it!

    I also posted about storage issues for Emily's link-up:

    And here are some ideas I posted on Rate My Space ages ago:

    1. Thanks Lisa! You are so right. Bigger living space is much more important than a huge bedroom. And a yard sounds fabulous too! Thanks so much for stopping by!


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