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Cost-Effective Space Saving: Advice for People in Small Homes
Whether you’re just starting out or downsizing to a smaller, more manageable space, making do with a small home that has limited storage space is a challenge. It forces you to economize, to emphasize budget-friendly strategies and find ways to get creative with your decor. Having minimal storage room means you have to create your own, which is a lot easier with efficient and attractive bins and containers that help you make the most of the square footage you have and look great at the same time. Watch for online offers and coupons so you don’t wind up busting your budget as you get organized. Here are a few budget-friendly ideas to help you get started.
Purge and Declutter
It’s a simple equation, but one that’s hard to argue with: the less you have, the less you have to store. This is one task that no one looks forward to, but decluttering will definitely get you headed in the right direction and put you in the downsizing frame of mind. It’s hard because everyone has “stuff” they just can’t seem to let go of.
Try to be as coldly objective as you possibly can. Go room by room, handle each object, and think carefully about whether it’s something you really need and want. If it helps, you can use a checklist to make sure you’ve covered everything. One good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it within the past year, just let it go. You don’t have to toss it all in the dumpster (nor should you), because much of what you no longer need can be donated to a charitable organization, sold in a yard sale, or given away to friends and relatives. It’s a good way of recycling what you don’t want anymore. Pick up some cheap bins or boxes to keep track of what’s going to stay and what’s been marked for removal.
Get Creative in the Garage and Basement
There are several obvious belongings that you probably already store in your garage or basement - like your tool chest and lawn equipment - but if your home is small, you’ll want to use these spaces for more than the basics. Consider using one or both of these rooms to house items you want to keep but don’t plan on using in the near future, such as old baby clothes and bulky luggage. HomeAdvisor’s list of storage ideas for these rooms offers tips like trying out the WASTE test before moving knick knacks into the basement and converting part of your garage into a mudroom to free up space inside your home.
The Well-Organized Closet
For many people, a well-organized closet is something of an art form. There are companies that are designed to help people make do with less closet space. Fortunately, you can do this yourself for little more than the cost of a few well-appointed supplies. Try thinking of closet space as something more than a place to hang clothes and keep shoes. Often, it’s also underutilized storage space. Add some pull-out shelving or a kid-sized chest of drawers, and you’ve officially maximized your available space. Remember to take advantage of online deals and sales to help save some money in the process. If there’s open space under the stairs, consider adding a cube unit for storing toys, excess clothing or shoes. You might also be able to install an additional wooden shelf (for the cost of a few nails and a board) in a closet for storing small items you want to keep but don’t have room for.
Remember that do-it-yourself plastic shelving that got you through dorm living in college? It’s as cheap and efficient today as it was then. You can use it for just about anything. It can add to your decor and make a nice visual element filled with your favorite books and a few attractive, aesthetically-pleasing houseplants, or you can use the space for board games and personal decorative items you don’t have space for anywhere else.
Go Up, Not Sideways
If you’re challenged by insufficient space in the bedrooms, add affordable bunk beds that have built-in storage drawers for clothing, along with vertical storage units to free up more space for your kids’ stuff (you’ll need it as they get older).
If you can embrace plastic storage items and enjoy the challenge of accessorizing them, you’ll love downsizing. Unburdening yourself of all that clutter is freeing, and it’s a great way to make a new start. There’s less to clean and less stuff to lose track of.
Article provided by Suzie Wilson from HappierHome.net.