Spring Cleaning and Small Space Living

I’ve lived in apartments for a large portion of my childhood and all of my current adult life. The thing that I’ve learned about no matter what complex I resided in or how many square feet the apartment: There is never enough room and all that stuff you read online about how to make it work, isn’t always realistically achievable. Why?

  • The contract limits the renter on what they can modify in the unit
  • You’re not even a little bit handy/crafty
  • Roommates…do I really need to elaborate on this one?
  • We don’t have space to store large amount of tools, so building our own stuff really isn’t optional.

I considered adding money as a limitation to why some of the small space tips I came across wouldn’t be achievable, but there’s always a knock off or less expensive version of everything available if you can use Google to find it.

With “Spring Cleaning” approaching, if you haven’t already started, these ideas should help you find the inspiration to get started.

Here’s some checklists I go by year round to stay ahead of the game that I found on pinterest:


If that isn’t thorough enough, here’s a great spring cleaning one I plan on incorporating from ‘Not Just a House Wife’:


One thing I will keep off the list is anything that requires you to put a massive whole in the wall to hang, some landlords won’t allow tenants to hang anything other than picture frames, if anything at all. So small nail solutions will be included. This list is all about versatility:

1. Command Hooks ~$2-15


This is more of an item than it is a storage solution, but it’s relevant, I promise. There are hundreds of things that these can be used for.  Here are a few of the things I use them for:


A large command hook for the fruit basket and small ones in the shower for our loofahs; we placed them at the opposite end of the shower head so they aren’t under constant water when we shower and they’ve lasted 2 years now without having to be replaced.

2. Over-the-door Shower Cady $20


The particular one we use we purchased from Target. Instead of using in the shower we’ve placed it in our linen/storage closet for random stuff that ends up there (pictured below). Over time, dozens of different items have been stored here and whats great is on the other side of the door are hooks that we use for either coats, or during the holiday season they hold decorations 🙂 So you can easily incorporate this in to your own home to meet similar needs.


3. Magazine File $5

magazine file

Aside from storing magazines, this piece actually has many other uses. Pictured below, I use in my bathroom for my hair brushes and hair tools. If you go to the store to pick a magazine file up the store typically carries more decorative ones.

Anyway…It can get so messy down there and apartment bathrooms notoriously have very little storage. We don’t have any drawers either so the file and the racks under the counter have really made a huge difference; utilize that vertical space. Bins are your friend.



^^^^From Pinterest^^^^


An example of a drawer we added in. Our daughter uses this for her stuff. It’s not easy getting a kid to stay organized but at least we got her to put her stuff IN the drawer ahaha. When our cabinets get really full this is great because, again with utilizing that vertical space, we can store stuff on top of it.

Here’s another great example of utilizing the vertical space in your cabinets:


4. Mason Jars/ Spaghetti Jars ($Varied)

This is hands down my absolute favorite! I did a post last week about turning these jars into vases.  But you’re not limited with them. I also use them for storing knick-knacks in my kitchen and bathroom. And you can pick them up at any grocery store, craft store, or “big box” store like Walmart or Target. I don’t need to go but plain mason jars because I save them from our spaghetti nights. They’re great for:

  • batteries
  • clothes pins
  • lighters
  • nails
  • cotton balls
  • pony tails
  • coins
  • dog treats

I could keep going, but I’m sure you understand. They are also very easy to decorate. But I like seeing through them and only paint the lids on the jars that get closed up.

  • Simple craft paint that you can pick up at Michael’s (starts around $0.50) can be easily applied with
  • foam brushes. I apply 3-4 coats and use my
  • hair dryer to speed up the drying process between coats
  • But when applying the next coat you don’t want to apply too much pressure with the foam brush or it will smear the previous coat
  • I also apply each coat in the same direction
  • It takes about 2 minutes to do the lid with several coats

20150314_125404 20150314_125353

You could even step up the classiness a notch by buying stick on chalk labels for the jars 😉 And if mason jars aren’t your thing, you could also consider apothecary jars.

5. Leaning Bookcase, ~ $100


These are great because they don’t take up a lot of space and you’re not limited to just books on them. I am constantly rearranging or replacing what I place on it. Pictured below is a photo from the winter holidays but you can get tons of inspiration from pinterest here.


6. Magnetic Strip, $10

magnetic strip

The magnetic strip is another one of my favorites because you’re not very limited to how you can use it, just take a look at what people on pinterest have done with it here.

  • bobby pins
  • spice jars
  • nail clippers
  • tools
  • Hot Wheels
  • Paper clip notes to it
  • Keys

It already comes with the nails you need, easy to install, and sturdy.

I’m all about getting organized, but I have my limits. I want to be organized but I don’t want anything to look tacky if everyone could see it that comes into our apartment so it has to be visually appealing.

7. Storage Ottomans, ($Varied)


This is on our list of must haves! They are super attractive because they come in so many shapes and sizes as well as endless fabric/design options. In the bedroom or in the living room, store whatever suites your needs. From blankets to shoes, I chose to add this to my list because of it’s versatility.

Have any great tips? Leave a reply in the comments 🙂 Thanks for reading!



See It, Pin It, Do It, Blog It


6 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning and Small Space Living

  1. You are so right. No matter how much space you have, it’s never enough. I especially liked Lauren Conrad’s “how to keep your house sparkling” sheet. I would be very surprised, if she does her own cleaning… but I found the tips helpful.


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