5. Section Off Spaces
The bed is the most tempting place to work and eat, but the brain can’t handle this kind of cross contamination. It’s finally time for bed and you flop down under the blanket only to get the strangest urge to go back into the kitchen! Or to pick up your laptop and refresh your inbox one…last…time! You are training your brain to seek work and food in the one place it needs to know it’s okay to rest! In a small space it’s important to find nooks for work, for food, for hanging out—without these sections your brain will get very muddy every time you enter the room.
6. Keep Things Tucked Away (No Nonsense Organization)
It’s not a crime to have all your tax documents and receipts saved from the past 5 years. But it is a crime to make everyone else stare at them every time they visit. Finding storage that will conceal all of your “real people” things (makeup, deodorant, unsorted mail, cat litter) will give your brain room to relax. The brain needs to see a clear space in order to operate at maximum capacity. If you’re sitting down trying to work and in your peripheral you see a hot glue gun and a pallet of 120 shades of eyeshadow, it’s too easy to get distracted and think maybe you should practice your halloween skull makeup and start gluing together your flower crown… for hours. If these things are tucked away they are not going to beckon you to play with them at inappropriate hours. Out of sight out of mind.
7. Lighting Is Key
Lighting is the life or death of any space. Think of all the classrooms you spent hours in under fluorescent lights? Now imagine that same space with just a few beautiful lamps-light cascading over the desks in the most cinematic way. Almost makes you want to do homework right? If you’re living in a space that has windows facing the street or other environments that make you feel the need to constantly keep the blinds shut, then investing in a window film may be the best option for you to keep some natural light in the space! You don’t need to be a handy-man-rocket-scientist to make this DIY project happen. Whether it’s window film, amazing lamps, or light bulbs that change color, getting perfect lighting in a small space is essential.
8. Invest In Your Environment
As tempting as it is to go out and buy the first shower curtain you see because “Hello! just moved in and am desperate to shower!” I encourage you to wait. Wait for each item you add to your space because in small spaces you run into every item a lot. In a giant house you can get away with having that awful duvet cover in the guest bedroom because you’ll never have to sleep with it anyways. But in your precious small space, every inch matters! It is worth waiting till you find “The One.”
9. Find Your “Getaway”
Everyone needs a quick escape plan. Not for natural disasters (though that is good to have too) but for emotional disasters. It’s hard to cry it out in a room with literally anyone that’s not an animal. Adding floor pillows to a decent sized closet is surprisingly comforting and gives your brain the ease of knowing there IS an escape. If crying in the closet is not an option for you, I will say from personal experience bathtubs are not the most comfortable and finding an outdoor space might be in your best interest. Whether it’s a beautiful patio with a table and chairs or even a bench down the street you know you can monopolize for a time, find your getaway before you need it! Living in small spaces without a getaway can really affect relationships and give you a general “trapped” feeling.
10. Quick Clean: Every Day. No Exceptions. No Excuses.
In small spaces it is easy for a “I’ll just set my coat on this chair” to turn into “There’s already a coat here, I’ll just pile these papers, shoes, and bags here too… why not!” Why not? Because one pile turns into a road block which prevents you from putting other things away which leads to more piles which leads to a tornado of clothes coming from the cracks. You look around and think “How did I get here? I don’t remember ANY of this happening. Was my place ransacked by raccoon?” No, it was not. It was you coming up with perfectly logical excuses as to why you could wait to clean. Don’t wait! Do!