The author of Kill the Clutter and How to Organize Your Home:101 Decluttering Tips and Organizational Ideas has a new book out that focuses on the decluttering and organization of small spaces. How to Organize Small Spaces: Decluttering and Organization Ideas by Heather Lane covers the national trend of downsizing and moving to smaller (or tiny) spaces and how to have your newly reduced space accommodate your possessions.
The book’s chapters include: Making a Decorating Plan, Getting Rid of the Bloat, Sneaky Ways to Make Your Room Look Bigger and How to Arrange Furniture in a Small Room. Heather also covers each room in detail including the bedrooms, bathrooms, closets and even porches and decks.
Here are five tips on decluttering from the new book:
1. Consider the basics that should belong in each room
Of course, a bedroom should have a bed and some furniture for clothing, but do you really need a desk? That giant plant? Or those plastic bins filled with who-knows-what in the corner?
2. Focus on just one area
Heather says that it can be tempting to clean up the most obvious parts of a room, but this leads to only cleaning the “top layer” of clutter. Stick to doing just one drawer, shelf or tabletop at a time, then you can move on to the next one.
3. Single purpose furniture is a bad choice in a small home
Heather suggests that most of your furniture do double or even triple duty: a couch or futon should be used for a guest bed and a low dresser can also be used as a nightstand or desk.
4. Practice good room maintenance
Smaller spaces magnify messes. Several books lying around in a small room will tend to fill it up more than the same books in a much larger room. Take some time every day to clean up and put things back where they should be.
5. Don’t forget to celebrate (I like this one)
Heather mentions that when you have finished a project, don’t forget to congratulate yourself.
“If you don’t take the time to pat yourself on the back, you risk falling back into clutter quickly,” she said. “Be willing to give yourself a small reward (a glass of wine, a nap, a massage) whenever you do a good job.”