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Ask a Pro

Ask A Pro Q&A: Clear the Clutter

Interior designer expert Jennifer Adams knows how to make the most out of any space. While it is easy to buy what is not needed and accumulate too much stuff in a short amount of time, we now have a wealth of solutions for you to clear the clutter. Let’s get started!

Q: How can I increase space inside my home and best utilize what little space I have?

–Angela S.

A: They say “less is more” and that sentiment is especially true when you live in a small space. Here are some no-nonsense ways to make your space feel more spacious.

Carefully Edit Everything
In smaller spaces, there’s no room for throwaway pieces. And let’s face it, less stuff means more space. Avoid bringing anything you don’t really need or want into your home in the first place. Need more room in your closets? Clean out and de-clutter what’s already in there. Take a hard look at anything you haven’t worn or used in this last year and toss or donate anything that doesn’t fit, needs repairs or isn’t comfortable.

Keep Things Tucked Away (No Nonsense Organization)
Out of sight is out of mind but not necessarily, out of reach! Add stackable baskets to bookcases and cabinets to neatly store messy items such as extension cords, chargers, extra matches, coasters and whatever is cluttering up your countertop or drop zone. Keep similar objects grouped together for no nonsense organization. For instance, put all your cords together in one basket, with another basket for batteries, paperwork, light bulbs – you get the idea.

Make the Most of Your Cabinets with Simple Expansion
If you have shelving, you can quickly add more storage by using every little nook and cranny. In the kitchen, add space to your existing shelves with expandable wire shelves or risers. In your medicine cabinet, take one of the shelves and go to a local glass shop and ask them to create additional shelves. They’ll also have little plastic brackets, too!

Closets – The One Place with Never Enough Space
If you don’t already have a closet organizing system, get one. Custom closet shops can do this for you, or look for DIY solutions at a home improvement store or shop that specializes in storage systems. Using cascading hangers for skirts, scarves, pants and even blouses and shirts instantly expand your closet space. I like to use them by putting an entire outfit on them for easy access – and less searching on hectic mornings.

Go Up, Up, Up
Hooks are a life-saver in a small place, for more than just coats and jackets. Use hooks for pet leashes, umbrellas, bike helmets, towels, and a variety of other items anywhere. Not to mention, decorative hooks instantly add style. Try over-the-door hooks and racks on your doors and cabinets for your shoes, jewelry, spices, dish towels and other handy small items.

Seating Options
Nothing is more inviting than having a plethora of seating options for your guests. And why not turn that seating into storage with storage furniture in your living room and bedroom. It’s the perfect solution for hiding – and storing – out of season or things you don’t use all the time. Benches and ottomans with drawers make it easy to access the storage without moving whatever is on top. Dressers make great accents in living rooms, entries and dining rooms, and choose only nightstands with drawer space.

–Jennifer Adams