If you have a small home or apartment, you’ve probably had a gripe or two about your lack of space. Some folks dream of living in tiny retrofitted vans, but many people want more room to stretch.
However, before you complain, ask yourself — have you made the most of your available space? You might have more room than you realize if you get creative. The following nine tips will help you identify ways to maximize your living area.
1. Expand Your Front Porch
Does your front porch consist of a single sorry concrete slab? If so, you can increase your property value and add space by expanding it. You can build an entry-level deck for as low as $15 per square foot if you select inexpensive materials. You can construct a 10×10 model complete with railing in a single weekend. Once you finish, add some container plants to enhance your entryway further. Then, kick back in your rocker with a glass of lemonade.
2. Landscape for Extra Living Space
Who said you need a mansion to enjoy a game room? Take some tips from urban community park design to bring fun to your outdoor living area. Go beyond installing a basketball hoop in the driveway. You can find tables complete with integrated games like chess and checkers that invite your barbecue buddies to challenge you to a match.
Granted, your outdoor space might not see much use when you have six feet of snow. However, you can surround the playing area with creative shading to enjoy outdoor fun on the hottest summer days.
3. Organize Your Closets
Do you open your closet door only to have the contents spill out on your floor? You might think your home lacks storage space, which can let clutter accumulate. This situation hinders your focus and productivity as well as looking unkempt. When multiple visual stimuli compete for your attention, you have a more challenging time concentrating on anything.
Tame that pile of dirty clothes by investing in a laundry basket. If you don’t have a dresser, pick up some inexpensive three-drawer storage bins at your local home center for your socks and underwear. Install a second closet rod to double your space for hanging trousers and dress shirts.
4. Clean Out Your Basement
Do you still act like a scared little kid when you have to go into your basement? Reclaim that space and conquer your fears by sprucing it up. Get brutal with the items you store. Ask yourself two questions when sorting boxes — have I touched the contents in the past year, and do they have sentimental value? If the answer to both questions is no, don’t bother going through the individual objects within. Haul them off to your local donation center.
5. Shore up Your Attic
If you have enough space overhead, you don’t have to use it for storing holiday decor only. If the ceiling in your attic is higher than 7 feet 6 inches, you can convert it into another bedroom or office. The cost of the full project hinges on factors like whether you already have utility service or need to extend electrical, plumbing and HVAC.
6. Invest in Dividers
Do you dwell in a studio apartment? If you do, you know how interesting it can be to have your bed and dining room table sharing a space. One way to create an illusion of various “rooms” is to invest in folding dividers. You can also use this technique for shared home offices or children’s bedrooms.
7. Go Minimalist
Even a symphony hall can seem tiny if cluttered up with old trombones and drum sets. If you find yourself feeling a little trapped, the problem may be an obsession with buying more stuff.
Your home might not verge on “Hoarders” territory, but adopting minimalist principles can help small spaces appear roomier. Donate or sell what you don’t need or use, and consider each future purchase intentionally instead of impulse-buying.
8. Use Your Wall Space
Is your kitchen windowsill too cluttered with knick-knacks for your herb garden? Why not transform an old pallet into a planter box — you can often get these wooden gems for free at hardware stores. Instead of tossing your mail on the kitchen table, hang a combination organizer and key rack near your entrance. Build shelves in your garage to store your garden equipment and tools.
9. Look to the Ceiling
If you’re a budding Bobby Flay, you may resent the lack of cabinets in your kitchen for all your gourmet cooking gear. Invest in a hanging overhead pot rack to free up storage space for your air fryer and food processors.
Make the Most of a Small Home’s Empty Spaces With These Tips
If you have a small pad, you don’t need to wait until you can afford to upgrade to make more room. Use the nine tips above to maximize your living area at your current residence.