Create Small Spaces with Big Style

Like colleges across the country, the University of West Georgia in Carrollton will welcome hundreds of new students to campus this fall. Many will find themselves adjusting to sharing space for the first time, and a smaller space at that.

Whether you are moving for college, choosing tiny house life, or downsizing, living in a small space is trendy. That doesn’t mean it’s easy! That’s why we’ve collected a few tips for small space style that can help you make the most of your new home.

Bring only what you need.

We’re all guilty of over-packing. A weekend trip is one thing, but moving stuff you don’t really need is not smart. Start by sorting your clothes, furniture, and belongings into three categories: keep, trash, or donate.

Follow through with your intentions for trash and donations, then box up what you’re keeping and label each box for handy access later. If you have the option of leaving a few things behind, take only the essentials first. If you need something later, you can always pick it up during a weekend visit.

A clutter-free space will keep your stress level at bay when life’s little ups and downs start to get to you.

Use color to brighten your space.

Maybe you have a favorite color theme already or perhaps you want to get into the school spirit with your new décor. Color is a great way to liven up space and improve your mood during a time of transition. And especially in a small space, just a pop of color can make a big difference.

Try curtains or a comforter in your favorite color or pattern. Even a brightly colored throw pillow can make a nice visual impact in a studio-style apartment or dorm setting.

If you have a table, try patterned print placemats. Or for a desk, choose colorful accessories that you’ll use often, including a pen and pencil holder, stapler, and clips.

Be calendar-wise.

Yes, your smartphone is your life, and the calendar is up to date. But have you shared your Google calendar with your roommate? Do you really want to? Hanging a whiteboard calendar in a central location can be an efficient way for you and your roommate(s) to keep up with the daily routine while maintaining individual privacy. Personalized magnets or brightly colored dry erase markers (one for each roomie) can help everyone stay on track.

Be smart about storage.

As we’ve already said, the first rule of small-space living is to purge and keep only what you need or simply love. It’s also a good idea to review your possessions at least every six months to filter out any items that have lost their luster or accumulated over time.

You can make this chore easier by disciplining yourself to be vigilant about not bringing unnecessary things into your living space, but let’s face it. Living on your own for the first time is filled with memory-making experiences, and there are going to be some mementos that you want to keep around for a while. That’s where creativity can make it easier to find space to display and store these special keepsakes.

First, don’t be afraid of unique ideas. ClosetMaid and other modular storage systems offer a variety of options from benches to bookcases. Their products are available in a variety of colors and sizes and can be personalized to fit your space. Best of all, they are affordable and available at most local and online retail stores.

Storage containers are another good option. Some are small enough to fit under your bed, offering out-of-sight storage for things you don’t use every day.

Vertical storage may be helpful as well. Hanging shoe racks, over-the-door organizers, and other closet solutions can make even the smallest closet feel roomier. Shelving that mounts to a wall can provide a blend of utility and style. You’ll find many options at your local home improvement store but check with your landlord or university housing before securing anything to the wall.

Finally, see what has worked well for others. Ask friends who now live on their own to share their favorite tips, or check out the rooms of neighbors. And of course, websites like Pinterest and Houzz can be great resources. Pinterest reports that 93 percent of its users shop the platform for new ideas, and 87 percent have made purchases based on things they have seen on the site. Organizational issues, especially small or non-existent closet space, are common and many creative solutions, such as using non-traditional means to store seasonal items like clothes and shoes, can be found online.

Just because you rent or live in small quarters doesn’t mean you can’t have ample storage space. It just means you just have to be a bit more creative in figuring out where to put things. Even when it seems hopeless to get a handle on organization and clutter under control, remember that there are plenty of options to make the most of your space so you can find a home for everything.

And if you are in the market for your first home or rental property in West Georgia for the upcoming school year, we hope you will give Duffey Realty a call. Our experienced and knowledgeable REALTORS® will help you find the right home for this time in your life. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

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