It doesn’t matter if square yardage is vast or virtually nonexistent. In practically every home there’s somehow never enough space. Perhaps the newspapers waiting for the recycling bin are piling tip in the corners, or your stereo system spread out in the living room leaves little space for anything else. Closets overflow with shirts, sweaters and shoes in assorted sizes and seasons.
Sure, a bigger and better house would be a nice, temporary solution. But you’d just acquire more stuff, and you’d soon be looking to save space in your home yet again. That’s why the real solution to the space crunch whether you’re decorating a tiny studio apartment or trying to control overflow is to make the most of every inch you call your own.
Leave no square foot unturned as you uncover hidden storage areas in your home, invest in space-saving devices, employ a little elbow grease with do-it-yourself projects and work to make small spaces appear larger than they really are. Following are some ideas for saving space in your home.
Space Saving Secrets
Some homes haven’t a compact disc, letter or paper clip out of place. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll see that such objects do exist they’re just wrapped up in attractive, practical storage solutions. Little tools of the space-saving trade can make a big difference in an overflowing home or apartment.
Some,such as rainbowbright stacking bins, filing cabinets, wire baskets and software organizers, come straight from the office. Others, such as decorator boxes, baskets, tins and glass containers double as objets d’art.
In many cases, storage equipment is object-specific. Toy boxes and plastic storage boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, wooden compact-disc cabinets keep the tunes in order, and overhead hanging and baker’s racks for the kitchen hold cookbocks, pots and other culinary objects.
Sometimes storage equipment is designed with a certain area in mind. Toolboxes, can crushers, recycling bins, cabinets, shelves, pegboards, drawer units and freestanding sheds help save space in the busiest areas of the house such as the garage, pantry and entryway.
Wall-mounted tools and scaled-down appliances hung or stored in an out-of-the-way spot can save much-needed counter space in your home.
In terms of storage, some furnishings are truly worth their floor space. An armoire, for example, can do double duty as a home entertainment center, while an antique trunk or chest could be both coffee table and storage unit. Computer and entertainment centers provide attractive and compact solutions for hightech treasures.
Beds present even more spacesaving possibilities. Murphy beds, trundle beds, daybeds and bunk beds can help you convert a sliver of space into a sleeping area, while hideaway beds and futons make the most of vital space during the day, then offer a restful solution at night. Do-it-yourselfers can also learn how to save space in their homes from an assortment of space-saving projects in books and magazines.
You can work magic in a small space if you have a few decorating tricks up your sleeve. Mirrors, for instance, are famous for giving the impression of spacious living quarters, while light-colored walls will make a space appear larger than it actually is. Establish an entryway with a decorative screen, hanging quilt, area rug or coat hooks. Even the back of a sofa can be used to establish an entryway boundary toe.
Artful arranging also can create the illusion of more space. Scrutinize furniture groupings in interior design magazines and books, and consult an interior decorator on ways to maximize your space by simply moving the furniture around.
It also pays to be on the lookout for “dead” space, the littleused, odd-shaped spaces in your home. Solutions can be as simple as a built-in bench built below a windowed wall for seating and storage, or as elaborate as a spacious loft constructed in the space below a cathedral ceiling or attic.
Finally, every organized homeowner knows that the secret to saving space often lies in getting rid of the extraneous, the dreary and the junky. Ideas include sending piles of unused clothing to a thrift store or consignment shop, getting photographs and memorabilia out of the boxes and into albums, filing away important papers and tossing the rest, and holding a yard sale every year, or so to further clear the clutter.
Shelves are the ultimate weapon against clutter and small spaces, and today’s options are designed to support just about everything. In many cases, shelves aren’t just functional they’re bona-fide pieces of furniture. Today’s custom-built shelves and modular units, for example, can divide and define an open area for a variety of purposes, transform a few spare square feet and a wall into a home office, home entertainment center or quiet study nook, or display a beloved collection that once was scattered about the house.
Other high-profile inspirations include high border shelving constructed around the perimeter of the kitchen for interesting or little-used objects, shelving placed in spare corners for knickknacks and books, and wine racks installed in the bathroom to hold towels. For out-of-sight storage, meanwhile, shelves can transform wasted space under stairwells or sink cavities. Metal or wire shelves that can be compartmentalized with plastic storage bins or baskets are other behind-thescenes solutions.
In most homes, closet doors hide a lot of clutter. But you can set things straight. Most closets offer much room for improvement so much so that many design professionals have made organizing closets their job. Call one, and he or she will have your nightmare-behinddoors tamed in a jiffy. Handy do-it-yourselfers, meanwhile, can do much the same with shelves, partitions, shoe holders and hanging and wallmounted racks just some of the organizers designed to make the most of your closet space.
With the right system, you’ll be able to save space in your home and establish a place for every item thus organizing your wardrobe. And with everything hanging neatly in its place, you’ll find you’ve loads of space that you didn’t have before.