Small Spaces: Get the Most for Less

When living in a small space such as a college dorm room or apartment, making the area comfortable and functional can be challenging. Here are some inexpensive yet effective ways for maximizing your small space.

• Storage is the primary issue in a small space. You’ll need to be as efficient as possible, so take advantage of every storage opportunity. Add hooks along the walls of a closet and shelves at the top and bottom. The back of the closet door can be utilized for storage of shoes and other accessories using special storage hangers and organizers found at many home improvement and decorating stores.

• Make use of dual-purpose items. For example, you can convert a storage trunk into a coffee table, or use a file cabinet as an end-table.

• Coordinating color schemes throughout your space can make it seem much larger than it actually is. From bedding, bath towels, and kitchen utensils, to wallpaper, pictures, frames and decorative items, the seamless flow of a single color draws the eye around the room, making it seem more spacious.

• Opt for smaller versions of the things you need. For example, refrigerators come in a variety of sizes that can fit any dorm room or small apartment, from the traditional cube-like dorm fridge, to skinnier versions of the traditional full-sized refrigerators found in most homes.

• Finally, getting organized and clearing the clutter is the best way to add room to any space. Cut the clutter from counters and tables by using drawers and shelves to keep your belongings organized. Select personal mementos for display carefully, and keep the rest packed away until you graduate from school, or into a bigger space.