Living in a small space is often times a necessity especially when you’re first establishing your independence. In fact, it isn’t an uncommon situation at all. People all over the world are living in spaces under 500 square feet. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the ABC World News clip below. Living in a small space doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. There are many things you can do to make your small space functional and even enjoyable. Here are 7 tips to help you survive and flourish in a small space: 1. Choose your furniture wisely. When it comes to furniture shopping, evaluate each piece critically. Whenever possible, every piece of furniture you purchase should fulfill one of the following three criteria: Has built in storage. Choose end tables that have a built in shelf, an ottoman where the top lifts off and gives you a secret cubby hole, and bed that has drawers built into the frame. Serves dual purposes. You may have to think creatively here, but one example is a couch that folds into a bed. If space permits, you may even consider a loft bed which will give you a sleeping space as well as a work/storage space. Is stackable. Furniture that is stackable or collapsable can be a real life saver in a small space. Look for dining room chairs that can be stacked up, end tables that can be stacked up or fold down, and etc. This rule also applies to dishes. Go for bowls, cups, pots, and pans that nest to save cabinet space. 2. Waste not, want not. Use every inch your small space has to offer. No nook or cranny is too small to serve a purpose. If you have an awkward cubby in your apartment consider pushing a small desk in there to serve as your workspace, a bookcase to keep books, extra cookware, clothes, or etc., or a small table with a printer for your laptop. If you aren’t much of a clothes horse you can even use your closet as storage space for other items or as a workspace. 3. Go mobile. Add casters (wheels) to pieces of furniture to make them more functional. For instance, add wheels to your dinning room table so it can be moved aside when not in use. Casters are also great on end tables and coffee tables so they can be moved to accommodate more seating when company is over. 4. Go digital. That massive CD collection you’ve accumulated? Its time to rip all of those discs to iTunes (or whatever your chosen music player is). Try doing the same with DVDs. In addition, start buying all your books on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, or etc. Not having all that hard media around will really save space. 5. You’re paying for the walls, so use them. When you’re living in a small space, the walls can’t just be decoration - they have to serve a purpose. Purchase wall organizers for your home office space, jewelry, and etc. Put up shelves to give yourself extra storage. Use magnetic spice racks to organize not only your spices but office supplies (ex. paper clips), hair accessories, and jewelry. If you use a laptop and don’t need a large workspace, consider a wall desk. 6. Clean and organize. When you’re living in a small space clutter accumulates fast. You have to be vigilant to keep your space clean and organized. Make sure not to let the laundry or a sink full of dirty dishes pile up. Also be on the look out for stacks of mail and piles of paper which tend to creep up on you. 7. Audit your stuff. Twice a year, take the time to go through your possessions. Are there any clothes you’ve outgrown or just don’t like any more? Are there any items you simply never use. Get rid of them! Checking your possessions on a regular basis will help you weed out what you don’t need and free up some space.