Thursday 15 October 2020

Making Space at Home When You Think You Don’t Have Any

No matter how big your house is, there’s bound to come a time when you’re running out of storage space. When your possessions start taking up too much room at home, but you don’t necessarily want to get rid of things, what do you do?

We have a few suggestions that might help.

Look for Hidden Storage Spaces

Nooks and crannies, cubby holes and awkward spots around the house can all be used for a bit of additional storage.

The awkward cupboard under the stairs often becomes a dumping ground to hide clutter, but it can be made much more useful. If it’s very small, get creative by fitting narrow planks in place of shelving units or purpose-built shelves. As long as the surface is smooth, a lick of paint or some self-adhesive plastic covering will make them look just as good. Alternatively, if there’s space, install a storage tower with drawers.

What about using that space under kitchen cabinets? Normally blocked off, you can replace fixed kickboards with sliding or hinged doors. Providing it’s clean and damp-free under the cupboards, there is lots of long, flat space for objects such as baking or roasting pans you don’t use every day, or playthings like board games, bats or racquets. You can even slip brooms and mops under there to free up space in cupboards.

Use more shelves. Whether you choose freestanding units or fixed wall shelves, there are lots of spaces around the house where they would be useful without taking up floor space:

  • Small shelves in the kitchen for recipe books, mugs, containers or cannisters, pots of herbs or racks of spice jars.

  • In alcoves beside the chimney breast, for photos, books, ornaments, or your radio or music player and collection.

  • Use a shelf in the bathroom to hold spare towels or to store bottles and tubes of beauty products or shower gels and shampoos.

  • In the bedroom, add a shelf near the mirror to keep makeup, perfume or hair care items together.

  • In children’s rooms, add low shelves to hold tubs for building bricks, favourite books, plush toys or other smaller items. Paint them in primary colours or let older children choose a colour to suit their own taste.

Take a Seasonal Approach with Self Storage

If you’ve never got enough room for the things in use because your wardrobe and cupboards are full of other things, maybe a seasonal approach to storage would help you create extra space at home.

Renting a self storage room as a kind of extension to your home storage, is an idea that’s rapidly catching on. During winter, you store all the summer gear from garden furnishings to summer clothes, then swap everything out as the season’s change, putting winter kit into storage over the summer months.

There are several advantages:

  • You’re not blocking valuable space at home by storing things you won’t need for a few months.

  • The items you’re not using can be kept clean and in good condition in self storage.

  • Storage facilities are handy in most towns so your stuff if never far away if you need something.

  • Putting possessions out of sight for a few months gives you fresh appreciation of them when you go to fetch them.

There’s another benefit for growing families. Kids easily get bored with their toys, always wanting something new and fresh. Putting discarded toys into self storage means you can save them for the future, making them seem new again when they’ve been out of sight for a while. And if you have younger children, you can give stored toys and games a second lease of life by handing them down.

Tweak Your Décor and Furnishings

Sometimes small changes at home can create a more spacious feeling. Storage furniture is a godsend if a cluttered living space is driving you nuts. 

  • Go for end tables with drawers or shelves to stow away magazines, TV remotes, games controllers, phone chargers, batteries, and all the other odds and ends we use regularly.

  • Instead of frame beds, opt for divan or ottomans styles. Drawers or lift up mattresses offer acres of room for spare linens, toys, games or hobby stuff.

  • When you’re buying new living room furniture, look for sofas and chairs on legs. These cast fewer shadows, and because you can see more floor under them, it makes the room feel airier.

There are lots of little lifestyle tricks you can use to make more space at home. Whether you rearrange your furnishings and add a few shelves or have a clean sweep with the help of self storage, it’s always possible to make more room, even when you think you don’t have any.

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