Small house, no storage, 6 people, HELP!

by Tina
(Hilliard, Ohio)

No matter how hard I try, I can't keep even one room clean. I get frustrated, and avoid it like the plague. Lol. I have created some storage areas, we live in a rental home installing anything is out of the question. Our closet doors do not work properly on any closet, so we don't really use them. I have been toying with the idea of taking the doors off and either using the extra space as a place to insert chests, or hanging a curtain instead of using the broken sliders. But what do I do with all the doors. Lol.
The kitchen has 6 very small cabinets, and no counter space for cooking. I can't come up with an inexpensive idea to solve this problem. And did I mention very little space?
There are two sheds, but no garage, and the 1/2 basement is finished and we use that space for the kids to play video games in.

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Feb 25, 2011
Comments On How to Organize a Small House with Six People Living In It
by: Samantha

Hi Tina, I feel your pain as we too lived in a small home for a while until it sold & we moved to a bigger home.

It's tough, but here's what I want you to keep in mind as you navigate storing six people's stuff in a small house:

*Store seldom used and out of season stuff.
*Keep things you use and wear readily accessible.
*Downsize your stuff whenever possible, don't be afraid to declutter.

Storing seldom used and out of season stuff applies to anything and everything from Christmas cookie cutters that can be boxed up and stored to winter clothes. I was so desperate for space in my old home that everyone's out of season clothes were stored in air tight tubs on shelves in the garage. For pest protection, I filled old pantyhose w/pet cedar bedding (it's cheap at the pet store) & stored inside the bins w/the clothes.

Yes, take off the closet doors. They're broken & in your way. Carefully store them in your storage so you're landlord doesn't charge you for the damage when you move.

For the kitchen, don't store appliances on the counters. I was so desperate for counter space, I stored everything from the toaster to the coffee pot & got them out only when used. I also resorted to smaller appliances when possible. Designate your counter tops as sacred space to keep clear for food prep and cooking will be a lot more sane.

If you haven't done so, do a decluttering of the kitchen and get rid of any extra plastic cups, containers w/missing lids, etc.

Inexpensive plastic drawers can serve as storage for pots, pans, Tupperware, etc. And, when you eventually move, you can utilize these in a closet for extra storage.

I'm not sure how your cabinets are installed, but if there's any space between the tops of the cabinet & ceiling, you could corral & store seldom used items in attractive inexpensive baskets. I used to store laundry detergent, extra toilet paper, & paper towels in mine and the baskets were deep enough no one knew but me!

I've also seen people use organizational racks that hang on the backs of doors to store everything from canned goods to pasta. Typically you'll find these inexpensively in pantry storage items, but they can work on any interior door.

Think about utilizing various hangers inside of cabinet doors to store everything from pot lids to saran wrap too. You may need to leave these when you move, but be sure to check w/your landlord first before installing.

Before I forget, you can store some things such as flour, rice, & oats in the freezer. It helps w/not only space, but pest control too.

Just remember you'll need to work and re-work your space to eventually find a system of organization that works for you. And, when you do purchase organizational items, try and think how you can use them in the future when you move & have more space to work with... like the plastic drawers mentioned above. It does save money in the long run.

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