Transform your home with these 7 simple and quick ways to create more space indoors…
Feeling cramped at home? Having everyone in your household at home at the same time – especially for a prolonged period of time – can bring challenges in terms of space.
So here are 7 simple and quick ways you can create more space indoors right now.
1. Do the skirting board test
It’s easy for a small space to get even smaller when stuff accumulates around the edges. And even if that stuff around the edges takes up only 0.3m of space in front of the walls, that’s a lot of space when you add it all up.
Take a look around one particular room in your living space. How much, if any, of the skirting board/baseboard can you see – the area where the wall meets the floor? If the answer is not much, do you actually need everything that’s encircling the room and covering the lower walls? Obviously if it’s a sofa or a chest of drawers, that’s probably fine – but if it’s boxes or bags or piles of magazines and other small things, where could you store those things instead? And do you really need them?
2. Get rid of packaging
One of the things I’ve learned over the years from travelling with hand baggage only is that you can free up a lot of space by reduce the air between things. That might sound a bit strange – but think about it in terms of packaging.
Packaging is one of the biggest culprits in terms of taking up space. It contains air – and air takes up space. You can apply this to your cupboard and storage space in your home.
Take a look inside one of the cupboards in your living space. How much of the space inside the cupboard is taken up with things like boxes, bags and bottles? The things inside those boxes, bags and bottles are often a lot smaller than the packaging itself – and you usually only need the thing that’s inside the packaging.
So where possible get rid of the packaging and put the contents into much smaller containers. It’s surprising just how much space you can free up by doing this – and if you really need to keep the boxes for some things, flatten them and store them at the back of a cupboard.
3. Use up spare paint
If you still have some pots of paint from a previous decorating project, use it to cover up scuff marks and brighten some spaces that need a shot of fresh colour.
Doing this can make a big difference to how you feel in your living space and, depending on the colour of the paint, it can create a different perception of space.
4. Decide what you do and don’t need
Clearing out stuff you don’t need is an obvious way to free up more space. If you’ve been at home for some time now, you’ll have a fairly good idea of what you use every day and what you haven’t used at all.
When I cleared my whole house before I went travelling, I turned the principle of decluttering on its head and instead of deciding what I didn’t need, I looked at what I did need – and I devised a powerful process for clearing all the other clutter.
My process is quite extreme – but you can adapt it to suit your own situation. Once you’ve done this, put aside everything you don’t need (or keep it in the car) until you can either give it away, take it to a charity shop/op shop/thrift store – or sell it. This whole process will give you a wonderful feeling of more space.
If you have loft/attic space, be careful about storing things temporarily up there; it’s easy to forget about it and leave it there, instead of letting it go to someone who needs it more.
5. Use mirrors and light
If you have mirrors on the wall, or stand-up mirrors, are they doing your space justice? A well-placed mirror can give the illusion of double the space and also bring in more light – but make sure the mirror is reflecting a space you want to look at.
This article on using mirrors according to feng shui has some useful tips.
6. Move things around
Create a new environment within the same space simply by moving a few things around.
For example, turn your dining room or kitchen table 90 degrees and see what difference it makes. If you have a large piece of furniture in the middle of a space, move it to the side of that space and see what difference that makes.
If you have your furniture and belongings spread out over your whole living space, try grouping some things together to free up space elsewhere – or make more use of the ‘upward’ space rather than letting things spread outwards.
7. Keep surfaces clear
It’s very easy to let things start to clutter up worktop surfaces, tables and desks. When that happens, not only can it be a distraction but it makes everything feel much smaller, not to mention messy.
So keep surfaces clear. Put things away and out of sight after you’ve used them – every time. Sounds obvious but it’s surprising how cluttered your space can quickly feel if you leave things lying around.
Do the same with your floor space.
When you’re in the same space all the time it can start to feel dull and uninteresting. Give yourself a brighter welcome home after you’ve been out to get the groceries. For example, give your front door a good clean. Polish the numbers on the door. If you have paint, give the door a splash of colour. And if you can get hold of some artificial flowers or some evergreen foliage, why not attach them to the door in some way.
What tips do you have for creating more space indoors?