Growing families need growing spaces. But do you really have to move out and upsize every time your family expands? Is it possible to stay put and make the most out of the space you currently have? It may be more practical than you realize – and we’re going to show you how.
8 Ideas for Making More Space
Over the years, houses have gotten larger and the average household size has shrunk – yet we still seem to think we need bigger homes. What if the real solution to the need for more room is to maximize the space you already have? Believe it or not, there are plenty of methods and techniques you can use to get ahead.
Declutter and Purge
Before you do anything else, start by decluttering your home and removing the possessions that you don’t need or use. This will give you a blank slate to work with (and may even free up some significant space in key rooms). The 80/20 rule is a good principle to apply.
“When it comes to clothing, we generally only wear 20 percent of the clothes we own 80 percent of the time,” BudgetDumpster.com notes. “This rule tends to hold true for other things as well, such as video games, computer parts, books, DVDs, toys and more. Your mission is to get rid of the things you don’t use 80 percent of the time.”
There are plenty of decluttering methods, but the simplest method is to go room by room and separate everything into three piles: keep, donate/sell, and trash. Anything that doesn’t go in the keep pile should instantly find a new home – i.e. anywhere but yours.
Organize Your Stuff
Every item in your home should have a place. The more organized you are, the less you’ll feel like you’re crowded in by your stuff. Good organization utilizes closet space, shelves, cabinets, attic space, etc. If you’ve done a decent job of decluttering, this job will be fairly easy.
Make Rooms Multifunctional
Who says every room in your house has to serve one distinct purpose? Can’t you use rooms in multiple ways and reduce the amount of square footage you actually need? Here are some examples:
- Your home office doesn’t have to take up an entire bedroom. Install a Murphy bed or nice pullout sofa and you can use it as a guest bedroom, too.
- If you have a spacious laundry room, it could double as a craft room (or even a home office).
- Get your kids to share a bedroom by creating built-in loft beds with space to play and study underneath.
Whatever your lifestyle, there are plenty of ways to get creative and utilize shared spaces to make a smaller house functional. It’s not as difficult as most people think it is.
Finish Off Basement or Attic
If you have an unfinished basement or walk-in attic, the answer is pretty obvious: finish it and you instantly have more livable square footage.
The key with finishing previously unfinished space is to make it look like it’s original to the house. There was a period in the 1990s where a lot of people turned carports and garages into finished rooms. And while these spaces work, they don’t look right. When people go to sell their homes, buyers aren’t crazy about the aesthetic and it ends up hurting the value of the house.
If you’re going to make an addition to an existing house, it’s always easier and cheaper to build out than it is to build up. Consult with an architect and homebuilder to get a feel for the best way to expand your existing floor plan. If possible, you want to build into the backyard. This allows you to preserve the original curb appeal (and typically avoids any issues with setback rules and building codes).
Add a Backyard Shed
Do you have a large, private backyard? Adding a detached backyard shed can instantly give you more space without requiring any changes to your existing home.
While you may opt to use your backyard shed for storage, another idea is to make it an office, kid’s playroom, or bunkhouse for guests. Companies like Studio Shed, Tuffshed, and Kanga Room Systems specialize in building luxury sheds for residential use. They can match the siding of your home, run electrical and plumbing, and get you set up for heating and cooling. People who work from home should definitely consider this!
Use Multifunctional Furniture
Any time you can use multifunctional furniture, you should. Whether it’s a kitchen table with built-in storage underneath or nesting tables that can easily be organized to account for your changing needs, versatile pieces free up space and give you room to breathe.
Give the Illusion of More Space
Do you actually need more space? Or do you just feel like you’re cramped? In most cases it’s the latter. And the good news is that you can create the illusion of more space without having to knock down any walls or put your house on the market. One trick is to use mirrors.
“Mirrors reflect light, which can make a living space feel more airy and spacious,” Shark Clean explains. “And because you’re reflecting the existing space in a room, you’re adding depth. The odd ceiling-to-floor mirror placed strategically around a room can completely transform it in an instant. Wherever possible, place a mirror opposite a window to harness natural light.”
Other solutions include using a light, monochrome color scheme (preferably white), leaving large expanses of floor space uncovered, and letting in lots of natural light.
Buy and Sell With Green Residential
At Green Residential, we believe that buying and selling real estate doesn’t have to be a complicated or contentious process. With over 30 years of experience in the Houston area, we’re proud to offer our clients the expertise and attention to detail that they deserve. If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to buy or sell a home, we’d be happy to help. Give us a call today!