Small spaces can be the coziest of all, whether you’ve got a studio apartment, a tiny master bedroom, or a closet-sized bathroom. Small spaces can also be the messiest. Large rooms are almost a curse, because we don’t even realize how much stuff we collect when there’s a space to put everything. Small spaces challenge us to keep only what we need, because the slightest bit of clutter can make the area look like a tornado has just come through. If your small space already looks like a the aftermath of a bad storm, you need these big ideas for organizing a small space:

Purge!

It’s one of our favorite words. The first step to managing any space is to get rid of the clutter that’s causing problems. This is especially important in small spaces, because you have to work with the space that you have. When space is limited, you must be ruthless when deciding what stays and what goes. It can be tough to let go of some of your possessions, but most of it you probably don’t think twice about. Be honest with yourself, because these tough choices will pay off in the long run.

Inventory regularly.

Once you’ve gotten through that initial purge, it’s important to stay on top of it. Small spaces are sneaky, and even a pile of mail that you haven’t gone through will dominate a large portion of your precious space. Pick one day out of the week or month and dedicate even just a single hour to getting rid of clutter. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to maintain once it becomes habit, and scheduling time to organize keeps everything tidy.

Maximize closets.

How you organize a closet is everything. Velvet hangers are slimmer than the typical plastic, and they also keep things from falling to the floor. Canvas boxes are flexible for everything from winter boots to heavy blankets and are able to stack easily on the floor or on shelves. Hooks can also be the best part of your closet, either behind the door or at the back of the closet. Don’t forget how useful small bookcases can be in a closet space to create cubbies for all your items.

Leverage the walls.

The basic shelf is not your only option, although it is valuable. Consider your needs and what else could be useful. There are many different types of hooks that will hold anything from keys and purses to scarves and coats. Rather than a flat shelf, consider bucket shelves that are easy to install and better for storage. Choose clear bins so that you can see what’s inside without having to peer over.

Be innovative.

Don’t limit spaces like your tiny bathroom to your typical over-the-toilet storage. Rolling drawers in cabinets can offer more space, and there are min-shelves available for medicine cabinets that really expand what they can hold. Baskets, mason jars, and small plant pots are all options when it comes to storage, so don’t limit yourself to the basic store aisle options.

Organizing a small space is easy when you look at the bigger picture. Your space is valuable, so it’s important to use it wisely. Don’t let stuff rule you, and don’t be boxed into traditional methods of organize. You are in control, and a small space can be organized to suit you perfectly.