I have a confession to make...I can be a TOTAL slob.
It's true. Ever since I was a little girl, I have hated cleaning. As an adult, I have really fought with my sloppy nature and have lived more responsibly, putting things away and hanging things up...but I'm not going to lie, there are times when I do look in my closets and cabinets and shudder.
On the positive side of things, knowing my own limits, I now have a housekeeper who comes twice a month and makes sure that I'm not living in filth, HOWEVER, she doesn't do any organizing... that still falls on my shoulders. And living in a small condo, I've learned that organizing storage spaces is CRITICAL to feeling like there is a lot of it.
Under Bed Storage
If you don't have one of these, you can still replicate it. (Thanks Apartment Therapy for the image.)
Ikea or even Target.
You hall closet or coat closet can be another way to greet your guests. In many small homes (such as mine), it has to be multi-functional. That doesn't mean that it should be a catchall, though. Sure, you may need to store cleaning supplies, winter clothes, extra dishes, tools, etc, but by using shelving, storage baskets, organizational tools, it will not appear to be overcrowded or messy. When guests come over, this closet can be used to take their purses or jackets. If you have a place for them, and some extra hangers (I prefer wooden ones), it will show that no details have gone unnoticed in your home. It shows you went to the extra effort to make your home hospitable.
This great green closet my friend Angry Julie's. Too learn more about it, go here. The thing I love is that 1) she used color 2) it's functional for storage, and for hanging guests coats 3) it doesn't have anything on the floors. It feels clean, open, and that there is plenty of space!
Have you seen these before? They are cheap and incredibly helpful for those of us with teeny kitchens. Really, a must have! Organize World carry a boat load of similar options for less than $10. For those of us who don't have a pantry and really have to maximize space, creative vertical storage is crucial.
I'm also a huge fan of using drawer space creatively. For instance, dish drawers are becoming really popular. I know people with kids who love them because they're children can help put clean dishes away or set the table. Look how cool this is!
And don't even get me started about how much I LOVE pull out spice cabinets! They are functional, efficient, and totally fun! They also make the statement that no detail in your home has been overlooked. And what a way to improve the value of your home by showing that you went to the extra effort to make your work space extra special!
Medicine cabinets and free standing cabinets can also be your best friend. Always keep guest towels and necessities in an easily accessible location, and always organized. Having things tucked away nice and tight will provide more room for storage and frankly, you won't look like a slob when visitors go rummaging through your cabinets, like you know they all do! : )