More space in the same space!
This doesn’t seem to make sense but follow along and you’ll see that it actually does!
If moving just isn’t possible for whatever reason, you will surely find ways to get more space without moving in this wonderful slideshow from Houzz.
There may be features that you cannot change that you’ll have to live with. For example, in the kitchen, you might just have to learn to live with what’s there, after all.
As Cheryl Freeman, the author of the article points out:
…if you have a stove, fridge, sink and enough counter space for a chopping board and toaster, you’re doing just fine.
So, there you go. One less stressor.
You probably already know about Marie Kondo but if you don’t, you’re missing out.
She’s a decluttering guru with a following second to none because of her terrific book that emphasizes the importance of decluttering.
This Book is a useful guide for finding more space without moving.
Check your local library for Kondo’s book or purchase The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing at a local bookstore or online. It’s packed with sensible strategies for organizing your small space. (affiliate)
My daughter was visiting me when she spied the book on my shelves. She picked it up, pretty much read it in one sitting and she asked if she could take it home! Well, okay. Then I bought another!
How to Declutter
There are a couple of schools of thought on this. First, you’ll want to go through each room to decide what stays and what doesn’t. For example, in the kitchen, you’ll want to get rid of chipped dishes, unmatched dishes, and pots and pans and other cooking tools you don’t use.
The first is to have three boxes:
- Throw away
That’s a good plan. If you can stick to it.
The problem with the original three choices is that separation anxiety can take hold and you’ll just end up hanging on things you’ll never use, again.
The second plan is one that Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, author of Apartment Therapy, the eight-step home cure.
He recommends having an Outbox. Ask yourself three questions:
- Do I use it?
- Do I love it?
- Does my apartment need it?
If your answer is no to any of the questions, it should go in the Outbox.
He says that With the Outbox, you’ll tuck those things away out of sight in a closet or a space that’s not used. At the end of the week, see if you feel differently about what you’ve put there.
Define Each Area
Cheryl Freedman, from Houzz, points out that in a small space, “The key is clearly defining each area so its purpose is obvious.”
You can define an area with area rugs, room dividers, furniture, folding screens, or draperies. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.
Pinterest has dozens of ideas for defining spaces.
Then, choose furnishings that serve that purpose and that purpose, only. If you live alone, you don’t need a dining table that seats twelve.
So you can see that smart space planning is the most important element to achieving more space without moving.
Consider moving or removing a wall. If you can gain more living space by removing a non-load bearing wall, by all means, check out that possibility.
If you don’t want to remove the entire wall, a pony wall or half-wall would serve two purposes…it would define your space while making it feel larger!
Another genius way to gain a bit more storage is to create shelving between the studs in a wall…a clever niche can be fancy or not depending on the need.
It would be just perfect inserted behind the bathroom door, for example, because that’s pretty much wasted space, anyway.
Plus, if you mounted a sliding mirror over it, you’d have hidden storage and a full-length mirror!
Here’s a bedroom niche that’s pretty AND functional.
Check this link to DIY Network’s step-by-step instructions on how to make your own wall niche. How To Make A Wall Niche.
Good old Pinterest has dozens of ideas for wall niches and even pins on how to create them. Some are lighted to highlight decorative treasures.
There’s a pin on how to cover a niche but keep the storage.
I really like the idea of a wall niche in a bathroom because so many bathrooms lack storage.
If you need more info, check out this how-to book for getting more space without moving!
Even if you eventually have to move to a larger home, I hope this post gives you some breathing room.
I’ve been in my small home for a couple of years and I’m still tweaking the spaces now and then. My next project? To turn my tiny utility room into a laundry center.
What are your thoughts?
What projects would you most like to tackle? Have you thought of other ways to get more space without moving? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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