It's not possible to be organized surrounded by clutter and chaos, and with a small living space it's easy to become overrun. Make it a rule that each person in the house is responsible for taking care of their own belongings at the end of every day. Assign baskets for personal items in the bathroom and leave one on the stairs for things that need to be put away. A common mistake is not making use of vertical space.
Shelves and hooks give empty walls a purpose and greatly help to free up space turning them into storage areas. Hooks can be used to keep coats and scarves in one place and off of the furniture, as well as providing a good place to keep keys, umbrellas, purses and bags. Inexpensive shelves can be found in just about any store or it's easy enough to make your own with a piece of wood, some stain or paint, and a few screws and brackets. The unused space over windows is perfect for shelves that display items that you enjoy looking at but don't need to have handy. In small garages or sheds, use garbage cans to keep brooms, shovels, rakes, and other long-handled gardening tools all in one place. You'll also have relatively new garbage cans on hand when the ones you use every week for trash need to be retired.
Hang a board with hooks in the garage to keep tools neatly in place and also use small glass jars for keeping nails and screws visible but neat. The space under the bed is perfect for storing rarely used but still needed items such as extra bedding, out of season clothing or holiday decorations. Use clear plastic storage containers and label them appropriately.
Or consider a bed frame that has drawers both under the bed and areas for storage in the headboard area. Don't forget the backs of doors and the inside of closet doors as organizers and hooks can be hung there to make use of the otherwise wasted space. Shoe bags should be hung on closet doors to free up shelf and floor space. Nearly every home has at least one television, and depending on the size, TV's can take up a lot of valuable space. Be sure to keep yours on a piece of furniture that can be used for storing other items like books, DVD's and video tapes.
Or, consider hanging the TV from the ceiling with a kit similar to those used in hospital rooms. While a coffee table is a nice piece of furniture, sometimes it's not feasible to have one in a small living room or den. If you do have the room, make sure the table does double duty and has space underneath for storage. A decorative storage trunk or chest is perfect for use as a coffee table or a bench. One word: stackable.
Containers or bins that can be safely stacked on one another are invaluable for small spaces.
For additional help, visit Get Organized to pick up some clutter-killing tools like shoe organizers, closet organizers, and remote control organizers.