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Making The Most Out of Small Spaces: How to Create Personal Space in a Cramped Environment


Some people thrive on being in enclosed, crowded spaces, but most of us value having a little personal space and a private zone where we can withdraw from the action and be alone. Creating some space for yourself when you’re living with a roommate (or two, or three…) can feel impossible - and because it feels impossible, the need for it can become even greater. It’s a vicious cycle that can leave you feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and distracted.

We’ve all been there. Whether you’ve just moved into a dorm room, you’re setting up in your first (tiny) apartment, or the house is filling up with kids, there comes a time when you need some help figuring out how to make the most of your space. We’ve assembled some of the best ways to make a small space feel bigger, and some recommendations on how to create a space that’s yours, and yours alone.

1. Purge! Nothing can make a cramped space feel more claustrophobic than having too much stuff. Try going through your belongings and getting rid of whatever isn’t absolutely necessary or sentimental.

2. Organize. Don’t buy storage containers until you’ve completed step one. Having too many storage options can encourage the habit of holding on to unimportant stuff.

3. Try mirrors. A well-placed mirror can be surprisingly effective at tricking you into feeling like a room is larger than it is.

4. Think vertical. Using vertical storage is a great way to create more space, and can also draw the eye upwards and make a space feel larger.

5. Use dividers. Putting up a screen or enclosing your bed in a Privacy Pop is an excellent way to establish a private space in a shared room.

6. Keep it fresh. Certain house plants are perfect for purifying air, and greenery has a certain calming effect. Make sure to also allow fresh air and sunlight into the room whenever possible.

If you’re living in a cramped environment, the challenge of making it into a pleasant living environment can be a fun one! Get creative and you’ll be surprised at the difference a few small changes can make. You might even come to prefer having a cozy little space!