As real estate prices make purchasing a home in the city out of touch, families are getting creative and moving into smaller spaces closer to the hub. Condos were once seen as a place for young professionals or retired couples, but in recent years we have seen residents of condos diversifying; families and young children call condos across Canada home.
“This can be daunting for some, but one way to approach small space condo living is to enjoy the benefits. Simply put, less space means less things, less mess, less stress and more time,” says Marie Potter, marketing director for Professional Organizers in Canada.
Here’s some tips on how to make the transition work for you:
If you need an office or workspace, it’s essential you have a filing system versus a piling system. Invest in a decent, compact filing cabinet on wheels that tucks under the desk. You’ll have any paper you need in seconds if you set it up with hanging file folders and tabs in alpha order. If you don’t have a desk, use floating shelves and magazine holders or wall organizer to manage papers vertically. Stack and label clear bins with supplies on a shelf.
Maintain small quantities of food and only have what you need. Free up counter space with hanging baskets that hold fruit or other kitchen essentials. Install a wall mounted table that folds down when in use and folds up and away when your meal is over. Open shelves will create the illusion of more space. Also consider items on wheels—they are easier to move around if necessary.
It’s best to keep things light and airy. Use limited colour palettes, plain white or mirrors to create the illusion of more space. Seek multipurpose furniture such as an ottoman which can be used as an all-in-one foot rest, table and storage unit.
Hang a clear shower curtain or use a clear liner with mesh pockets behind it to hold a multitude of bathroom necessities. Install a towel rack at the back of the tub, like you see in hotels. Have plenty of hooks to keep clothes off the floor. Use clear labelled stackable bins under the sink.
Condo beds are all the rage for good reason; the mattress platform lifts up using pressurized pistons so you can store and easily access belongings inside it. Otherwise, use under the bed bins for seasonal storage. Only have one set of sheets and towels and stay on top of laundry. Over the door hooks or a shoe organizer is a must. Thin design flock hangers create 30% more space than plastic or wood hangers. If the bedroom is really tiny consider using curtains instead of bi-fold closet doors, or simply remove the closet doors for an open concept closet.
Watch ‘Tiny Houses’ and read ‘Everything that Remains’ by minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus. Also consider re-evaluating how you shop by skipping big bulk stores like Costco all together. Remember your condo is a reminder that the most important things in life aren’t things!
About POC: Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) is a national registered non-profit association of over 500 Professional Organizers and 14+ chapters who help individuals and businesses by organizing their space, time and information. They create functional spaces, increase productivity and reduce stress. POC provides a supportive environment for all types of organizer to learn, exchange ideas and network. To find an organizer near you or become a member POC visit www.professionalorganizersincanada.com.