We live in a 60-year-old house that is barely 1,000 square feet. There are two adults, two kids ages 8 and 13, two cats, and two gerbils living under our roof. Since moving into our house fifteen years ago, we have finished our basement to add more living space and added a second bathroom, which we now realize was very smart. We have also had to figure out how to maximize our living space and make it seem bigger.
Here are some tips to increasing your living space without actually knocking down walls:
Small space furniture will help a room seem larger. We just recently purchased a small love seat and two chairs for our living room, replacing two over-sized chairs that dominated the room. We now have our room back. Search ‘small space furniture’ to see what is available online.
Purchase furniture that is both functional and has plenty of storage. Along with our new love seat and chairs, we bought an ottoman that opens for tons of storage space. Ottomans, tables with shelves and drawers, tall bookcases, and loft beds offer tons of space.
Install Wall Shelves in Kids’ Bedrooms. Both of our children have an entire wall of shelves that provide tons of space for books, collectibles, toys, school supplies, and more.
Utilize garage and unfinished basement space. Dry goods, canned goods, and paper products can be stored on shelves in unused spaces. It’s amazing how much you can fit when you utilize the space you have.
Baskets and bins provide storage and style. We have a very small linen closet and one cabinet in our bathroom. We added a tall bookshelf with wicker baskets to store toiletries such as hair gel and spray, body lotions, makeup, medicine, as well as toilet paper.
Install several coat racks throughout your home. We have one coat closet and no walk-in closets. We have found that these hook racks provide extra space that is functional and eye-appealing.
Be willing to store items in unusual places. We have gotten very creative in storing our kitchen appliances and non-perishable food. With no food pantry, we use the top of the coat closet, garage shelves, and dining room hutch to store all items that do not fit in the kitchen.
Remove clutter. This is very hard in a small home because there are not many places to hide your stuff. Removing items and clutter from out in the open will optimize the visible space you do have.
Be selective about what you save or keep. You cannot keep everything that comes into your house. Get rid of junk mail and unwanted school papers right away. File important documents in an organized way. Devise a system for keeping important school papers and memorabilia. Keep a marked bin for give away items and then arrange a donation pick up.
Everything has a place. Using all of the storage space you have added to your home, plan where everything will go and then teach your family to return these items to their designated spot.