Whether your home was poorly laid out, storage was not installed with utility in mind, or you’re simply not making the best use of your space, you may find that you have problems with waste that make your home less than optimally functional. And as your family and your stockpile of stuff grow, you can quickly run out of room to store everything (and everyone). If this is the case you’ll likely find yourself trying to figure out ways to squeeze it all into to a space that seems to be rapidly shrinking. But the problem might not be the size of your house so much as the fact that much of your space is being wasted. And this is actually good news because you can find ways to better use your space that will make your home more livable. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Non-functional storage. If there are areas in your home where the storage space is practically impossible to use, you should know that there are solutions to your woes. For example, awkward cabinets can be made a lot more practical with the addition of lazy Susans in corners and pull-out shelving or drawers to bring items at the back within easy reach. You can also add stacking shelves to double usable space, bins for organization, and so on. Before you decide to gut your kitchen, bathrooms, or office space and install new cabinetry, consider that you might save some dough by simply optimizing the cabinetry you already have.
- Move on up. If you’re maxed out on floor space, don’t hesitate to let your eyes wander towards the ceiling in search of additional storage. Vertical space provides you with the opportunity to seek storage solutions off the floor by installing shelving or cabinetry that goes all the way up. This will not only help you to find room for all of your stuff, but it could clear up some additional square footage to make the space you have look larger.
- Clear out clutter. One thing that can definitely truncate your usable space is having too much stuff cluttering it up. Whether your garage is so full of junk that you can’t get your car in, you’ve turned an extra bedroom into a dumping ground for your overflow of craft supplies, sporting goods, and winter coats and boots, or you have books, DVDs, and toys piling up all over the house, the problem might not rest totally on the space or the amount of storage in your home. If you’ve simply maxed out your ample storage and you keep bringing more stuff into the household, a good cleaning and decluttering may be in order.
- Consider renovations. If the layout of your home is ill-conceived and it just doesn’t suit the practical needs of your family, you might want to think about knocking out some walls in search of extra space. Whether you find some extra storage space in your walls or under the stairs or you take out entire walls in order to create an open floor plan, you might be surprised by the amount of additional space you can uncover.
- Think outside the box. If you need more space, you could target common areas like an unfinished basement or attic. It’s about as common sense as finding tips for choosing the right furnace replacement when your old one fails. But you should also try thinking outside the box if common areas for finding extra space are not an option. For example, you could undertake a garage renovation if you need an extra bedroom or some recreational family space. Or you might turn an unused formal dining room into a home office or a game room for the kids. The way families use their homes is changing, and you can do just about anything you want with your space when you get creative.