house Going green doesn’t always mean replacing appliances or purchasing products. Sometimes, learning to live in an eco-friendly way is the opposite of adding to our lives; rather, it is the reducing of our needs and wants in order to consume less and use what we have more efficiently. In fact, more and more home owners are doing just that: buying and living in smaller residences than ever before.

Whether choosing to build a remarkably smaller home like those made famous by the Small House Society or simply downsizing to something smaller than you’ve been used to, living in a smaller space can be one of the simplest ways to go green.

The only problem, of course, is that moving down can be difficult, especially when you’ve been used to more space, more rooms and more excess. What should you do? Are there ways to make the most of every bit of space?

Simply put, yes. Here are some ideas:

  • Keep what you need. Just what you need. This is smaller living at its most essential: choosing to live with less and cutting down on overall expenses/space/usages. If you can get rid of it, get rid of it.
  • Prepare to clean often. Just because your space is small doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easy to clean. Less overall space makes even a small amount of clutter feel large, at least proportionately. So it’s important to cultivate habits of cleaning regularly and consistently in order to cope.
  • Be organized. Well-chosen organization tools can make all the difference, whether closet caddies or something else. You may want a throw-everything drawer or cabinet where you can stash things to pull out later when you’re ready to organize.
  • Decorate with neutral colors. Because neutral colors tend to make a space seem larger, they’re a great choice in small spaces.

These tips just scratch the surface with ideas for maximizing space, but they demonstrate the reality that using your overall space efficiently can make an impact!