Maximizing the Space in Your Condo

While there are many benefits to living in a condo, one common drawback is the limited amount of personal space. The community living environment offers a number of shared spaces, such as courtyards and party rooms, but each individual unit is typically somewhat small. Although not as little as an apartment, your personal area is still probably much smaller than a detached single-family home. Maximizing the space you have can be tricky, so you may want to try some unique decorating ideas that will help.

Before you buy any new furniture, it is a good idea to take measurements of each room and entryway in your condo. Knowing exactly how much space you have available will allow you to pick the appropriate size furniture. Large pieces of furniture, like sectionals, can make a small living room seem even smaller. When choosing several furniture items, try to limit the number of pieces in each room. Too many small pieces can make the room seem cluttered. Glass-top coffee tables and desks will help make the room seem more open. For parties, seating limitations can be solved with floor cushions. They are easy to store when not being used, and you can decorate them to match the rest of your décor.

If you can afford some remodeling, you may want to create a more open floor plan by removing an unnecessary wall between rooms. For example, you can turn the wall between the kitchen and main room into a half-wall and create the illusion of more space. You can also add counter space to the half-wall for more room to cook or eat. Dark colored walls and ceilings can also make a room seem smaller. Decorate your condo in light neutral colors that will make it look bigger and more open. You can add bright, bold colors with the furniture you choose, but keep the walls light. You can also use mirrors to reflect more natural light into the space by placing them opposite from windows. Your unit may be adjacent to another unit, limiting the number of windows available. Using a mirror to reflect the outdoor view will help brighten a space with only one window.

One of the biggest limitations your condo may have is storage space. This is a common problem with most units because they do not usually have attics or basements. Instead, you can create more storage by building floor-to-ceiling bookshelves along one wall. You can also purchase furniture with extra storage room, such as a coffee table with drawers underneath. A small kitchen might also lack the appropriate room to store pots and pans, so you may want to install cabinets and shelves along one wall.

Decorating your condo the right way will make it seem larger and more comfortable to you and your guests. Your own design ideas will differentiate your unit from the others in your community and bring your own personal style to life.



Getting Organized: Reduce the Clutter

Organized HouseSimplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo DaVinci

In the third installment of our series on organization, we’re going to look at reducing clutter in our homes. I’d wager that most of us struggle with this, especially those of us with kids!  Clutter in our homes often equals clutter in our minds…it’s hard to feel peace or even remotely in control of life when our homes are cluttered and messy.

But take heart – there is hope for that kitchen counter, entryway, or play area! We scoured Pinterest for the best organization blogs and posts, and bring you our favorites:

Reduce Clutter to Improve Your Happiness

Storage and Organization for a Small Home

10 Foolproof Ways to Reduce Clutter

How to Reduce Clutter to Reduce Stress

One of the best organizational tips we’ve come across in the past year has been the Kitchen Command Center. Most of us already have one cabinet or drawer that is essentially is “junk” cabinet – where all the miscellany of our lives end up, mailers and catalogs, bills, coupons, receipts, etc.This inspiring blog shows how to organize it into a spot where everything has a place. No more lost receipts, misplaced coupons, or piles of unopened mail. You can use inexpensive baskets and containers you already have, but pretty containers would make the space even more special!

What organizational ideas have worked best for you? We’d love to hear them! Put your thoughts in the comments section!

Also, see our Reduce the Clutter Pinterest board for more ideas…

Getting Organized: Pantry/Food Storage

The pantry is one of the most used spaces in our kitchens. As a result, it can quickly become disorganized – costing us time as we hunt for things, as well as money in food items that expire or never get used while hiding at the back of the pantry.

No pantry? Read on, this article has ideas for you as well!

Before you start to stress over this cruel reminder that you have one more thing to add to your to-do list, let’s take a few minutes and look at ways to start getting your pantry or food storage cabinet organized – one shelf at a time. All you need are some great ideas and a plan!

4 Steps to Organized Food Storage

1. Separate items by type. Canned goods, seasonings, cereals, snacks, baking supplies, rice and grains, etc. Once you have your items separated in a way that makes sense to you, you’re ready to start thinking about how to organize these items. A little inspiration: Before and After – My Pantry Organized

2. Make a list of your categories and collect baskets/containers for each. Depending on your budget, there are lots of great places to find containers suitable for organizing. If you have a larger budget, look at bed and bath stores, The Container Store, etc. If you have a tighter budget, look at discount stores like Home Goods, Target, or Ikea. Even dollar stores and thrift stores are great options for inexpensive baskets and jars to organize your dry goods. Mix and match your baskets for a fun, eclectic look that is all your own. A little inspiration: Tools for Pantry Organization

3. Organize your food items in your new baskets and containers. This will help save space as well as allow you to quickly locate them in your pantry. A little inspiration: 10 Steps to an Organized Pantry

4. Label your baskets, containers, etc. Labeling your newly organized baskets will help you and the rest of your family keep up with the organization by letting everyone know where to find things and where to put things! You can use a label maker, or another creative labeling idea. A little inspiration: 10 Tips for an Organized Pantry

Big Ideas for Smaller Kitchens

Organize a Small Kitchen with No Pantry

Organizing a Small Kitchen

Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for more great ideas and links!