Whether you are signing the lease for your new apartment or making the first mortgage payment on a new house, moving in with your significant other is a big relationship milestone. Especially in a critical and exciting period of your lives such college.
While we’d all like to admit that starting college is a cakewalk, the truth is, you may be scratching your head wondering where you are going to fit twice as much stuff. Even though the average house size has increased from 2,095 square feet in 1983 to 2,598 square feet some 30 years later, chances are, you may still have to deal with clutter.
In fact, according to the National Association of Professional Organizer, more than half of Americans (54%) are overwhelmed by clutter and more than three-quarters (78%) aren’t sure what to do about clutter.
It’s safe to say, you’re not alone if you have a mountain of boxes and don’t know where to put them. Luckily, you and your significant other don’t have to worry for long; here are 6 space efficient tips that will help you banish clutter once and for all.
A Mounted Nightstand Goes a Long Way
Instead of positioning your nightstand on the ground next to your bed, why not mount it? Not only do you still have access to what’s on top of it and what’s stored in the drawers but you can also now place your shoes or a box or two underneath it.
Don’t Want to Mount Your Nightstand?
Even if you aren’t big on mounting your nightstand, mounting furniture, in general, is an efficient way to increase your vertical space. Why not mount your bookshelf or a small cabinet a few inches off the ground?
Similar to mounting your nightstand, you add a few inches of space at the bottom, which is perfect for books, shoes, or storage containers.
Install Some Shelves
Like mounting your furniture, installing shelves allows you to make the most of your vertical space while freeing up ground space for items you can’t mount—such as your kitchen table or coffee table.
You can add several shelves in the living room to create your own bookshelf. Or add shelves in the kitchen, which can hold your spices and cookbooks.
Make the Most of the Space Under the Stairs
If you moved into a two-story house, the space under your stairs can be one of your biggest storage assets. This is a space that is easy to ignore and can be left unused.
Don’t let that happen. Open up that space by installing shelves or simply stacking several storage bins. You may want to hire a professional to do this for you.
Utilize the Space Underneath the Bed
Like mounting furniture to free up more ground space, don’t forget the already available ground space underneath your bed. This space is great for storing items you only use maybe once or twice a year—wrapping paper for the holidays or snow boots and jackets for winter.
(We don’t recommend storing frequently used items under your bed because they can be hard to access.) If your bed is on the ground, you may want to raise it so that you can store such items.
Hooks Are Your Best Friends
A few hooks in your rooms can work wonders. Install a hook on your bedroom door to hold your laundry hamper (which frees up ground space) or a hook in your bathroom to hang your towel.
You can even put hooks in your kitchen and hang commonly used kitchen items such as your oven mitt, ladles, wooden spoons, spatulas, and pots and pans.
Hooks in your living room are great for supporting mirrors while hooks in the entryway make sweatshirts, backpacks, purses, and umbrellas easy to get ahold of when on your way out. (As a bonus, you can even install several small hooks near the entryway for your keys!)
Install a Fold-Up Desk
Much like a fold-up ironing board, create (or buy) and install a fold-up desk. You can even add a chalkboard on the back so that when you fold up the desk, you now have a chalkboard in its place.
If you aren’t interested in creating or buying a fold-up desk, you can opt instead for a fold up table or a fold-up countertop for some added cooking space.
Bonus: Hang Up One (Or Several) Old Fashion Bulletin Boards
A bulletin board is a great way to organize loose-leaf papers and flyers, not to mention store accessories that would otherwise clutter countertops.
Bulletin Boards Aren’t Just for Papers
Simply hang a paper clip on one of the tacks and—voila! —you have yourself your own makeshift hook to hang said accessory on. Also great for jewelry, knick-knacks, or your keys. (Instead of a paper clip, you can use a clipboard.)
Photo by Ben Garratt on Unsplash
Final Thoughts: Finding a Home for Your Things Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
You and your significant other don’t have to spend hours—or even days—trying to find space for all of your stuff. By utilizing your vertical space, you free up room on the ground for furniture pieces you can’t mount like your couch or coffee table. You also don’t have to move all your stuff when relocating to your college town. You can choose to get your luggage delivered to you later, so you have time to juggle unpacking and college work.
Know that you can use these tips for any space you and your partner move into—be it an apartment, condominium, or house. Happy move-in!
What other organizational tips do you recommend for couples moving in together? How have you freed up space? Feel free to leave a comment below! To get more useful college tips like this, make sure you check out more blogs at College Basics.