Let’s chat about the best products for small space living.The Best Products in Small Space Living|The Holy Mess

For the last 9 months, our family of 5 people has been living in a 650 square foot apartment. That’s a small amount of space.

Our apartment

We have 3 kids and 2 adults for 2 tiny bedrooms, a kitchen, and living area which Mike and I use as a bedroom at night with a pull out daybed.
Our apartmentOur apartmentAfter living in our 5 bedroom home in Colorado, we thought we would live here for a month or two, but God had other plans and we’ve been here for 9 months.

A friend of mine said I am a saint for managing this living arrangement, but I wouldn’t take it that far. I know many people in the world would consider this luxury living conditions, so I am not going to complain.

Still, it’s fair to say we don’t have nearly the spread of space we are used to, and even though the majority of our stuff is in storage, we still need to organize what we have in order to make the maximum use of our space.

Plus, since this is a rented apartment, everything has to be removeable.

Here is what we have used over the last months to stay organized. Whether you are living in a small apartment, dorm, trailer, condo, home, or other arrangement, I’ve come to realize there are plenty of great options for organizing a small space.

The number one though? Your attitude.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter budget. What matters is your attitude.

I’ve been in huge fancy homes where I was uncomfortable and miserable, and tiny modest homes where I felt totally comfortable and warmly welcome. Make the most of what you have, and your family and friends will feel right at home.


The Best Products for Small Space Living

One of our favorite go-to items is 3M hooks

We use these hooks for everything from kitchen items to bathrooms to stuff in the kids’ bedrooms.

Kitchen and Bathroom

Over the Door Hooks

We have several of these over the door hooks. We use one in the bathroom for towels. We have another for coats, jackets and kids backpacks, and another for each bedroom for clothing and belts.

Storage Cart

This storage cart has come in handy in the kitchen for canned goods. These can also be used for bathroom or bedroom storage.

This Ikea Cart is more sturdy and similar to the one above. I love the color!

Laundry Cart with wheels

One of the toughest adjustments for me has been not having a washer and dryer. I used to complain about laundry all the time. It’s one thing to complain about laundry when you are doing it at home. Hauling laundry to the laundromat takes it to a whole new level.

The laundromat has carts you can use, but sometimes they are all in use, so it’s helpful to have your own, plus it’s nice to haul laundry to and from your car.

This cart is nice because it folds up for moving to and from your car. It’s not super-sturdy but it’s also not very expensive. It’s worked for us for the last months, but I can see where it would not last forever. We plan to buy a washer and dryer when we buy a house soon. If I planned to go to the laundromat for years to come, I would probably invest in an even more heavy-duty cart or a wagon like this one.

Portable Ironing Board

This year our son is attending a high school where he has to wear a shirt and tie every day as part of his uniform, so ironing is now part of regular life. I started off using one of these Ironing Mat items, but it was hard to get the wrinkles out properly on a folding card table. I recommend a portable ironing board and does not cost that much more.

I also tried a couple different irons (I ended up returning one because it didn’t steam properly) and this iron is great. It gives a good amount of steam, heats well without burning clothes, and is a solid iron for getting clothes crisp and wrinkle-free:
Black and Decker Iron


Living Room and Office

Adjustable Height Table

We bought one of these tables to use for my son’s desk and ended up going back to purchase a few more. I use one for my make-up stand and we use one as end table and one as a night-stand. They are so handy because they fold up to store away, are adjustable, and are not expensive.

Adjustable Height 4 Foot Table

We also have found these tables to be quite handy. I am using one as a desk right now. The adjustable height is great because it can be used really low as a kids craft/picnic table or higher as an adult standing craft table, for serving food at parties, and more. It’s lightweight and easy to carry.

We like the one that is not divided down the middle, even though it’s a bit more space to store, because it’s sturdy for long-term use.

Timbuk2 Bag

I’m just forever going to love on these Tumbuk2 messenger bags because our family has an obsession. Pockets for everything, waterproof and you can take your computer through airport security without taking it out of the bag — these are awesome.

Living in a small space, my office needs to be portable, so whether I’m a home, at my desk, on the couch or at Tim Hortons, I work right out of my bag.

Timbuk2 Messenger Bag|The Holy Mess
Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap Document Scanner

Mike has had this scanner for a couple years now and it’s pretty darn amazing.

If you want to start to go paperless, this is how to do it. This is an expensive item so add it to your Christmas list. We got ours as a combined gift from parents and it’s been well worth it. This scans receipts, business cards, photos, stacks of papers (can do front and back), and it’s “smart” so it can recognize what it’s scanning. We use it for medical forms, the kids’ IEP papers, and so much more.

Snap N Lock Organizer Box

Great for keeping files handy, because some things are still going to be necessary on paper.



Stackable Plastic Drawers

These organizers are a great option for clothing when you are tight on space. They are stackable, fit into closets, and are economical.

Ikea Closet Organizer

Our closets are VERY small (think older house with slanted closets) so we have these hanging in the closets to make the most use of the space.

Basic Shelving

You really can’t go wrong with basic shelving when it comes to small living space. Here are two great options in either plastic for a more economical choice, or wood for a more expensive but higher quality option.

These plastic shelves are highly economical. We have quite a few for storage.

This Ikea Room Divider is little more pricey but is beautiful, versatile, and will last for decades.

Clothing Drawer Organizers

Make the most use of space with these clothing drawer organizers. These can be put into the Stackable Drawers, Under Bed Boxes, or traditional dresser drawers.

Books with More Ideas

For more ideas on small space living, check out these books:

What have you used to organize a small space? Share in the comments below!The Best Products for Small Space Living|The Holy Mess