Space is a crucial element of your home. Having adequate free space provides an open and welcoming environment. It not only gives people more room to do whatever activities they choose, but it is also beneficial for your mental health. Your physical environment, particularly your home, has a significant effect on your overall wellbeing. Now, I’m not saying you have to have a spacious 5-bedroom house. You can enjoy the benefits of space in a one-bedroom house, studio, or even a van. It’s just a matter of knowing how to maximise that space.
It probably goes without saying that the most effective way of creating extra space in your home is to build an extension. You can add a room or even a second floor to your house, vastly increasing the available space. Building an extension is often more cost-effective and less daunting than buying or building a new house. It’s a great option for those who are growing families or welcoming new additions to their homes.
However, in many circumstances, extensions are not possible. It would be delusional of me to just tell you all to go build an extension if you want more space in your home. Some homes do not have adequate room to extend or people may not be granted permission to add to their property. Extensions are also expensive, meaning a lot of people, like me, can’t afford them.
If you want to maximize the space in your home, without extending it or building the extra room, here are five effective ways to maximise the space in your home, no matter how big or small it may be.
1. Declutter your home
Decluttering should be your first course of action when trying to maximise the space in your home. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Marie Kondo and her “does it spark joy?” manifesto when it comes to decluttering. She has a valid point though. Clutter can have a negative impact on our physical and mental health. It affects our cognitive function, our ability to sleep, and it decreases living space.
Go through each room of your house and decide what you truly need. Recycle, donate, or sell the things you don’t need. It can be difficult to let things go at first, but once you do, you’ll feel the benefits. Over the past few months, I’ve been doing just that. I’ve slowly been going through my belongings, reducing how much sh*t I have that I don’t necessarily need. Seriously, it feels good to minimise the amount of stuff that I physically own.
2. Opt for an open plan design
If you can’t build an extra room, it may be possible for you to extend your space by combining two rooms into one. Open floor plans give a more spacious feel to your home and can enable you to get more use from an area.
However, I know that this isn’t a plausible option for everyone. I sure know that I couldn’t just knock down a wall in my house to create open-plan living. But it can be a cheaper alternative to building an extension for those whose house (and house renovation budget!) will allow them to create an open plan living design. By improving the flow through the house, an open plan design can improve the feel of a space, as well as making it larger, more social and more functional.
3. Convert your attic
Although an attic can provide valuable storage space, many people don’t get maximum use from it. Attics are commonly used to hoard items that we never use. Hands up, how often do you use or retrieve any of the items that are tucked away in dusty boxes in your loft?
Converting your attic into an office, loft, or bedroom is an excellent way of utilising your entire home. Bungalows, in particular, are well suited to an attic conversion. Converting your loft can also add value, functionality, and extra space to your home. If you do have a bungalow, then research the cost to convert your bungalow roof, and consider this option to maximise your space. Two storey houses may find the cost of a loft conversion a relatively cost-effective way to increase the space in their home, whilst also helping to amp up the resale value of their house for when it does come to selling and moving on to new pastures.
4. Create multi-purpose rooms
If your house is limited by a small number of rooms, enable the rooms to have multiple purposes. By making use of different angles, corners or spaces within a room, your kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom, or hallway can serve multiple purposes.
Right now, whilst both myself and my boyfriend are working from home, I’ve turned a corner of our bedroom into an office space where I can work during the day. We’ve also added a small dining room table into our kitchen to create a kitchen-dining area, whilst the official “dining room” has been turned into a dog room for our dogs.
There’s so much that you can do to make better use of the space within your home. Get creative and think of ways to get better use from every room. You may be surprised to find that you can double your space just by using it differently.
5. Get clever with storage
This tip is possibly one of the most important ones for those looking to get the most out of their small space. One day, I would love to trial van life and I know when I do, I’ll have to get clever with storage space.
In the meantime, I’m also thinking of ways to improve storage in my current home. If you want to maximise the space in your home, consider buying ottoman furniture or dual duty items for extra storage space. These furniture pieces function as sofas, chairs, footrests, and beds while also doubling up as storage containers. These items are ideal for bedroom, living room, or playroom storage. They are the perfect tools for maximising living space.
Right now, we’re saving up to build a fitted wardrobe within our bedroom and to build alcove cupboards either side of the logburner in the front room. Both of these design changes will allow us to maximise the amount of storage space we have in our house, whilst also freeing up floor space from bulky drawers or units. Clever storage doesn’t have to be big though. You can even look to Pinterest for clever small storage hacks to help improve organisation and storage within your kitchen cupboards, clothes drawers, or in other small ways around your home.