When you’ve lived in the same home for several years, you accumulate a lot of possessions. Your house might start off spotlessly clean with plenty of space but over time it can end up feeling claustrophobic and cluttered.
The arrival of children can accelerate this impression, as you have to somehow squeeze a whole new person and all their stuff into your existing space. And with every new hobby, kitchen gadget, or addition to your wardrobe, the amount of room left in your little home gets smaller and smaller.
A crowded home can have a lot of negative effects on your wellbeing. Living in clutter makes you feel stressed and unproductive. You may not even realize it in the moment, but spending a lot of time in a cramped and messy room will cause you to feel a low level sense of frustration and anxiety. Over time, all this stress can have a significant impact on your mental health.
You want to have a home in which you can feel proud entertaining guests at dinner parties and outdoor barbecues in summer. You want your children to be able to have sleepovers and have space to run around with their friends. And if you want to grow your family in the future, you want to know you can have another child without making your home unlivable.
So what can you do to make more space in your home? The following article looks at a number of ways you can reduce clutter and adopt good habits that will permanently transform your living space. Read on to learn more.
9 Ways to Create More Space in Your Home
Have a spring clean
You can’t declutter your home without first having a spring clean. Otherwise you’ll just be moving your junk from one place to another without making any difference. All homes are full of the usual clutter that accumulates over many years. Old CDs, dog-eared books, unused kids’ toys, and clothes that don’t fit. Schedule in a weekend to go over your entire house with a fine tooth comb and get rid of anything that isn’t essential. Some people find it difficult to throw things away but once you get started you will find it immensely satisfying.
Come up with a list of criteria for deciding whether or not to get rid of something. If it hasn’t been used in several years it can definitely go. If it’s broken, then either fix it immediately or take it to the dump. You’ll be amazed how much better your home looks immediately.
And don’t worry about waste, as you don’t need to throw things in the trash. If your unwanted items are still perfectly usable, you can take them to a charity shop or sell them to a buyer who will get much more use out of them.
Adopt tidy habits
It’s no use decluttering your home if it’s just going to get messy again a few days later. A room feels a whole lot larger when there are no piles of clothes on the floor and junk strewn over every surface. Make an effort to adopt good habits at home to ensure it always stays tidy.
This means washing dishes right after the meal instead of leaving them until the morning. It means wiping down surfaces at night and hanging up your clothes before bed. These small behaviors will make all the difference, and living in a cleaner space will make you more motivated to keep it that way.
You should also be careful about the things you bring into your home. Now that you’ve gone to so much effort to clear out your junk, you don’t want to start bringing more useless stuff in. Set rules about only buying things you need, and try to adopt a more minimalist approach towards life, in which you only own the things that are essential for living happily and comfortably.
Invest in storage
Smart storage solutions are a great option for households with a lot of possessions, as they allow you to keep your stuff hidden out of sight. There are so many possibilities when it comes to storage, such as woven baskets for your bookshelf or kitchen counter, or large containers that sit on top of or inside a wardrobe. Installing shelves at height allows you to keep clutter off the floor, while simply organizing cupboard space better allows you to store a great deal more inside.
There are also much more discreet options, enabling homeowners to keep rarely-used items completely hidden away until they are needed. For example, under-stair storage is a great place to keep out-of-season items, or even underfloor storage for your child’s huge collection of toys and board games.
Use self storage
If you have large items that are rarely used, they are taking up valuable real estate in your house. Bikes that only get taken out a couple of times a year, or old furniture you haven’t got round to selling yet. There is no need to have these sitting around in your spare room or garage. Instead, take them to a local self storage facility where they can lie in wait for a small fee until you need them.
Take inspiration from small homes
There are so many people who live in tiny houses yet manage to make it work effectively. They achieve this by being conservative with their persons and creative with their use of space. Taking inspiration from owners of small homes can be a great way to get ideas for your place. Speak to people you know about the challenges they face and the solutions they have adopted to ensure their living space is comfortable.
Use all available space
Do you have a garage that rarely gets used? Or a basement or attic that just gathers dust? If so, these present enormous missed opportunities for transforming your space. Any of these areas can be converted into a fully functional room of your house, rather than simply a place to put your broken furniture and old cardboard boxes. With a few small changes, a spare bedroom can become a great home office. A basement or attic can be used for storage, but they could also be turned into a home gym or another bedroom depending on your needs. Don’t take your space for granted.
Downsize your furniture
Do you really need a super king-sized bed, or could you and your spouse make do with a regular double? Now that your kids have flown the nest, maybe you could downsize your sofa to a smaller two-seater. Most homes are full of items that are considerably bigger than necessary, so see if there is a way you can shrink your furniture. By selling your larger items and switching them for smaller alternatives, you could make a nice little profit too.
Use outdoor storage
You probably don’t think of your garden as a potential storage space, but it can be an excellent way to move bulky items out of the house. If you have a shed or garage outdoors, this is the perfect place to store bikes, tools, and out-of-season clothing until you need it. You no longer have to have these possessions cluttering up your porch or spare room. If you don’t have a shed in your garden, building one can be a fun project. You can pick up all the necessary materials from your local garden center or hardware store and have it built over the course of a single weekend.
Create the illusion of space
One smart trick used by interior designers everywhere is to create the illusion of space in a home. A few nifty adjustments can make your home feel so much bigger without any actual increase in size. Color is one way you can achieve this, as certain shades and patterns make a room feel larger, while others can create a more crowded impression. Softer tones like off-whites and cool blues and green will achieve the desired effect, while bold, dark colors or busy patterns will do the opposite.
Large mirrors can also create a sense of space in a room, as can increasing the amount of sunlight the space receives by rearranging furniture away from windows. Moving furniture toward the corners and edges of each room and adding a large rug to the central floor area can make any living space feel vast and expansive.
These are just a few of the many ways in which any homeowner or renter can make more space in their home. When you adopt these techniques, you will soon feel the benefits to both your quality of life and your mental health. You will have so much more room to breathe while your family can engage in all kinds of activities without feeling overcrowded. Although some of these methods require a little expense and hard work, the results will be more than worth it in the end.
What other tips do you have for making a home more spacious? Let us know in the comments!
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