Making the Most Out of a Small Living Space

As a sophomore in college, I am no stranger to living on a postage stamp. First, there was my dorm, which, for a dorm, was pretty spacious (still small though, compared to a house!). Now, I’ve got my apartment, which is a cozy little studio, probably about the same size as my dorm, except my for the fact that my apartment has a small kitchen and bathroom.

A lot of people struggle with making the most out of tiny spaces, whether it’s an office, a classroom, a dorm, or an apartment. I have a few tricks I wanna share with you guys on how you can utilize that space, and make it your own, as well!



That’s right, vertically. Look up, look at your walls, look on top of things, look under things. What do you see? Maybe a few posters or pictures, but 90% of your walls are probably blank. Sometimes we don’t think about using the walls or the tops of things to store stuff, but that is a lot of valuable space that can be used!

Now, I know that if you live in a dorm or you’re renting a space, you might not be able to put holes in the walls. That’s okay! You can work with that! Ever heard of Command hooks? They rock, and they’re totally wall-safe.

You can store things on top of your fridge, above your toilet, on your windowsill, and on top of just about any other flat surface you can find.

Also, look under you. There is a ton of space that goes unused under beds, coffee tables, and entertainment stands!

For your inspiration…

  • Use bags for storage. You can use hooks to hang them up, or knobs, and then store things in them. For an even cuter look, go thrift shopping and find some vintage purses and use those instead!
  • Shelves are awesome, preferably cheap shelves. Book shelves? Not just for books. Walmart sells giant stackable shelves so you can make them as high as you want.
  • Buy a step stool! Storing stuff up high doesn’t do any good if you can’t get to it!
  • Use bed risers. Even if you have space under your bed, using bed risers will give you even more!


My name is Nicolette, and I’m addicted to the Dollar Store. You can seriously find so many useful trinkets there, and the best part? All of it is only one dollar!

Every dollar store has a section that has a bunch of boxes, crates, and holders. They come in lots of different colors, and they are so invaluable I cannot even express it to you! I have a ton of little containers for random odds and ends, and having a place for everything makes a small space look so much less cluttered. I have a container for my hot hair tools, my pet’s toys and supplies, my fabric, my kitchen utensils, my cutlery.

You can, a lot of the time, make your own containers for things. I mod-podged an empty oats container with wrapping paper and now I use it to store hair supplies, and I use the top to poke earrings through! I have heard of people covering empty cans and using them to store pencils and silverware, too.

Lots of small spaces don’t have a lot of drawer space, which is why it can be useful to have cute containers for the stuff that you have no choice but to leave out. However, the more organized your little drawer space is, the more you can usually fit in there. So if you can, use containers in the drawers, too — silverware organizers work really well in desk drawers to organize pens and pencils.


To really make a place your own, you should focus on the little things! Since you probably don’t have a ton of decorating or remodeling options besides hanging up pictures and posters, really focus on the details to give your space your own personal touch.


  • Hang curtains. Use Command hooks to hang up a cheap rod, then hang up a valance or curtains.
  • Make your own magnets. Stick them on anything metal you can find!
  • Decorate with things you wouldn’t normally. I have a really cute set of oven mitts, and I display them on my kitchen wall to show them off.
  • If you’re hanging frames, use decorative ones. It’s as easy as painting or mod podging some dollar store frames before you hang them.
  • If you can’t paint the walls, hang up a tapestry or blanket. Falsa blankets add a cool, indie effect, and you can find vintage tapestries or blankets at the thrift store (wash them first!).
  • Make your own coasters, and use them! Simply buy a few plain tiles from the hardware store, mod podge some patterned scrapbook paper on them, and let dry.
  • Hang up jewelry instead of leaving it in a box.Jewelry adds a nice sparkly accent to your walls, and makes it easy to get to, as well! The same goes for sports gear like hats and jerseys.

Personally, I love living in a tiny place. I can’t put my finger on exactly why… it’s quaint, not to mention very easy to clean! But even if you love lots of space, chances are you’ll have to spend some time in a place that has less space than you’d like.

I hope that my tips helped you out, let me know if you have any tips I can add!

Eric Dainton

About Eric Dainton

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