Somewhere deep down inside, we would all love a home with a huge kitchen, three different pantries and an endless kitchen island. Who wouldn’t love a living room that can fit as many couches as it could beds? The reality is that we don’t all live in the same universe as the characters of Friends, especially today–more and more people are vying for apartments, and rent is increasing as a result. Space is limited–and valuable.
Don’t think, however, that living in a small space means you have to suffer. There are some valuable things you can do to ensure that your home lacks none of the personality, comfort and enjoyment that you could similarly get with a larger space.
No space? Make space!
It’s been said thousands of times, but I’m going to reiterate it again: declutter, declutter, declutter. Have you ever heard of Andrew Hyde, the guy who reduced his possessions down to 15 items? Not only did he realize that he could live with a lot less, but he also learned that letting go of unnecessary physical possessions also relieved him of the emotional baggage he associated with them.
You obviously don’t have to get that drastic, but you can apply a Hyde-like philosophy to your own possessions–what do you absolutely need, and what could you do without? If you are living in a small space, it’s most essential to have clear and easily navigable walkways–otherwise you’ll look and feel as if you belong in an episode of Hoarders. As always, you can store unnecessary furniture and excess belongings in a self-storage unit.
Choose the appropriate furniture
You don’t have to get rid of that big sofa, but do you really need the accompanying big end tables? If you’re going to have one large piece of furniture, turn it into the centerpiece of the room, rather than cramming it in there with all the other huge pieces of furniture. Treat your large piece of furniture like the main attraction of the room, and furnish appropriately around it.
With small spaces, the flow of the room is most important, so don’t forget to arrange your furniture to allow for the most streamlined and efficient movement possible.
Use the walls
Mirrors are a great way to open up your rooms and give your home the illusion of having more space than it actually does. Work with your mirrors so that they reflect light, thus adding natural color that brightens and expands the smaller corners of your rooms. Floating shelves can also be lifesavers for organization and storage, as well as great ways to decorate and personalize your home without overcrowding the floor.
Jenny Zhang is a writer at SpareFoot, the online marketplace where you can find and reserve a self-storage unit with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals.