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Need Some Space?

Living together can be a compromise. Living together in a small space can be a horror. Think you need more space, when you want a little, well, more space? Think again.

Photo: Quentin Bacon

Maximize Any Storage You Have

Carrie Bradshaw stored her sweaters in the oven. While we wouldn't recommend going that far, we do think she was on to something. If you're not looking to be a whiz in the kitchen, use your cabinets for things you actually need -- such as pet supplies, books, or even clothing.

Think Double-Duty

When maximizing space, it's all about having things that work for you. That may mean having your couch double as a sleeper, your extra counter space serving as a workstation, and your ottoman function as a coffee table (that opens to store extra blankets and pillows.) An item that can fulfill two (or more!) functions is a definite necessity in a small space.

Consider Downsizing

We know you love your grandmother's dining room table, but with no dining room and just the two of you for Thanksgiving, a 10-seater table isn't necessary. Get a smaller table (you can keep some of Grandma's chairs for sentiment but put the rest in storage), let your sister (or other relative) have it, or even (gulp) sell it.

Evaluate Your Priorities --Not Anyone Else's

You don't need a coffeemaker if neither one of you drinks coffee. Or a queen-size bed if you can comfortably sleep in a full-size. A bit more counter space or bedroom space will make a huge difference, so don't play someone else's version of house. Do what's right for you.

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-- Samantha Leal

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