As Vancouver densifies and rental rates creep upwards, our living spaces are shrinking posing serious challenges to our storage dilemmas. Let’s face it, chances are high if you live in Vancouver, you have some outdoor hobbies that require gear. These might be a tiny pair of climbing shoes but more often than not there’s usually a bike, skis and/or snowboard in your life. Of course, this is in addition to the clothes, shoes, furniture, housewares and chachkas you’ve slowly accumulated over time.
We’ve come up with some quick and easy hacks to help you live better in your small space.
- Install an over-the-door shoe organizer – Chances are your footwear is left by the front door. This impedes entry, makes your place look messy and takes up valuable floor space. Consider slotting your shoes into pockets that hang on the back of a door. Alternatively, use the pockets for extra toiletries, tools, camping gear etc.
- Hang it or hook it. Consider hanging your hats, bags, climbing ropes, carabiners etc. from hooks rather than having them occupy valuable drawer or shelf space.
- Consider under bed storage options like stackable storage boxes/bins and drawers. We think platform beds are brilliant as they often lift up to reveal a lot of real estate perfect for storage.
- Use multi-purpose pieces like crates and storage ottomans that can double as pieces of furniture. For example, consider placing storage cubes at the foot of a bed for extra linens.
- Make use of any dead space you find. In addition to the bed, consider a two-tiered coffee table, space under your sofa, or behind drapes for example. Also, there is often space above kitchen cabinets or atop high shelves in your closets. Pull out your ladder and store seasonal or less-used items in boxes up there.
- Consider a ladder desk. They are a very practical combination of desk and shelving – ideal for small spaces.
- Shelving and baskets are elegant and functional. Baskets and boxes can organize and hide clutter. Store them on shelves to keep shelving units looking tidy too.
- Turn your bicycle, canoe, SUP or surfboard into a centrepiece – gear as art! Using hooks or pulley systems easily purchased from hardware stores, you can cleverly suspend and store larger pieces of sporting equipment from a ceiling or a wall. They add a personal, sculptural and very functional touch to a space. HINT: A surfboard or set of cross country skis look great over a bed.
- Re-purpose camping equipment for everyday use. For example, keep your camp chairs on your patio for R&R and to reduce what you need to put away. Consider using an unzipped sleepbag as a duvet. Simply insert it into a stylish duvet cover.
Living in a small space may not be your choice but consider that most of the world lives in far less square footage then we North Americans do – and very successfully. In addition, even when we have the space, the average family lives most of their time in about 800 sq feet congregating around the kitchen/living area. So don’t bemoan compact living, embrace it! Consider it an opportunity or challenge to streamline your life!
For tips on decluttering, read our post Spring Cleaning: 7 Ways to Use the KonMari Method