How to maximise small spaces
SMALL spaces can be the bane of any flat-dweller’s or home owner’s life. But they can also be a blessing in design disguise. Awkward, small spaces are often a catalyst for change, forcing you to a) clear the clutter and b) come up with clever design ideas you may never have thought of otherwise. From small living rooms to small bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and kids’ rooms, get inspired by these top tips and design ideas for tiny, small spaces.
Whether it’s because you’re retiring and buying a smaller home, moving in with roommates or have just bought your first start-up home, finding ways to maximise the space you have is a big advantage.
Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, shares tips on how to achieve this: 1. Declutter
Ideally, when it comes to downsizing or maximising small spaces, it is best to reduce clutter as much as possible and only keep the items that are essential. Holding on to unnecessary items will only make it harder to find space for the necessary ones.
Goslett says to confront the ‘everything drawer’, see what’s useful and what’s just taking up space. Often the reason an item lands up sitting in a drawer for months is because there is no longer any use for it, he says. 2. Sort stuff into ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘maybe’ piles
If possible, it’s always best not to have a ‘ maybe’ pile as this means dealing with items more than once. Homeowners should try to deal with each item once and make a decision as to whether they are keeping it or getting rid of it.
While this may seem like a difficult task, especially for those who struggle to let go, ask yourself whether the item could be replaced if it got lost and how often it really gets used. 3. Donate
While packing, it’s possible that you’ll find a number of hidden treasures that might not make sense to take to your new home. There are several charitable foundations that do amazing community work and could benefit from a donation of household items.
Adrian says a great deal of charity organisations can only do the work that they do due to donations made by the public. He says making a donation is a great way to reduce clutter and provide assistance to members of the community who are less fortunate.
Remember to only donate items that will be useful and are still in good working order. 4. Make some money
According to Goslett, selling off items is another excellent way to get rid of unwanted items while making some money to put towards the move or towards buying more suitable items to fit the new space. 5. Be seasonal
Although it might not always be practical, only have the current season’s clothing in the cupboard. Large winter coats and winter boots take up a lot of space, so if possible, these items should be left in storage or stored in sealable containers and packed away until needed. 6. Get organised
Although the object is to get rid of items, buying an organisation system or containers that can help reduce the amount of space needed for your stuff makes sense.
Goslett says organisation goes a long way to decluttering an area without having to throw any items away. 7. Follow the trend
Getting rid of clothing and unwanted items means you may no longer need a large set of drawers. Large pieces of furniture can be sold or donated to make space for more suitably sized furniture. 8. Be strategic
Instead of aimlessly shoving items away, have a plan when packing them into cupboards and drawers. If an item is not used often but is an item that is going to be kept, pack it into a box and label it. Stack these boxes and containers to make more space. These will also help to protect the items inside.
“Having a plan and ensuring that only the necessary items are moved across to the new home will ensure that you can make the most of a small space. Maximising the space available will make the home a more comfortable
Utilise as many hidden storage spaces as possible.