Guest Post: Small but Mighty – The Ultimate Guide to Keeping a Small Flat Organised

GUEST POST: Krista Thompson, a professional organiser and the woman behind Zen Den Oxford, shares her best tips for staying organised in a small space, especially when you lack storage! Last year, I was lucky enough to have Krista help organise our Cardiff flat and let me tell you, the woman really knows her stuff. Have a read to find out how you can prevent clutter and learn to keep your small home tidy.

Small flats in England are almost unavoidable. In a country that in 2017 had 427 people per square kilometre, finding enough personal space is difficult. For most people however, the lack of space is not as much of an issue as a lack of storage. Having a small flat shouldn’t stop you from having items that you need, but it will mean that you need to work a little harder to maintain the space. If you’re in a small flat and are struggling to keep your surfaces clear, keep reading for my Ultimate Guide to Keeping a Small Flat Organised.

Step 1: The Right Mindset

When you have a small space, you need to be very mindful of what you are bringing into your home. Try not to be fooled by advertisements convincing you of things that you need when you have been getting on just fine without it. A great example of this are funky little kitchen appliances such a chopping aids and quirky tools. If you’ve been getting on without it and didn’t even know it existed, there’s no reason to add it the precious little space you have.

Step 2: Plan Out Your Space

Where things are meant to go in your home will affect the function of the space. Items that you use all the time should have easy access, while things that you only use occasionally or even seasonally should be stored in less accessible places. Your coats should be right next to the door to avoid being slung over chairs, but Christmas decorations should be in a box up high or under a bed. Everyday items should live in places that make sense while you can get creative with things you use less often. For example, your everyday dishes should be in your kitchen at an appropriate height, while your fancy guest dishes could be stored in their box in the guest room closet. The idea is that unless it’s a special occasion, you can easily keep the maintenance of your flat organisation by simply putting things away as soon as you’re done using them. It will take a little bit more effort on special occasions such as having guests over and having to get the dishes out, but at least your everyday life will be nice and organised.

Step 3: Get the Most Out of your Furniture

It’s important to be smart about buying furniture for a small flat. If you’re low on space, then buying furniture with storage in it will save you a huge headache. Our tv stand, spare bed, bedside tables and bathroom unit are loaded with shelves and cupboards as we only have one small storage cupboard in our flat. Shoe racks tend to be short and long, but if you have a small footprint in your apartment, getting vertical shoe storage will save you space. Shelves on the wall can hold your wine glasses, books and decorations without taking away from your square footage. When I’m looking for inspiration I always like to watch videos of how people have organised their “tiny homes”, as they have to be hyper creative with their organising.

Step 4: Love your Flat

It’s very easy to neglect your home. After a long day at work making money to pay for your tiny flat, the idea of getting home, throwing your stuff on the ground and flopping on the sofa is just irresistible. While this can be done from time to time, we don’t have the luxury of making this a habit in small spaces. With not much surface area things can pile up very quickly, get lost, and negatively affect your mental health. Everyone deserves to live in a space that they can feel proud of, but not everyone wants to put in the effort to make it that way. When you use something in your flat, take the few extra seconds or minutes to put it away. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration with your space.

If the steps above seem really overwhelming and you need help getting started, the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers have a “find an organiser” tool to help you find your local businesses.  Sometimes it just takes a little kickstart to get going, and a professional organiser can help you achieve your home goals! Visit www.apdo.co.uk for more information.