Help! I Can’t Organize, There’s Not Enough Space!

Written by Martha on September 3rd, 2010

In a recent consumer survey1 when asked, “What would you say is the biggest challenge to improving your home’s organization?” These were the answers:

  • 32.9% – Lack of space in the home
  • 27.3% – finding the time
  • 25.2% – too much stuff
  • 6.7% – not sure what product to use
  • 2.7% – products at local retailer don’t meet my need
  • 5.1% – other

Lack of space is #1. For real? When you don’t have places to put all your belongings, the problem can either be:

To illustrate the difference, imagine you have a good-sized kitchen. Your cabinets hold what you need to prepare and serve food. Then you decide you want more than one set of dishes. You decide one set for each season would be perfect. Suddenly, the cabinet space seems to have shrunk. You have too much stuff for the given space.

On the other hand, the galley of a small ship will have actual limited space to store kitchen-related items. Now you must critically evaluate the necessity of each item before you award a place in the tight storage available.

Where does your stuff to space quotient fall? How you would answer this question:

Have you truly pared down belongings to those items you use and love?

How much of what you are trying to cram into your living or working space are items you…

… have not used in last 2 years
… don’t really like but are keeping because they were gifts
… think you might need someday
… have no specific purpose in mind for
… would pitch if you had time to sort through

If you have quite a few things that fit into these categories, they do not pass the USE IT, LOVE IT OR LOSE IT test. It is time for a purging party.

The second question to ask yourself is:

Are you effectively using every square foot of the space you do have?

There are a few tricks that interior designers and professional organizers alike use to maximize storage in a truly small space.
These include:

  • going vertical
  • finding unused air
  • using dual-purpose furnishings

Read more in my post “Small Space Solutions” and listen in to Kelly Galea’s tips on Sept 8th, see events above.

The first step in any problem solving sequence is to properly identify exactly what the problem is. Hopefully, from this article you have pinpointed whether your problem is too much stuff or an actual limited space situation. Now you are in a position to take corrective action.

  1. Storage Consumer Survey. Homeworld Business Magazine 10/01/2008
    Statistic by/from Homeworld Forecast Consumer Survey conducted by NPD Group []

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