Reclaiming space in your home will make you feel accomplished and transform the ambience. Taking a room from cramped and cluttered to relaxing, airy and open will give your home a new lease of life. Here are our tried and tested space saving tips.
Keep, Store, Donate or Bin
Before trying to save space, make sure you need it. It’s surprising how quickly Christmas and birthday gifts, clothes, toys and books can accumulate. Sort everything into four piles: keep, store, donate or bin. Only items that have been used in the last 6-12 months should make it into the “keep” pile. Items that aren’t regularly used but have sentimental value or that are likely to be needed in the future should go in the “store” pile. Everything else should be donated to friends, family or charity, or if they are worn out they should be binned.
Get Clever with Storage
Are you sure you’ve made use of the existing space in your home and outside it? Are there items that don’t currently have a home in your home, and just tend to sit there? Putting things away as much as possible rather than having them on show, will give a cleaner and much more relaxing feel to a room. Small touches like a wickerwork basket for post and magazines will make a difference. Look for multi-functional pieces of furniture, like a footstool with storage inside or sleek and stylish cabinets, which fit neatly into an unused corner. Outside, adding a small garden shed or a coal bunker to your garden can provide valuable storage for items like fuel, patio furniture cushions, cleaning supplies, etc.
Add Shelves, Rails & Hooks
Adding some shelves high up on a wall, above door frames, or in alcoves can look stylish when used to display the right items. Give less attractive items the cabinet space. A single glass shelf across a window can look great with house plants on it, freeing up further countertop space. If you want to get really hands-on, you could look into carving out a shallow alcove between wall studs, which can be great for a book display. Adding hooks and rails to the insides of cabinet doors make ideal spots for hanging saucepan lids, utensils, tea-towels, etc. Hooks and racks that match your décor can also look great on kitchen walls for displaying utensils or spices. Magnetic strips are also very handy for holding utensils in the kitchen or tools in your shed.
Scan, Save, Recycle
If you’re hoarding boxes of old greeting cards, letters, photos and other papers, maybe you could scan some of them in and save them to your computer. You can then also save them to an external hard-drive to be safe, and shred and recycle the real things to save more space.
Add Lights & Mirrors
Once you have reclaimed space, you can optimise the results by boosting the light in the room. Banishing any shadowy spots with lamps and mirrors will make a room feel bigger and brighter. This combination further increases the perception of space.
Tip: make a room feel bigger by placing curtain poles as close to the ceiling as possible, and hanging curtains which just about reach the floor.