If you are beginning to feel crowded in your own home, it may be time for some creative maneuvering and clutter control organization. Not being able to get around easily or find what you are searching for in a reasonable period of time are signs that it is time to stop and evaluate your surroundings.
As more babies join a family, the best place to start your space-saving project may just be in the kids’ rooms. A few simple tricks may be all it takes to create more space without the huge expense of adding on to the house. Try to incorporate some of these ideas to see if they give more room:
• Buy inexpensive Yaffa blocks to create stackable storage in any room. These work especially well in corners and allow you to use the higher wall areas in a home.
• Locate an old bureau or chest of drawers, which has seen its last days, and remove the drawers. These might be found by placing a want ad on FreeCycle or perusing local thrift shops and yard sales. Buy flat castors at a home improvement shop and attach them to the drawers. Use these under kids’ beds to store toys, extra bedding, books, or any other objects that need a permanent home.
• Put hooks or shoe bags on the backs of all closet and bathroom doors. Use the pockets to organize supplies that might easily become scattered.
• Paint rooms in a new light color to heighten the perception of space.
• Use bar stools for any necessary seating in the room, including practice stations for musical instruments and study areas. They are portable and can be shifted around, pushed beneath a desk, or even moved into another room to create more space instantly.
Other areas of the family home may also lend themselves to a space makeover. Sometimes a few small changes in the living area or kitchen can make a big difference. These hints are some perennial favorites:
• Use large, decorative planters in the corners to hide toys, shoes, book bags, or purses.
• Keep several smaller baskets on tabletops for collecting change, remote controls, pens and pencils, stamps, or other household paraphernalia.
• Use larger baskets with lids as end tables so that the bottom of them can be used to store items that are rarely used around the household, such as seasonal decorations or blankets.
• Old trunks are great conversation pieces and can be painted whimsical colors, draped with a cloth which matches other colors in your upholstery and used to store almost anything. Check thrift stores for excellent prices and stack them if necessary.
• Use your own suitcases for storing linens or out-of-season clothing when you are not traveling.
Before purchasing any of the materials for these ideas, check with friends and neighbors who may have just what you need and be happy to clear their own attic or basement to help. Also, check the free section of Craig’s list frequently for items that are offered without charge.
Controlling clutter will not only make your home look tidier, it should make it easier to keep it clean, and make things easier to find. By implementing some of these suggestions and making sure all your possessions have a designated storage place they can be returned to, you should be able to bring some order to your household.
Helen has implemented most of these space-saving tips in her own home. She contributes to a website that sells inexpensive bar stools and enjoys sharing her ideas about home makeovers on a budget.
Be sure to check out our other great tips for getting organized on a budget.