Making a small home feel bigger might seem impossible, but there are ways and means to maximise space in even the smallest houses. ‘Tiny home’ owners have totally mastered storage, but you don’t have to go to those extremes to make ordinary houses feel more spacious.
Clearing the Decks
Living in a consumer culture, we can’t help accumulating things. The trick is culling them every so often, so they don’t overwhelm your space.
This can be a bit daunting if you’ve got lots of stuff everywhere, so make it easier by breaking the job down into smaller chunks. Go room by room, or category by category.
Maybe you’ll start with books or film collections on DVD, keeping only the special ones, useful ones, or heirloom ones. Another category could be toys if you have kids with lots of things they don’t play with anymore. There are many different types of possessions, so only you can decide which method would best help you clear some clutter.
As you sort possessions, try having three piles:
- Items to save and display
- Items to put away for hand-me-downs, like baby equipment and furniture or good playthings such as bikes.
- Broken or disliked items you don’t want to keep.
If you have a self storage room, this is the perfect place for things you want to save for additions to a growing family or for younger siblings. Having those items out the way leaves plenty more room for effectively showing off the items you keep for display or to use. Local self storage is easy to find.
Using Storage Effectively
Storage space and surfaces often to get taken up by things we’re not using at all or use only occasionally. That’s the purpose of storage, right? Having a place to put stuff when you’re not using it.
Of course, but the trouble is, those things we’re not using right now can quickly turn into things we don’t use ever.
You can make sure that doesn’t happen by regularly reviewing what’s in your cupboards, cabinets, and closets. One of the best ways to ensure you actually do this is to take a seasonal approach to the things you keep at home with the help of a self storage unit.
So, during the winter, all your summer gear is in storage. This includes summer clothes and shoes, summer garden furnishings and toys as well as tools and machinery so you can keep sheds and garages clear too. It can also include sports gear and apparel that you won’t use ‘til summer.
Then when summer is here, you swap out what’s in your self storage room, bringing home all the summer kit and storing away all your winter gear including heavy coats and boots, accessories, and winter sports kit.
By doing this, twice a year you’re reviewing your possessions. You can make informed decisions about items that are worn, out of fashion or outgrown.
Ways to Store Items at Home
Any room will feel bigger when it’s clean and tidy, with polished surfaces and accessible drawers and shelves.
Often, it’s the small things that take up most space, like the TV remotes and mobile phone chargers, the games controllers and random pens, hobby stuff and magazines or other papers.
Bringing in storage furniture can really help corral all those things. You can have side tables with drawers or shelves, stools with contained storage, decorative trunks or chests, toy baskets (for humans or pets) coffee tables with storage or divan beds upstairs. All these furnishings give you somewhere to stow possessions without taking up extra floor space.
If bursting wardrobes are your problem, rotating items in self storage will help. But you can also expand your closet space with these tricks:
Add extra rails, either under existing ones in the main closet or behind the door, for belts, ties or scarves and beads.
Install a drawer tower under short clothing items, for smalls, accessories, linens, shoes, or folded items.
Use hanger extenders (or improvise with ring-pulls off cans) to join two hangers together and double the rail space.
Install a shelf above the rail if there’s room and use it for folded clothes or spare towels and bedding.
Getting everyone in the house on board so they all help keep the place neat and tidy can be one of the hardest jobs when you’re trying to make more space.
Discussing it beforehand, and getting everyone, including children, to offer their ideas on how to make space and keep it, can really help. If you can, invite honesty so everyone gets to solve a space problem they’re having:
Maybe kids want more bedroom space – talk about how you could do it, maybe with different furnishings or more shelving.
Maybe somebody is fed up with shoes in the hallway. Would a shoe rack help keep things tidier?
Does someone always lose their keys? What about a key rack or a little bowl by the door to drop them in?
These things can sound trivial, but often just sorting the little frustrations can make for a more harmonious lifestyle. And because it’s hard to form new habits, let everyone know that gently reminders are okay.
Unless you can move house or build an extension, combing self storage with tried and tested tidy-up strategies will certainly help make a small house feel bigger.