Art Decor

Small Space Storage Tips + Making Room for What You Love

One of the most important space considerations for me in our kitchen remodel is addressing our need for dish and hospitality storage. Our house isn’t huge (nor is it teeny!) so I need to be mindful of how we will use our space. I don’t like clutter, but I do love pretty objects to enjoy and use for hospitality.

To me, clutter is defined as stuff you don’t use or love. If you don’t have room for it, it gets lost and starts to feel like clutter so you don’t use it.

When we moved into our last house, our movers called us “book and decor” people. Ha! Apparently some people are decor folks. Some are book lovers. And we are the special ones who happen to love BOTH! Don’t I know it! Had he looked in our boxes, I might also have been called a DISHES person! 🙂 I don’t have as many as some people do, but I definitely love to have a few sets of mix and match dishes and serving pieces like cake plates, vases, platters, pitchers, etc.

Think of a smaller space as FREEING, not limiting!

Honestly I would probably keep a lot more if I had a bigger house :). With a smaller space, I have to make peace with the fact that I don’t have room for all of the things I *might *enjoy. Those thoughts probably sound limiting, but for me having less space can be freeing. Having less is actually one of the reasons I like having a smaller home.

Perhaps you have a small house right now, or a small kitchen or are thinking of downsizing. I will say it can feel limiting if you decide to dwell on not having “enough” room for all of the things, but it’s also so FREEING to have some boundaries and priorities around how you’ll use your time, budget and space.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved having bigger houses in the past for different reasons! Love whatever home you have and embrace what it is! Having less space gives you the opportunity to live differently, not necessarily better or worse! How you feel about it is all in what you make of it and how you choose to use the space you have.

With a smaller space, you can come up with creative ideas to use your space really well. And if you put your mind to it, you’ll be able to keep what you really need and love, versus everything that seems fun or “extra”.

I find a smaller space gives offers me helpful boundaries to focus on what I love the most. So that is exactly what I’m doing as I’m planning my kitchen remodel! I won’t have EVERYTHING I could ever want, and yet, I love that. It brings me peace to have less.

Let your space help you define what you keep!

I feel like sometimes we approach “stuff” and “clutter” and “things that spark joy” in a way that doesn’t really help us to streamline our space. For me, a lot of things spark joy. That’s a problem :). By first defining the space I have available to use for certain activities or belongings, it can help me decide what to keep! When you don’t have room for it, you can’t keep it! It’s as simple as that if you don’t want clutter.

Sometimes letting go of stuff you like seems so hard until you make peace with the fact that you simply do not have room and that you do not want to clutter the space you have. The more space we have, the more we might tend to hold onto even if we don’t use it very often. So having more space isn’t necessarily a good thing. Use that mindset to help you pare down to what you really love and need.

I’ve given away a lot in the past year, but we still have more than our new house can currently hold with the storage we have. Therefore, I will definitely need to pare down, especially once we have remodeled! The remodel will help us define our storage spaces so I can set up boundaries as far as what I can keep. Either I will have room for it, or I won’t. I don’t want to store things we don’t love or use regularly, and I don’t want clutter. Knowing what space we have will help me better assess what can stay and what needs to go.

Out of sight, out of mind can turn into more clutter

Create storage that is useful and accessible. That way you can stay organized without getting overwhelmed by, losing or forgetting what you have! Having a basement or garage or storage room can feel like a blessing, but also a curse depending how much stuff is in it and how organized it is! Storing too many things means I don’t use things because I either forget I have them or don’t want to go on a hunt for them even if I love them!

Of course, particularly in a smaller space, you also can’t keep everything accessible or out in the open or your house will also feel messy and cluttered. So the trick is to decide what storage you need or have that is easily available. Be honest with yourself about how much you are able to use and keep track of.

As I mentioned, I still have lots of things in storage boxes right now from the move. It’s too much, so right now it both overwhelms me and I know I won’t use things because I can’t get to them easily. If we cannot create specific useful easy to locate places for the contents of the boxes in our remodel, they’ll have to go!

Plan for a mix of open and closed storage

Knowing I want to keep my dishes easily accessible, I’m planning to add lots of dish drawers and even some glass front cabinets and/or open shelves in or near my new kitchen so I can enjoy some of my favorites as decor. Having a mix of open and closed storage in a home is important to make sure your spaces don’t feel cluttered, but still allows some you “defined spaces” to display the pretty things you love!

Better utilize the space you have!

I’m also planning to find ways to better organize and utilize our current mudroom (see more of our mudroom here) as well as to create storage in our new dining room. We won’t necessarily have room for everything I want to keep right in our kitchen, but we can use spaces nearby for them so they are still accessible. I can’t wait to show you some of the ideas we want to incorporate!

Use freestanding cabinets for extra storage and charming display

Right now we use the white freestanding glass cabinets that are really helpful. I’ve often used them in our homes to keep items accessible without creating clutter. If you don’t have enough storage or built ins, freestanding cabinets can be so handy! You’ll find a recent post on freestanding cabinets and similar sources HERE.

Small Space Storage Tips + Making Room for What You Love
Click HERE for cabinet sources above.

So if you feel limited by a small space or overwhelmed by too much stuff, remember it can be so freeing to have less and to let go of what you don’t really need!

More storage isn’t always a good thing if you end up with too much stuff.

Less stuff is always a good idea, but you don’t have to be a minimalist to have a tidy house! Simplifying is rewarding, so make the process a gift to yourself.

I wrote a book on simplifying your home called Make Room for What You Love and in it I talked about some of my own struggles with stuff as well as how I have learned to create more order in my house. It’s an ongoing process, especially if you are book and decor people AND are downsizing or changing your lifestyle like we are as empty nesters now :). Believe me, it’s not about doing it all perfectly! But it really is rewarding to feel in control of your home. If you haven’t read it, you can find it here. I hope it will encourage you to make more room in your home for what you really love.

Looking for more ideas? You’ll find lots of organization posts HERE, and small space inspiration posts HERE!

Are you a book, decor or dishes person? Let me know in the comments!