Most of us spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about how much (or how little) space we have in our homes. Thanks to kids, toys, and general mess, it often feels as if we hardly have any space at all. How many times have you said to yourself that you’d be organized, if only you had more space to work with? Too many times to count, no doubt.
What’s more, too much mess and a lack of space can have us pulling our hair out. According to Dr. Sherrie Bourg writing in Psychology Today, clutter plays a big role in how we feel about our homes and workplaces. Too much clutter and mess, she says, can leave us feeling anxious and helpless. Yet, she says, we rarely recognize clutter as being a significant source of stress in our lives, instead blaming our families or our children for how we feel. The problem with mess is that it overloads our brains with too many stimuli, and reminds us of the fact that we have unfinished work. This, in turn, can even make us feel guilty. Yikes.
So, as a result, we need to do something about it. Check out these smart ideas to free up space and make your home feel cozier.
Sue Anderson is the curator of the lifestyle blog, We’re Not Martha. Her advice is to work with verticals, where ever you can. That could mean installing a tall bookshelf here or putting in high shelves. The purpose of this is to open up space for foot traffic, the most important factor leading to a sense of space. She suggests putting the things that you use the least high up, like tools for instance, and then keeping the stuff you regularly use lower down. It’s certainly a better solution that shoving everything in the back of the closet.
If you’re honest, you don’t use most of the stuff that’s littering your house on a regular basis. But for some reason, perhaps because it cost you a lot at the time, you don’t want to throw it away. You've thought about putting it all in storage, but you’re worried about how you’d get it back if you ever needed it. The trick here is to find a storage company that is flexible. Modern storage has come a long way in the last few years. Your stuff isn’t just thrown in a big shipping container and left to rot. Instead, each item is labeled, stored on a computer, and can be accessed at a moment’s notice. If your kid suddenly wants to play with that big cuddly toy, they haven’t thought about for years, no problem.
Use Multipurpose Furniture--
Lifestyle blogger Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar has some simple advice for people who don’t have enough space: get rid of half of your furniture and replace is with something that is multipurpose.
There’s no point, he says, in having both a coffee table and a cabinet in your living room. Both of those items of furniture can be consolidated into one item, the coffee table that doubles as a storage unit. The same goes for other types of tables around your home, like bedside tables.