Running Out Of Space? Here's How To Make More Room
It’s the first objection I get when I suggest moving an item somewhere else:
“Where should I put it? I don’t have space for it anywhere else!”
"But what am I going to do with the things that are already in there?"
Here’s something I’ve learned over the years:
EVERYTHING HAS A SOLUTION.
There's always a way to find more space.
It does, however, sometimes take a bit of time to come up with that solution. The space doesn't magically appear.
So let’s break down what your options are when you need more space. These are all things you can consider when you think you’ve run out of room. Take your time, look around and keep yourself open to new ideas.
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A. CHECK YOUR PRIME REAL ESTATE
This is the very first place I look when I’m stumped. Prime real estate are those areas of the room which are the easiest to get to. These are shelves and drawers within easy reach, not too high and in some cases even, not too low.
If there are any rules to this organising thing let it be this:
Prime real estate absolutely MUST be filled only with those items you need often.
More often than not, there is a section of prime real estate that has items that aren’t used often or are just random things that can easily go somewhere else. THIS should be your focus: working out what to do with these things so that more important items can use this spot instead.
Deciding what to do with those items usually involve a combination of the following options:
Option 1: Get rid of it.
There is always, always something you can get rid of, I guarantee it. Even if it just frees up a little bit of room, it is liberating. And decluttering actually is a bit addictive. Once you start, you get on a roll and it gets easier and easier.
After those items have been pared down, it will be a lot easier to deal with the next option:
Option 2: Re-house it.
Where else can these items go?
I know your first thought is going to be – there’s nowhere else to put it. But think on it for a few minutes. It doesn’t need to be handy or at least, it doesn’t need to be handy in this particular spot. It can go higher up, lower down or to a different room completely.
This might involve moving something else or decluttering items from somewhere else. (This is why organising a space has a knock on effect around the rest of the house.) But there is always somewhere else it can go, I guarantee it!
Option 3: Maximise your space.
Depending on what items and area you’re working on, you can do things like folding items differently so that you can fit more in, or storing items vertically instead of horizontally. There are more ideas further on in this post but they can all be considered in any space when you're looking for more room. Watch the video to see how folding these tablecloths differently gave us more room:
B. LOOK UP
Your best friend is vertical space and there are a number of different ways this can be incorporated:
1. Check for “air pockets”.
Air pockets is any unused or wasted space between shelves or in drawers. Ensuring you’re using up all that vertical space properly is a great way to maximise space without actually taking up any more room around the house.
Do this by using things like shelf risers, stacking drawers or boxes, tall, narrow containers or even adjusting shelves. When adjusting shelves, leave the largest gaps towards the top of the cupboard where you’re more likely to store items you don’t need to get to so often and where space is at less of a premium. You can fold items differently so that you end up fitting more in. And store as much as you can vertically.
(NOTE: Obsess over air pockets only if you've run out of room. You don't need to fill every inch of space if you have enough room for what you need.)
2. Inside of cupboards or back of doors.
This is the best spot to hang hooks for towels, robes, jewellery, accessories etc and free up valuable space. There are also small self-adhesive shelves or racks that can be used for other items that need a home.
3. Wall space.
Blank wall space can be utilised by using hooks, hanging floating shelves or even wall mounted cabinets.
I would suggest using this option only if all other space in the room is taken and the items you’re looking to house absolutely have to be in this room. This is because using up every inch of wall space can make a room feel stuffy and crowded, particularly if it’s storing clutter. Make sure the things you’re storing there are really things you love and need.
I’m going to repeat what I said earlier:
EVERYTHING HAS A SOLUTION.
You can always find more space around you by challenging the status quo and trying new things. No, it won’t magically appear but it WILL work.