At the end of a busy work day, we all want to come home and have a place to rest our hat.

Working every day in a stressful environment, we all just want to retire at the end of the day in a living space that has less chaos than the environment where we find ourselves spending most of our time -- our work place. However, working long hours for some leaves no time or energy at the end of the day to begin cleaning and picking up.

Most often, everything we carry through the door gets left on the nearest surface. If there's a kitchen counter, all mail is left to pile up. Shoes and boots are removed and left at the doorway.

Imagine a tiny 500-square-foot apartment in the city with an overabundance of furniture and lack of closet space. The old adage, "less is more," easily comes to mind.

Finding time on the weekend to re-imagine a small apartment environment can improve the quality of living space at home. It's always difficult to know where to begin and can become overwhelming, but here are a few steps to aid in the transformation.

Remove the unwanted: Clothes, books and clutter begin to take over a living space faster than one can imagine. Hang and fold clothing that is being kept. Make four areas: items to keep, items to donate, items to sell and items to throw away. Once all loose items are categorized, the vision for a redesigned space will become clearer.


Furnishings: How much furniture does one really need in a small space? This one-bedroom apartment had two sofas in the living area, one ottoman, one coat rack and two bar stools. The space was not large enough for this much furniture. The bedroom had one bed, one dresser and one desk. The goal here was to make a better use of the living space. Seeing more wall and floor would open up the space.

Moving the desk and the dresser into the living area from the bedroom would allow for a work-at-home removed from the room that should be for rest only. Moving one of the sofas to the bedroom would provide extra seating for relaxing and reading. Moving the dresser to the living space not only adds more style, it gives the dresser a dual purpose: It can now serve as a buffet space for entertaining off the smaller open kitchen and still provide storage for clothing.

Keeping one sofa here with the ottoman to serve as a coffee table and the smaller desk opens the space up nicely. This plan took advantage of both rooms, adding a bit more living space to the small apartment.

Redesigning is fun and exciting. The goal is to create a comfortable new interior environment using what you have without spending any money. This did just that and provided a better quality home life.

Debbe Daley, owner of Debbe Daley Designs and RAW Furnishings, is an interior designer with more than 25 years of experience as a professional interior redesigner, stylist, stager, trainer and project manager. Follow her blog at decor. She also blogs at debbedaleydesigns