While we could use more space sometimes, we can’t all just go out and buy a bigger house (yeah right we wish!). Finding ways to use what space we’ve already got more efficiently is the next best thing.
Only house what you use
There’s a bit of the hoarder in most of us, whether it’s inherited furniture that doesn’t fit but which we can’t bear to part with, or clothes we’ve outgrown but still love. When there are kids in the house, the problem escalates as they always have more toys than they could ever play with, but just try getting rid of one while they’re watching.
The solution for items you love but can’t comfortably keep at home is self storage. There is still a misconception that self storage is only for people with acres of storage needs, but there are some very small rooms (and even lockers) that those of us who just need to clear some space find very useful.
It also costs a lot less than you might think, and terms are short, running from just a week so you can quickly change your mind if you want. With the items you love but don’t use safely stored away, you can put those areas at home to much better use.
Make vertical space work harder
Most furniture sits on the floor, taking up space. Display cabinets and bookcases are prime examples, and the precious objects they hold can be just as well displayed on modern shelves up high in the room. Every room in the house can use vertical storage and shelving, for storage tubs in the children’s bedrooms or toiletry items in the bathroom and recipe books in the kitchen. They create more floor space, which makes the room seem bigger.
Banish clutter from surfaces
Another thing that makes rooms seem small is having too much clutter lying on surfaces. Things like TV remotes, mobile chargers, magazines, keys, mail, or all the other hundreds of small items that tend to have no permanent home.
Storage furniture really helps keep clutter off the surfaces. Look out for:
- Coffee tables with shelves underneath or with lift up tops and storage within.
- End or side tables with drawers.
- Divans or ottoman beds – they’re especially useful in children’s rooms.
Rotate seasonal items
Seasonal items range from clothes to garden or sports equipment. When they’re kept at home there’s less space for those things in season that get used every day. This is another instance where self storage can be a real boon. From lawn mowers, leaf blowers and bulky barbecues or surfboards and kayaks, whatever you’ve got that you’re not likely to need for a few months could go into storage.
Use hidden areas
Even small houses can be surprisingly spacious if you look a bit closer at the hidden areas and organise them efficiently. Instances include:
- Under the stairs — often a muddled dumping ground and too small for really practical use, it can be transformed with a couple of shelves and a few transparent storage boxes or a shoe rack. Depending on space, simply categorising and storing items by type makes everything easily accessible, whether it’s hobby/craft supplies or winter hats and gloves.
- Under the kitchen cabinets — that area down on the floor that’s normally blocked off with kickboards is surprisingly spacious and there’s no reason it can’t be opened up and used for storage. Instead of having fixed boards, try fixing a couple of small hinges so the flaps lift up, then use the hidden area to store anything that will slide in there. Examples include baking trays or boxed board games.
Create work/play zones
Zoning can work wonders to keep things organised. If you have a family computer, house the printer, paper, pens or notebooks close by. In children’s rooms, put up shelves and create a library corner with a comfy bean bag, or a play area with a small desk or toy cupboard. The concept is to prevent activities spreading randomly through the house, so keeping everything to hand for when it’s needed. Crafts and games or work and study go much smoother when you can just get on with something without hunting for what you need first.
Reclaiming space involves no more than rethinking how things are kept and where. It can take a little organising, but is worth it when the house is tidier and feels more spacious.
How do you go about reclaiming space in your house? Do you try any of the above? Or perhaps you have some other useful tips? Do share in a comment below.
*This is a collaborative post
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