Making the most of a small living space is something I feel I'm becoming more of a dab-hand at as the years go by. We've lived in our current home for almost 8 years now, and after moving in to what felt like a large space when we were a family of just 3...we now feel that we've seriously outgrown it as a family of 5!
As our children get older, they have naturally accumulated more and more "stuff" - something which is likely to keep becoming more of a problem as the years go by. But although moving home is on our radar as a long term goal, right now we don't want to deal with the hassle or the expense of it...so we try to make the living space work for us as best we can!
Over the last few months, we've been making a conscious effort to declutter our home - which has been beneficial in more ways than one as not only has it freed up our living space more and made for a more pleasant environment, but it's also helped to put some extra pennies in the savings pot as the more we declutter - the more we can sell items on at car boot sales!
As well as our decluttering efforts, we've been focusing our attention on utilising the space in our home more wisely by choosing storage solutions that allow us to maximise its potential. For example, instead of having dead space under beds and sofas - we choose ottoman-style options with built in storage, we purchase extra shelving to make full use of the wall space, we recently replaced our small chest of drawers in the bedroom with a taller grey chest of drawers etc.
I noticed recently that two areas I have neglected in our home makeovers are the bathroom and hallway, both of which had started to become cluttered with too much "stuff" and not enough smart storage.
Our bathroom cabinet was a small, waist height one with just two shelves - it was always too full and nothing was easy to find in there, plus we had no space for towel storage at all which meant we were using cupboards in other rooms for this purpose.
After browsing the options from the huge range of affordable furniture at Very, we decided to replace it with a much taller cabinet which took up the same space width-wise but used the previously dead space up to the ceiling too - we were able to transfer everything over from our last cabinet with plenty of space to spare for storing our towels. Our new bathroom cabinet has made such a difference and has freed up space elsewhere in the house too!
As for the hallway, we decided to do away with the coat stand we'd had since we moved in. It was so full of coats that it was starting to topple over fairly often, and it just made the hallway corner look messy....as did all of the abandoned shoes that everybody kicks off as soon as they walk through the front door!
We replaced it with this hallway storage unit which not only looks better, but it has ample hooks for storing our coats and a lift-up trunk for storing shoes too. The flat top allows for placement of storage baskets too which is really handy for things like umbrellas and hats...it's really helping to keep the hallway tidy and clutter free.
The final storage solution that we've introduced is a bit of a niche choice, but anyone who lives at the seaside like we do will understand why this item has made SUCH a difference to our lives already - we got ourselves a bin storage unit for our wheelie bin! You may think it a bit of a strange choice, the bin is outside after all...how much of an issue could it have been?! Well...let me tell you, our wheelie bin has been the bane of our lives for the last 7 years because what do you have to deal with when you live at the seaside?....Seagulls!
Every single day, no matter how hard we tried to deter and outsmart them, the seagulls would find a way to get into our rubbish and drag it all out, leaving trails of it all over the garden and all over the street. They even seem to know how to lift the lid of a wheelie bin, they are like something out of a horror movie!
Introducing this bin storage unit has meant that for the first time since moving here, we can put our rubbish in the bin and know that it stays there...because they can't lift the lid! It also looks far nicer than an unsightly wheelie bin and the easy-open front makes it simple to take the bin out for emptying too.
Of course the seagull problem is something all of our neighbours have to deal with too, and we've already noticed that two of them have purchased these storage units since we got ours - I think we've started a trend!
I'm really pleased with what a big difference these simple storage solutions have made to areas of our living space that had been a bit neglected, it really shows that a couple of small changes every now and then can make a big difference.
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