Make the Most of a Small Living Space - Part 2
19 Tips for Clearing, Saving, Finding and Expanding Your Space (Continued)
Keep your windows uncovered
. Streaming sunlight adds a feeling of freshness and openness to any room. Move any piece of furniture that might block the sunlight's entrance aside, and if you have curtains, install an extra-long rod so they can be pulled completely away from the window.
Add large wall mirrors to your living room or bedrooms
. Mirrors are like windows that open into entirely new (albeit imaginary) rooms. The expansive effects of mirroring are especially pronounced if you install them so they can reflect direct sunlight for at least part of the day.
Build one or two storage ottomans for your living room
. Storage Ottomans are easy and inexpensive to construct and make an ideal storage area for blankets, pillows, magazines, TV remote controls, kids' toys and any other items you might use in the living room but don't want to leave sitting around.
Put a fold-out sofa, futon or air mattress in your guest room instead of a conventional bed
. Since you only have guests occasionally, why not choose a sleeping option that you can fold up or put away at any time? If you'd like you can use the guest room as a den or office when you don't have houseguests.
Purchase a medium-sized, L-shaped couch for your living room and don't add chairs
. In smaller homes, it is best to go with just one form of seating for your living room instead of a whole living room set. It preserves open floor space and prevents furniture from overwhelming the room.
Remove interior doors that separate the living room, dining room, and kitchen
. It's easier to move around in interconnected spaces, and they feel and look bigger. You may want to consider removing the doors from your kitchen cabinets, changing to an open-shelved appearance that will make the room seem more spacious.
Rent a small off-site storage unit
. These units can be pricey if you rent something too large, but a small unit located close to your home shouldn't be too expensive. Anything that you rarely use or only use during certain times of the year can be kept there, along with personal mementos and various non-essential items.
Become an active seller on Craigslist
. You'll be much more motivated to get rid of items you don't need if you know you can make some money from them. Try to avoid becoming a buyer on Craigslist, though—that will defeat the whole purpose of decluttering.
Watch documentaries and read articles about tiny houses and the tiny house movement
. There are a whole group of people who've perfected the art of living in tiny houses sized 500 square feet or smaller. They are experts at space reduction and efficiency, and if you study what they're doing, you're bound to pick up a few good ideas.
Efficiency Gives You Room to Grow as it Grows Your Rooms
You can implement a few of these suggestions or all of them. Either way, your mindset will change as you change your expectations, and once the transformation is complete, you'll never stop looking for opportunities to make your home more pleasant, attractive, comfortable and livable.