It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a big or small space, everyone deserves to have a space which they can call their own. Usually if the space is small it tends to get cluttered faster than living in a bigger space. So by making clever use of space, also in an economic and creative way, any space can work for you.
In general a smaller space uses less energy to heat and cool, because there is simply less space, so in effect it is also better for the environment because you have a smaller carbon footprint. BUT… it isn’t as simple as that, because the amount of energy your space uses also depends on the type of appliances and insulation you have and how you use it.
A clever way to regulate energy levels daily is to install a wireless device in your house that measures the energy levels used in your normal day-to-day living. Because it is wireless and portable you can take it with you and walk around the house to observe the impact of switching appliances on and off. You’ll be surprised what uses the most!
Five tips to use space in a better way:
But I’m getting distracted, this blog is about better use of spaces. So, with regards on how to use space (especially small spaces) well, without it feeling cluttered, cramped and unworkable, here are five tips to help:
- Use the wall space: Get items off the floor and make use of clever shelving, hooks and pegs. Shelves above the doors or higher up will make use of otherwise wasted wall space. Be creative how you can store things on the walls instead of the floor. By hanging colourful items like scarves and jewellery on the walls makes also for an interesting and colourful display!
- Invest in clever furniture. These days you can find a huge selection of furniture that can either fold away or transform into something bigger and then smaller again, all to fit your space. I am thinking about dining tables where some have extra leaves that can make the table seat almost double the amount of people, and also table leaves that can fold away. Another clever idea are slimline side tables that can be used in narrow hallways or small bedrooms. And don’t forget bunk beds, drawers underneath beds or window seats for extra storage which allows room for any extra toys, books or linen. A fold-down table top with legs that screw on and off, is also very handy when you need the extra floor space.
- Separate zones in one room. Often one room has more than one function in your house/flat/apartment. For example your living space might also be the dining room and perhaps a play area for children or a television room. You can zone these areas by arranging furniture in such a way that the area is only for that one purpose. Ikea has a fabulous range of shelving units (Kallax) which can be used as a room divider as well.
- Sofas and chairs that are raised off the ground create a lighter and less solid effect while a round table takes up less space than a square one in a small eating area or dining room. Again, some tables have a swing top that will fold into a vertical panel so you can store it against a wall.
- Declutter constantly. It doesn’t matter if you live in a small or bigger space, you will eventually become aware of clutter. That is if you are prone to clutter. Well, I am and I can assure you if you’re not careful not only does your living space become cluttered, but your life will also become chaotic if there is a constant clutter around you. So, be smart about buying things. Think before you buy – do you need it and where will you store it? The thinking should be that because you do not have extra room for clutter there will be less temptation to buy more, so keep to that. Also, if you declutter constantly, you’re staying on top of it. Have a garage sale, donate to local charity shops and keep an eye out for a garden fair where there is always a need for second-hand items.
Enjoy your space, whatever the size, and be creative! Think before you buy, it is good for you and our planet as well.