Do you have a lot of useful stuff, even now in this new golden age of minimalism?
Still haven’t decluttered all the good things that support you, even though you don’t have tons of storage space?
Or do you have several family members multiplying a normal amount of stuff into a volcano of belongings erupting from every closet you own?
If so, it’s time to organize.
And there’s no better option for organizing the belongings you hold near and dear than a common piece of cube furniture.
Whether you buy it at IKEA, Target, or Walmart, or pick it up secondhand, those square shelves are ready to tame that mountain of stuff.
Cube furniture is popular because it’s sturdy and creates a uniform appearance in your room even when your stuff is anything but orderly.
When you’re working with a small space, cube furniture tucks neatly against walls, adds a lot of storage in little floor space, and keeps the look clean.
But to make the most of your cube storage furniture, consider buying and setting up a configuration that adds an extra dose of logic and order to the way your use your resources.
Rather than shoving stuff in wherever it fits, you’ll set the stage for ease of use by identifying exactly what you want to do with your newly organized goodies, and tailoring the contents of each shelf to support that.
Whether you want to corral the basic necessities of life into one central place to support self-care or your favorite supplies and tools to work on special projects, let me show you how to use cube furniture to keep it all in order for just when you need it.
Your Daily Rhythm
Designate a small piece of cube furniture — like a 1 by 2 cube or 2 by 2 cube configuration — to support quick moments of your day that really matter.
#1 Create an escape pod.
Being able to leave home quickly with everything you need for a good trip out is important. Outfit a vertical column of two cubes with a set of small plastic drawers on top for small items like keys, headphones, and sunscreen. Stash your bag and an extra sweater in a large bin in the lower cube so you can pack and go.
Small spaces often lack ample storage next to the entry. By adding a piece of cube furniture here, you create a home for all those going out things exactly where you’ll use them — the front door.
#2 Prompt your morning and nighttime routine.
When you establish healthy routines, you end up with stuff — whether it’s toiletries, exercise weights, or your latest read. Use a smaller piece of cube furniture in your bedroom or hallway to corral these supplies. By storing the items for each step in separate baskets across the shelves, you can prompt your behavior as you work through your routine.
In a smaller space, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with reminders of things you need to do even when it’s not time to do them! When you store these items away in a hidden yet easily accessible space, you won’t feel burdened by your routines.
#3 Supply your kids with necessities.
Kids need their own belongings— from art supplies to bedtime accessories. Make it easy for your kids to get (and put away!) what they need for each stage of their day.
Use a smaller cube for each activity. Paper, coloring books, and favorite writing and art supplies can be stored in two to four cubes near the dining table.
Store pajamas in a large fabric bin alongside storybooks and favorite stuffed animals in the kids’ bedrooms to create a bedtime destination.
This works well with any category of kids’ stuff, and helps to limit their possessions to an amount they can actually manage!
Living with kids in a small space is difficult because you don’t have a lot of extra room to hide from a mess. Having a definite home for everything makes it much easier for kids to help clean up their own stuff.
Collect and Create
Larger collections of stuff that support involved, ongoing projects benefit from more cubes. A 2 by 4 cube piece creates a built in countertop for reference materials and most-used supplies, while a 4 by 4 cube piece provides tons of storage with room to display artwork above. (Just be sure to anchor tall pieces for safety!)
#4 Prompt your best work.
Lots of hobbies and vocations accrue stuff that resists even the most persistent decluttering! Make your inventory work for you by arranging it by category on a larger piece of cube furniture.
So if you sew, for example, patterns can go in fabric bins along the bottom row of a 4 by 4, reference books displayed together in open cubes, and folded fabric arrayed in shallow plastic bins on the upper rows.
Store your sewing machine and smaller tools in baskets in the top shelves, and you have an inviting display of your supplies that’s ready when you are.
When you don’t have a lot of space, you don’t want to clutter up your home with a hobby, even one that makes you happy. By having logical, attractive storage built-in to your living area, you can enjoy your project guilt-free.
#5 Build a new habit.
When you’re easing into a new routine, it helps to have a visual reminder to help you stay on track. Support your new habit by making the action as concrete as possible: gather supplies you use for the new habit together in a 2 by 4 piece of cube furniture.
If you want to build a new reading habit, gather the books you plan to read along the upper row, and as you read them, move them down to the lower row. You’ll be able to see your progress as you make good on the commitment, with plenty of space for a reading journal and any accessories you use when you read, too.
Often when we haven’t established a routine, the materials we have for the new habit get tucked away all over the house. Even in a small space, these items can go out of sight and out of mind — along with our good intentions.
#6 Store and protect supplies.
Cube furniture makes it easy to keep supplies organized and easy to retrieve. Place a large piece in a garage or basement and stock each shelf with the same type of supply. By grouping all of your stored items together, you reduce the number of places you need to go to retrieve your items, and make it easy to tell when you’re running out or already have enough.
Small rooms tend to have small closets! Free up the storage in your living space by making good use of your garage and basement.
Cube It Up
Now you can see the potential in any humble piece of cube furniture!
With a little bit of consideration, cubes will not only hold tons of stuff in a small space, but also prompt, inspire and support the exact habits and projects you value most.
Use smaller pieces of cube furniture to create stations that corral the diverse items you need to efficiently follow through on your most essential routines.
Employ larger pieces when you have projects that call upon lots of different supplies to keep you moving forward, whether it’s for something your make, something you do, or just for keeping a healthy back stock of supplies on hand.
No matter what you fill your cube furniture with, organizing your belongings to align with your goals will make the most of the space you have, even if it’s small!