A lot of people are deciding to downsize these days, but the problem many have is that they have too much stuff. Stuff that doesn’t leave them much breathing room in a small house or apartment.
All it takes is some creativity and a plan and you can enjoy all the benefits of having a small house. In fact, the tiny house movement has shown the world that it is possible to live within a smaller space and still enjoy it as if it were much bigger.
Furniture manufacturers have gotten wise to this and have a lot of storage space products to use for that. But, it does go beyond having furniture like shelves to use to keep your space organized to free up some living area. It takes a plan and some thinking outside the box.
In this article, I will go over several ways that you can optimize your small apartment to make it feel much bigger.
1 – Use furniture that converts for storage
The first thing to do is to make use of the furniture that is already taking up space to use for storage. For instance, there are tons of modern furniture online that are made especially for their ability to store things.
Your couch should definitely have some storage space underneath if it doesn’t convert into a bed. And even some of the ones that do convert into beds have a section for keeping blankets and sheets which frees up that space in your closet.
Ottomans are also ideal for extra storage as they are essentially boxes with a cushion on top. You can put your video game systems in there to keep them handy yet out of sight at the same time.
The space under your bed is totally wasted if you don’t put some containers under there or if you aren’t using a bed that has drawers underneath. This is the most logical space to store all of your blankets and linens which, again, frees up your closet for other items.
2 – Go digital
If you have a home office, then you likely have several file cabinets to store all of your important documents. And even if you don’t have an office at home, you certainly are storing your household documents in a similar fashion.
You can get rid of those file cabinets and free up that space for other things if you simply scan and digitize all of your documents. Getting all of your paperwork on your computer or better yet on the cloud is a smart way to keep your documents safe and free up space at the same time. Not only do those file cabinets take up a lot of room, but they aren’t as good at keeping your important papers secure. Flood and fire could ruin those papers forever so it is much better to keep them stored digitally anyway.
3 – Upcycle
You likely have a lot of stuff that you no longer need in your house right now. And it is simply taking up too much space. Many people are too nostalgic and have a hard time getting rid of things even if they are no longer useful.
It’s time to take inventory and see what you actually have in your closets and basement. List everything that you have and then categorize these items. For instance, you should definitely make a list with “useful”, “being used” and “not used” so you can get an idea of what you actually need out of all of these items.
Then get rid of the not used items that are simply taking up space. If you have a hard time doing so, then put a date of when that item got put back into storage and every year, you can see that it is not being used and holds no purpose.
The rest of the things can be sold in a yard sale for some extra cash or upcycled which can help others that need what you have.
4 – Create special zones
Create a dedicated space for certain things and activities. This way everything has its place and it can easily be stowed away in its proper area. For instance, your living room is your entertainment center. So you keep all of the stuff you need for that in the storage in your couch and ottoman and not anywhere else.
The entrance to your house is usually the mudroom, so put some shelves and containers there so you can have everything right where you need it and not all over the place.