With finite space and what seems to be an ever-growing litany of stuff, it can be a constant challenge to not feel cramped in a small space. Now that we our finding ourselves spending more time at home, you may be wondering – how can I create more space?
Declutter and Donate or Sell
When you have a lot of stuff it’s easy to get lost in the clutter, and many ways become immune to it. As we’ve touched on in previous blogs (Spring Cleaning and Beginner’s Guide to Minimalism), one of the simplest ways to increase space is to simply get rid of stuff! Now is the perfect time to review items you haven’t used in a while. If you’re finding it hard to get started, give yourself a short time limit per day and try to get as much done as possible within this limit. If you live with others – make it a competition. Create donate/sell piles, and separate items as you go, use extra cash to buy yourself something or something your household will use.
Make Storage Efficient
When you have very little storage or very little space or both, the key to creating space is learning how to be efficient with your space. Of course there’s many different ways and tools you can organize but the key when choosing an efficient organization, a storage option that it is easily accessible and that makes the stored item visible. This way you know what items you have and ensure you are using these items before repurchasing similar/ duplicate or unused items.
Think Beyond the Space
If you’re like me, you might in addition to having a small space, have very little closet space. So once you’ve optimized your space until maximum capacity – the next step is finding additional storage. Of course there’s ottomans, cube storage or bookshelves as an options – but one that’s not as obvious is identifying and repurposing unused and wasted space. This isn’t something done overnight but is something that is improved over time and will take a bit of ingenuity. Check out some of these creative ways people have repurposed various spaces in their homes below.
Store in your Staircase
Store Next to Your Refrigerator
Store over the Door
Lastly, if you don’t have it fake it. Part of what creates the feeling of space is our perception. So using simple illusions within your home can help you create the perception of space without actually having any extra square footage. 3 helpful rules that you can use to help you “create space”:
- White or light: Switch wall paint colors and drapery to either a light color or white. This will allow additional light to bounce off, which will make the room feel more expansive. One way to amplify this illusion is improving the lighting in the room, adding a window or switching out opaque/heavy drapes for something that allows light to come through.
- Tall and away from the wall: Don’t push your furniture against the walls! While this may seem counterintuitive with a smaller space, when furniture is pushed against the wall, our brain interprets these items as boundaries. In contrast, pulling furniture away from walls creates space between the furniture and the wall, helping to trick the eye. Additionally by purchasing longer drapes and placing above their typical placement you can create an illusion of increased room length, further helping to blur the room boundaries.
- Proportion and place for space: Remember that the proportion and place also contribute to how much space is in your room! So if you’re still feeling a little claustrophobic, consider the items in the room. Bulky furniture items can make your room feel small and more closed in. Not to mention, having too many items in a small room can also make it feel cramped. Outside of removing furniture, you can also try repositioning furniture. Many times, we add additional furniture and decor pieces with our existing items as they are purchased, so taking the items out and replacing them can help to provide a new perspective on how your furniture can be better placed to give you more space!
Completed these steps and still need some additional space? Check out these homes for sale with over 2,500 square feet!