House hacks: solving big problems that come with small space

  • 30 October 2018 | Tumelo Buthelezi

It can be frustrating when when you run out of space to incorporate new designs in your home. However, don’t let small rooms confine your thinking.

Make the change from cluttered to cosy with these smart tips on organising your space and making your home feel biggers.

Get rid of what you don’t need

The best place to start is with the obvious: let go of the unnecessary stuff. Clutter is the quickest way to make a room feel smaller. Take a look around and try to decide what you no longer need. The items you are prepared to part ways with can either be donated to the less fortunate or sold at second-hand stores to make you some extra money.

The “less is more” mentality can help free up space. Instead of multiple decorative pieces in one room, try going with a single bigger piece that makes a striking statement.

Play with light and mirrors

Maximise access to natural light in order to make your small room feel and seem bigger. If you don’t have much access to this type of light, be creative with lighting fixtures to open up the interior and make it more inviting.

Leave the window sills clear so the sun can come in and brighten your space. Also choose vividly coloured items when decorating and hang a large mirror, which will give the illusion of depth by having a “multiplier” effect that will make the space feel larger and airier.

Get multitasking furniture

Buy small-space multipurpose furniture to help solve your problems. Solutions can be as simple as finding a convertible sofa bed; purchasing a coffee table that can also double as storage space; or getting a bed with drawers in the base where you can store the bed linen that would normally take up space in a cupboard.

Not only is multipurpose furniture versatile in terms of style, it’s also adaptable if you move to a new place. Remember to go the minimalist route and only buy what you need.

Use your walls

You might be able to use portions of your walls to help create extra space with simple-to-install wall hooks, allowing you to hang hats, towels, bags and kitchen utensils. Installing floating shelves will also help you organise your books and gadgets in an orderly manner.

The nicest thing about creative solutions such as floating shelves is that they fit almost anywhere. It’s easy to place them over bookcases, over the sofa or even over doorways. So why get a television stand when you can mount your screen on the wall? Have the media console hang in the living room to gain even more floor space.

Keep the space neat

Even the smallest mess can make a cramped house look a lot tinier. Make sure your home is always neat and tidy by picking up after yourself. Keep the floor as clear as possible and the smaller accessories nicely organised and out of sight. Keep the decor to a minimum with a few eye-catching features.

While it can be quite a challenge to find room for all your stuff in a small apartment, it gives you an opportunity to look at all your possessions and get rid of non-essentials to minimise clutter.

So, make every piece of furniture count, get double-duty furniture and keep the place clean.