Here are a few space-saving solutions to help you maximise a small home.
- Look upwards to find new storage solutions. What about putting up a high shelf that runs all the way around the perimeter of a bedroom wall or study? This can be a great place to stack items that aren’t used much, such as smart storage boxes. A shelf above a door or in a stairwell are other clever options, and can look great lined with colourful books or interesting objects.
Utilising lesser-used areas, or making them more versatile, can free up storage space in other places where it’s needed day-to-day.
- Think square, not round. Box-shaped canisters in the kitchen can take up less room because they sit neatly in corners and are easier to stack than cylindrical ones. It’s worth transferring regular cleaning items, from dishwasher tablets to washing powder, into square containers for the same reason. Doing this, along with some strategic rearranging, can create more space for storage.
- Do a kitchen inventory. Kitchens are easy to overlook when it comes to finding storage space. If yours is small, you need to be clever with how you stash items. How many garlic presses or fish slices do you have – and how many do you actually need? Ditto an endless collection of mugs from years gone by, or crockery you never use. Donate to a friend or a charity shop, or post on a community Facebook group, and see your kitchen cupboard space instantly grow.
- Use racks and walls to free up cupboard space. Still in the kitchen, hang frequently used pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack or rod. And don’t forget that often-ignored space between wall cabinets and base units – there’s often room here to hang a simple utensil rail or install some spice shelves.
- Rethink your bedside cabinets. Consider switching regular table lamps for wall lights installed above your headboard instead. Or try hanging a long pendant light from the ceiling on either side of the bed, for a chic boutique-hotel look. That will mean you only need a small bedside shelf or table for essentials. In general, repositioning items that can be placed in alternative locations can really help maximise space in the bedroom.
- Keep only seasonal clothes in your drawers or wardrobe. Pack items you won’t need for the next six months in boxes – the ones on little castors are great and these can be easily rolled under the bed. Better yet, invest in an ottoman-style bed with roomy storage built in. You’ll be surprised how much more space you can add to your home by doing this.
- Seek out unlikely nooks and crannies. A custom-made headboard in your bedroom could have shelves integrated at the side. A shower cubicle might have inset tiled nooks for toiletries. And discover the joy of kitchen cupboard organisers – small stackable shelves you can buy that sit inside cupboards, great for small jars, spices etc.
- Think beyond your usual furniture. Instead of a dining table and chairs, consider a corner bench seating area with built-in storage underneath. Incorporate your TV into a smart bank of boxy wall shelves and cupboards (fit it on an extendable stand so it can be pushed back flat when not in use). You can also create more storage space by substituting some of your current furnishings with more compact alternatives.
- Rethink your home’s footprint. If a boxroom is rarely used, consider turning it into a properly planned dressing room with fitted wardrobes, drawer space and shoe racks (the latter is also an excellent place to keep the ironing board!). Consider the space under the stairs – could it make a great mini utility room to hide away the washing machine and laundry items?
- Finally, tidy up... It’s an obvious one, but clearing shelves, surfaces, cupboards and drawers of all the waste that frequently builds up at home may give you space options you never knew you had, and it brings endless psychological benefits, too. A good declutter of your home is a tried-and-tested way of creating more space – and it’s free.