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Organizing small spaces in inexpensive way





Crinoid
I tried to find information about organization, storage and solutions for a small spaces.

Most of the found information was either generalizing around, offering expensive products and services, or describing not so small spaces, the size of our whole block (group of houses, divided by roads) and having additional feature like unused extra room, spare walk-in closet, garage, workshop, very high ceilings, attic and so on.

Narrowed to "tiny spaces". Still the tiny is not tiny enough Laughing
And I don't think that my place of living is small at all, even if it fall below their "tiny".

I'm stuck. Do you have any links to the information about organizing small spaces in inexpensive way (thrifty will be fairly close, but not mandatory, I could do better) and/or gardening in them (windowsill, porch, 3 sq m+, without square food gardening - it is too expensive and requires better lighting)? Herbs or orchids on window sill will be OK, together with deep in the room shade resistant plants.

One more limitation: the lifestyle is not only coming home to sleep, watch TV or entertain somebody and not a home office Rolling Eyes
tony
Can you further explain what is needed? What needs organising exactly? Food? And how much space are you working with? Furthermore, what is your budget on organising these items?
Crinoid
What is needed?
Ideas about doable solutions for organizing small places Smile
I started this thread not for solving my particular need in this particular moment, that will change as life goes, but as thread for everyone interested for sharing their finds.

What needs organizing exactly?
Everything:). Starting with storage - of everything that people are using in their lives. I see no point to list piece by piece, only to have reply: "You don't have a place for this". Have or don't have, thousands of people are living in similar conditions, and none of them is wearing uni-season clothes in the winter or frying food in the only cooking pot of household Sad

Food?
This is my last concern, it could be bought in smaller quantities more frequently and stored inside kitchen counter or refrigerator.

How much space you are working with?
Not small in my understanding, class of 1000 sq. ft (100 sq. m including utility spaces, from them 3 rooms together are 35 sq. m) old homes, but most of offered online and in the solutions are not applicable because of lack of space or different construction.

What is you budget for organizing these items?
None. I have to know what could be done, choose cost efficient solution in suitable time, and progress in small portions month after months. Sorry, no saving year after year for a project: there are always more pressing needs, this way nothing ever will be done. I am serious. And really glad, if somebody else life is different.

You see my point. I guess, we are on different pages of home organizing, sorry.
ocalhoun
The best thing you can do is just learn some basic carpentry skills and use a little creativity. Lumber, nails, screws, and paint are cheap when compared to buying already-made stuff. (You might need to make an initial investment in tools though, but it'll pay off.)

If you can cut boards and attach them back together again, and paint it, you can make any kind of shelves or furniture (or window boxes for plants) you could need, and since it'll be exactly the right size, it can maximize your use of space.
Crinoid
Luckily have both: skills and tools, only no workshop. Tools could be more precise, though.

But here, in Northern America, hardware superstores cut on request lumber, hardboard and MDF, using much better machinery. The problem is to find not warped/propelled materials, and do not mistake fiberboard for particle board, and one if the personnel did 2"/5cm mistake, had to re-do all after him.

If I will not traumatize you by using words cheap and cheaper, here it is:

What is already done:
- Custom kitchen cabinet (counter and shelving) from plywood, with sliding out drawers, each self height for different type of stored items, including pots. More expensive, then ready made basic melamine kitchen cabinets, with very few stationary shelves.
Tile splash board, could be cheaper, if use larger size tiles ($1/30x30cm), and even more cheap - if use Formica sheets on sale ($2 ea). Dinnerware dryer (wire shelving) above the sink, to free counter surface. Local traditional way is using countertop space.

- Wall shelving, you were talking about, covering all wall around refrigerator, wall not visible from the door. Particle board shelves was the most cost efficient, including durability. Fiberboard is not suitable.
On the top shelves are filled by dollar store plastic storage box with labels, for more uniform look. We chose to do all show-white, but more alive version could be bright red, yellow, blue boxes from the same source.
Left and right from refrigerator are: rounded 90o open shelves (for avoiding hurting ourselves passing by in close proximity, plus looks less massive) and human height set of very shallow drawers: 3"-1" deep (8cm - 3 cm). Partially finished for now and are most expensive part of the kitchen, too many of them, each pair of sliders is $3.80 and cost of 1/2" pine board, cut length wise. 3 mm painted hardboard for bottoms.
It allows keep easily findable a lot of small items, starting from medications and kitchen utensils, ending by tools (kitchen is kitchen/workshop, alas).

Now what will not work, according to calculations: narrower, then the smallest available (twin) beds, bed with liftable top (as trunk), with storage under. Ready made they are not available, and DIY will be more expensive, then ready made cheap beds. Have to wait a little.
Note, that laminated particle board version is more affordable, than framed oak-hardboard version.

Why liftable, no underbed storage boxes (soft version could be from dollar store): nowhere to move out these boxes, desk and chair.

Continue posting, please. Looking for more approaches.
ocalhoun
^Looks like you've already gotten it figured out, though since I'm used to building in Florida, I'd always go with plywood instead of particle board because the high humidity destroys particle board quickly. If where you live isn't humid though, you may not have that problem.
Crinoid
I'm lucky again: despite Great Lakes being at walking distance, the indoor humidity - without using dehumidifier - in winter is 40-45%, in summer - could be 82-90%. The old kitchen cabinetry (particle board) was literally falling apart. I thought it was negligence with using water, but it could be summer humidity too.

Another solutions I'm looking for:

1. More narrow high bed (single size), that could looks as a couch/sofa during the day, with lifting top - to act like a trunk (box with lid for storing not so small objects with easy access and most of them will be visible at once).

As opposed to chair-bed, sofa-bed or futon, which have not space for a storage. Bunk (2 levels) beds are not for full sized adults and look weird in the entry room (opening to the street, parlour).

Using standard under bed boxes requires free or easily freeable space for moving them from under the bed for using, are either too shallow (6"/15cm) or too deep (large plastic containers, more that 11" of the inexpensive IKEA beds height), a lot of space is wasted due to difference in size between bed's footprint and size of ready made storage boxes.

I have seen photo of such top-up bed once, may be there are other solutions, that I missed.

2. Any more insights on city nomad furniture, in addition to described in the book?
While I'm not packing and moving all the time, but usage of things changes all the time, folding/rolling furniture from durable lightweight thin materials will be a plus. No on the floor pillows or carpet sitting - incapable to do that Wink

3. Is anybody here, who knows a lot about indoor gardening? Medium sized decorative plants (1m/yrd H x half of this size W and D), that could tolerate very low light deep inside the room, will not be covered by bugs during the winter as begonia and hibiscus will be, and how the dust could be cleaned? By carrying to the bathroom, showering inside the bath, and then move it back, with water dripping in the floor and walls? I clearly miss some points Rolling Eyes
While it is not a necessity, I miss the nature badly. Something to rest eye upon.

More will follow later, to keep posts shorter.
Vladalf
You can find great guides to build cheap things or green stuff on Instructables: http://www.instructables.com/ . It's an awesome website, I allways find really creative things and it's a blast to build some yourself.
Vladk
ocalhoun
Crinoid wrote:


2. Any more insights on city nomad furniture, in addition to described in the book?
While I'm not packing and moving all the time, but usage of things changes all the time, folding/rolling furniture from durable lightweight thin materials will be a plus. No on the floor pillows or carpet sitting - incapable to do that Wink

Ever seen the type of bed that folds up into the wall (or a shelving unit) when you're not using it? That would be a great way to save space and still have a full size bed. Could be a bit more expensive though.
Quote:

3. Is anybody here, who knows a lot about indoor gardening? Medium sized decorative plants (1m/yrd H x half of this size W and D), that could tolerate very low light deep inside the room, will not be covered by bugs during the winter as begonia and hibiscus will be, and how the dust could be cleaned? By carrying to the bathroom, showering inside the bath, and then move it back, with water dripping in the floor and walls? I clearly miss some points Rolling Eyes
While it is not a necessity, I miss the nature badly. Something to rest eye upon.

Why not put a little garden in the shower? (If its big enough) It would make it easy to water ^.^
Crinoid
Thanks Smile
Murphy bed has several disadvantages, at least for me:
- Price: out of question, ever. Even metal connections for it in DIY store...
- As soon as it will be up, its place will be momentarily used. In the evening I will have to find where to move all these things. Day after day Laughing
- Folded, it looks like coffin-like armoire (library Murphy bed is even more expensive), unsuitable for the room.
- No storage space at all.
- Full size for me means full size occupied or reserved in the room.
I would be much happier with single bed sized trunk.
Judging from your past signature with horse, you know what kind of lifestyle Suvorov led and what kind of bed he was using - exactly my kind of interests. (Yep, general, who led army through the Alps centuries ago).

Bathroom is way below contemporary requirements in size, barely place to walk through and for bathroom tissue Laughing Sorry to disappoint.
hamza1122
Why are there two separate threads of the same topic. Or did the other one get locked?
Crinoid
My apologies, I didn't notice that myself: likely an accidental double post, after showing blank "done" page, when submitting. Already asked to delete the second thread.
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