How to Get Organized When You Live in a Small Space with Kids

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Oh lawdy, have I occupied some small spaces in my life!


As a kid, I always shared a room with at least one of my three sisters. As a teen, my family spent some time living that travel trailer life. And after I married my husband, we moved into his parent’s guest room while he worked his way through school and we paid off debt.


Fast forward a couple years and a couple babies, and we were finally able to settle into a tiny little two-bedroom house of our own. So tiny that you could barely fit anything more than beds into the bedrooms!


We know a thing or two about small houses and small living.


Now, don’t get me wrong. I have loved my life in these relatively small and cozy spaces, but I’d be lying if I said they didn’t come with some challenges!


Through a lot of personal experience, I’ve mastered some of the most efficient ways to get organized when you live in a small space with kids. And if you’re here because you desperately want to clear some clutter and organize your space, I’ve got you covered!




Here are my top tips for keeping your small space organized and tidy (even if you’re busy and have lots of babies running around at home)!





If you’re singing the theme song from Frozen in your head right now, then you probably have kids that watch it on repeat, just like mine!


But this one is no joke.


If you want to organize your small space, you have to learn to let go of things you don’t need.


Better yet, think twice before bringing new things into the home … that way, you don’t have to stress about getting rid of stuff later on.


Now, this one is relatively easy for me, because I’m not a fan of clutter. It’s much harder for my husband, because he’s a guy that tends to accumulate junk (and I mean that in the nicest way possible babe).


Start your organization journey by getting rid of EVERYTHING that you do not use or truly need.


And I mean it when I say: you must be resolute, ruthless even, when it comes to getting rid of non-essentials.


If you do not use it or absolutely LOVE it to the point that you can’t live without it … take a note from Elsa and Let. It. Go… (so not sorry for the shameless Disney movie references, we watch a lot of them around here)!


Bottom line: the less stuff you have in your small house, the less stuff you need to organize and care for. So, purge… and purge… and then purge some more.


If your kids are like mine and have a hard time letting go of old toys, slowly start rotating unused toys out of sight and into a donation bag for kids in need (it works)!




If you have closets, use every inch of that sucker for hanging up every piece of clothing that can be hung.


Hanging everything up is soooo important in a small space.


Firstly, because it keeps everything OFF THE FLOOR. An open floor makes the room look and feel much bigger!


And secondly because it allows you to organize your items at eye-level, so that you can see everything and access it easily.


A big reason for organizing your small house is to make it more manageable and enjoyable to live in, right?


Hanging up every item of clothing that can possibly be hung helps you to keep that clothing organized and easily accessible – which ends up being a big deal when you’re in a hurry!


Have you ever spent twenty minutes digging through a gigantic pile of “clean” but tragically wrinkled laundry that’s scattered all over the sofa or the bed?


I have, and it sucks.


I also have a little girl that loves trying on princess dresses allllllll day long, and having clothing hung up out of reach makes it easier to control the wardrobe changes.


We still let her play dress up, of course, but only at certain times.


No more piles of clothing scattered all over the room – aint nobody got time for that!


Hang that stuff up so that it’s organized and out of sight.





While we’re on the topic of closets, let’s take this organization thing a step further.


Most closets have a lot of floor space that is under-utilized. Yeah, you might be great at hanging up the clothes that can hang, but what about all those pesky socks, undies, linens, and small accessories?


Say hellooooooo to that free floor space inside the closet!


Most of us can easily tuck a small dresser, shelf, or some cute organization bins into the closet and use that space for small items and accessories that can’t be hung up. You can also use these storage areas for extra linens or towels.




You probably know about this little space-saving trick, even if you don’t have a small house. Because utilizing vertical space (aka: wall space) just makes logical sense.


If you can store things in a vertical way, then do it.




-Hang all those lovely hats along a bare wall in your bedroom.
-Hang some simple bookshelves on the wall for storing all those kids’ books and toys.
-Choose floor-to-ceiling shelves for storage.
-Paint a peg board and use it to store jewelry and accessories.
-Store toys in a net hanging from the ceiling (same for bath toys in the tub).


There are so many options! Command hooks will be your best friend when it comes to vertical storage. Here are 29+ ways to use command hooks to organize your small space!





Open floor space allows your room to breathe.


We used to have a living room ‘toy corner’ with toys just scattered all over the floor, but we quickly realized that it just became a dumping ground for CLUTTER. So much so that the kids didn’t even really like playing in the toy corner!


Then my husband decided to buy a nice little shelving unit and hang it UP OFF THE GROUND. Instead of just kicking toys into the toy corner, we now organize everything on the shelves and keep the floor clear.


It makes the room feel bigger and cleaner. And it also allows the kids to see their toys better, so that they’ll actually want to play with them.



My only exception to this rule is the bedroom closet (see tip # 3). Behind the hidden doors of the bedroom closet, I personally find that having a dresser or shelving unit on the floor is perfectly fine! But in open spaces where we’re walking around, like the living room and the kitchen, do your best to get junk off the floor and up onto organized shelves or bins.




This one will be a life saver for keeping your small house organized!


We’re going to buy new things at some point, it’s inevitable. The kids are gonna want some fun new toys and the hubby is gonna want some workout gear or video games … it’s going to happen.


We just have to be prepared and plan accordingly!


Here’s a good house rule to follow: anytime something new comes into the house, something old has to go. NO EXCEPTIONS.


If you want to buy a new pair of jeans, donate or sell an old pair. If your spouse wants to buy something new that is going to take up space, have them arrange to get rid of something that is currently taking up space.


This method really encourages everyone in the house to THINK BEFORE BUYING something. You’ll find yourself saying ‘do I really want this thing bad enough to get rid of something else that I love?’


If you haven’t tried this out yet, we highly recommend it!




You can’t go wrong with under-bed storage. Of course, I always recommend purging stuff over storing it unnecessarily, but sometimes there will be things we just HAVE TO make room for.


And this is where under-the-bed storage comes in handy!


So, buy two shallow bins with lids, and fill those with the essential things you just can’t get rid of. Maybe it’s your photo albums or your seasonal clothing or that Lego set that your kids love so much.


Fill them up and tuck them under the bed, so that they are out of sight until you need them again.




You’re probably reading point # 8 and asking yourself what the heck ‘quality’ has to do with getting your small house organized…


Let me explain.


Clutter and disorganization are often a result of just having too much stuff that we don’t need, don’t actually use, or don’t want to get rid of.


HOWEVER, if we only purchase high-quality items that are insanely beneficial to us in our daily lives, we will naturally accumulate LESS STUFF.


Think about it.


When you find a cute and comfortable top that fits you perfectly, it usually falls into a very regular rotation in your wardrobe, right? It probably even replaces a few of those junky stretched out tops that you snagged from the Clearance rack at Wal-Mart.


Those clearance tops often end up sitting in the back of your closet just taking up space, while those quality outfits that you LOVE get worn on a regular basis.


Same goes for anything in your home.


My mother-in-law bought us this Ninja blender a few years back. It works much better than the cheap little blender I had purchased from a discount store when I was in college (that thing couldn’t even blend a smoothie)!


Of course, we’re going to utilize the high-quality blender over the junky one that barely works.


If you only bring quality items into your home, you might just find yourself bringing LESS STUFF into the home overall. Because your stuff is lasting longer, performing better, and actually benefiting you on a regular basis.


It’s more than okay to make room in our home for the things we LOVE and enjoy, but if space is limited, we’ll have to make less room for the things we don’t.




Try to think outside the box and make creative choices with the things you purchase.


Choose decorative or functional pieces that can double as storage, like this entryway bench seat with built-in storage.


If you love comfy décor, buy decorative pillow COVERS that you can swap out, instead of additional decorative pillows that just take up more space. Or buy duvet covers so that you can change up your bedroom décor without needing to buy more blankets.



You can also get creative with under-utilized spaces, like the side of the fridge or the inside of the kitchen cabinets. Some magnets and command hooks can transform a blank space into an organized masterpiece.





Living in a small space is definitely not easy for most people, but with these organization tips, you’ll be well on your way to a more MANAGEABLE and ENJOYABLE home… even if that home is small.


The most important thing to remember is to buy, organize, and store with INTENTION.


Don’t hold onto things you don’t need and don’t waste money on things that don’t actually make your life better. If you absolutely must keep things that are causing clutter or chaos, find a way to store them up on a shelf or out of sight, like under the bed.


Embrace that small space, my friend. It’s less to clean and care for, which gives you more time for more important things (like enjoying those babies)!


Be sure to pin this baby for later >>> How to Get Organized When You Live in a Small Space with Kids


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29 Brilliant Ways to Organize with Command Hooks

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