After living in a dorm room, or something similar, for a major part of my life, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way about arranging small spaces. The two main issues we’re usually concerned with are that we make the most of the space we’re given and that it looks good! After all my failed trials and successes, I’ve come up with five simple tips for you to consider when arranging your own small room.
1. Build Up!
When you don’t have much floor space, a useful option is to build up. For example, you can loft your bed, which creates space underneath for a couch, desk, kitchenette, makeshift closet or whatever else you need space for. To be honest, it’s not an incredibly simple “do it yourself” project but it can be done OR you can buy a prefab loft bed from Ikea, Amazon or even Target. It all depends on how handy and knowledgeable you (or your friends and family) are with construction. You can build your own or buy it!
2. Maximize your Space with Creative Storage
Similar to building up, try to become conscious of how you can maximize your storage spaces. For example, you can use an ottoman with a lid as a place to store DVDs or game consoles as well as a place to rest your feet after a long day!
You can also set your dresser inside your closet, if it’s large enough. You can use half your closet space for hanging clothes and the other half for folded clothes. That will give you more space inside the main part of your bedroom so it doesn’t look too crowded. Nothing makes a room look cramped more than covering every inch of your wall space with furniture.
Another way to maximize your space is to create artwork as a storage spot. You can do this on a budget! Take an old picture frame (or pick one up at a thrift store). Take out the glass and paint it whichever accent color you like. Then staple in a little chicken wire, screen or lace as the background. This creates an earring holder that doubles as art for your wall.
3. Use Shelving
When you don’t have much floor space, a useful option is to build some shelving. This doesn’t have to be a project that requires a handsaw and fine craftsmanship. If you happen to have those skills, great, but for the rest of us, it can be much simpler.
Take the popular “L-bracket” shelf. You can make a small shelf using an old book (or board) and an L-bracket. There are a ton of DIY tutorials online with simple instructions, or like anything else, you can buy it! Ikea has sweet, inexpensive shelves, some even priced under $10.
Also, if you want to use part of your bookcase (or under your lofted bed) as a “hidden” storage space, you can use a tension rod and material as a cover. Say, for example, you want to use the last two shelves of your bookcase to store dishes and laundry supplies. You can put a small tension rod at the top of the shelves you want to use and hang material to the bottom shelf. It will hide all your “unusual” items and also look trendy.
This may sound elementary but it’s foundational. When you don’t have much space, go through your things and get rid of the things you can live without! Minimize and reduce! Not only will you feel the freedom that comes with reducing your load but your small space will look less cluttered.
5. Try New Things! Keep Arranging Until You Get It Right
Finally, one of the most helpful and important tips to creating the perfectly arranged small space is to use trial and error. If you’re anything like me, you will NOT get it perfect the first time. I tried different projects and arrangements that failed miserably but those led to better and more creative ideas!
“If at first you don’t succeed… try, try, try again.”
Don’t worry about getting everything right the first time. Think of it as a puzzle or an adventure. You will get it eventually. And to be honest, I like rearranging every so often anyway. It keeps things fresh.
SO, those are the five main tips I have picked up over the years. I hope you find them helpful and inspirational as you begin to draw out your own creative ideas. Good luck!
Also, I would love to hear some of YOUR fun and creative space-saving ideas. What is your number 1 tip for arranging a small room?!
(Photo credits: dornob.com, Victoria Volkman, greenupgrader.com and besteducationpossible.blogspot.com)