Cramped and Cranky? You Need To Make More Space In Your Home!

The problem we have is that families grow, but houses stay the same. For this reason, a house that was perfect for you and your partner ten years ago can be a nightmare now. With the addition of kids, pets, maybe even a relative that you care for- you can find yourself in the midst of a mad house. If you’re starting to feel like there’s no room to manoeuvre it’s time to take action, here’s how you can make more space in your home.

Declutter and Reorganise

Decluttering is key!

When there are new things coming into the home all the time, it’s easy to end up with lots of items that are redundant and sit in cupboards and drawers taking up precious space. If you’re serious about keeping a spacious and organised home you have to be brutal with what you keep. Regularly go through clothes, toys, books, homeware items and anything else getting rid of what no longer gets used. You could donate to charity shops, give to friends or throw away anything that’s past its best. You might think that selling items, especially in bulk will be a hassle but companies like Shiply this make it pretty easy. Once your items have sold, it’s a cheap way to get them to their buyer.

Start small. Organise kitchen cupboards and draws first. Then tackle your wardrobes (including what’s being dumped on top of them!) then continue to reduce what you won around your home piece by piece. Dedicate just 1/2 and hour per day to doing a little declutter. You will be surprised at how much stuff you no longer use or need. We decided to halve what we own, and the results were incredible! You can read more about our personal challenge with clutter here.

Find Good Storage Solutions

Once you’ve whittled down the items that you have in the home, the trick is to implement storage systems that work. Built in wardrobes are very useful as you get floor to ceiling storage, and they can be made as deep or shallow as you like so perfect for most rooms. They can also be built around any awkward nooks and crannies or odd ceiling slopes where normal furniture would look bulky and odd. Use drawer dividers, storage bins and baskets, shelves, under bed boxes and more. Everything will have a place, you’ll know where things are and it helps you to avoid the cluttered chaos that can arise in the average home.

We recently swapped bedrooms with our daughters. They took the master room, while we took one of the smaller rooms. We don’t own many clothes, but our tiny wardrobe looks a little odd, with the rest of our bedroom décor. We’ve wanted fitted wardrobes for a while now, so they are high up on our priority list.

Extend

If you’re really lacking in space and are in need of more (or larger) rooms, and you don’t want to move house, your only option is to extend. A traditional two storey brick built extension could extend your living room or kitchen downstairs while adding a bedroom upstairs. But this isn’t your only option. You could add a conservatory or orangery to the home as a dining room, which would free up space in the living room or kitchen. It could also be used as a playroom or teenage hangout. It will be cheaper and quicker to build than a traditional extension too. You could extend down into the basement or up into the loft, or even have a garden room built. This would make an ideal guest bedroom, home office or study room. They’re fully insulated so act as a normal room just separate to the house. They usually don’t require planning permission and are fast to build. A good choice if you need an extra room in your home.

Get Your Kids Involved In DIY

Renovating and decorating your family home can be a really fun project to do, with picking out paint and wallpaper, buying new furniture and getting stuck into the job. But it can also be a great opportunity to teach the kids how to do things around the house, and they may even want to help you choose new furniture and colours for the walls.

Getting the kids involved in your DIY projects can be a fun game for them, but will also teach them useful skills for later on in life when they have their own homes.

Tools for The Kids

You can actually buy child-size tools from online retailers which will allow you to teach your kids how to use tools for a range of tasks. Stick to cheap options though in case they break. You can teach your child to be handy with a screwdriver and pliers from an early age so that it becomes natural to them later on.

Learning to hammer

Find yourself a piece of scrap wood and give your child a hammer. They’ll love whacking nails into the wood and playing around with it. Chunky and large cut logs are great for kids to knock nails into! Kids will spend ages figuring out how to successfully use a hammer, giving you time to get your own DIY jobs done at the same time!

Driving screws

To teach your kids how use an electric screwdriver, you can get a piece of drywall and start practicing putting some screws in there. Then let your kids have a go at driving them into the wall. Drywall is easier to screw into than wood so it will be a better place to start.

Sawing practice

Foam core is the best way to teach your kids how to use a saw. Simply put a strip in your vice, and let the kids saw it into strips. It is easier to cut through than wood so is a great place to start. Huge wood saws may seem quite scary so offer a small blunt hack saw to get them started.

Don’t do it for them

Let your children make mistakes, it is the only way that they will learn to get it right for themselves. Stand back, and leave your children to it. Trust your child’s ability to learn and build up skill on their own. I may be scary to see them try something new and tricky, your children will be learning to perfect their motor skills. They shall also be learning useful problem solving skills.

Workbenches for kids

You can buy child size workbenches just as you can with tools, so invest in one for your child so that they can work at their own height. It will make working with tools much easier for them and they will be more motivated to try things out and see if they can build something themselves.

Teach your children basic safety rules

You follow a basic set of rules and guideline when you work in order to keep yourself safe, so make sure your kids do too.

  •         Always wear safety glasses.
  •         Tie up long hair.
  •         Wear closed-toe shoes.
  •         Clean up after each work period.
  •         Using a saw: clamp the wood into a vice and always saw with both hands to prevent an accident.

Recycle and Repurpose

If you find that you have a piece of furniture such as a shelving unit to get rid of, give it to your child. Let them take the whole thing apart and play around with tools and paint, and maybe even create something completely new. Your child will learn in a practical way and be proud of what they have created afterwards. It will spur them on and make them feel good, plus it saves you a trip to the rubbish dump (and shall keep them entertained for a few hours!)

Design Their Own Bedroom

Once you have taught your child all of these practical skills and allowed them to put their skills to use, you might want to let your child loose on their own bedroom to really get their creative juices flowing. Tell your child that you are planning on redecorating, and let them draw out a plan of what they want in their room and what colours they want to use. It will mean that they can control their own bedroom and also help you to redecorate the space. It will be a fun project for both of you and will bring you closer together.

Wallpapering

One of the most annoying parts of decorating is wallpapering. First of all, you’ll need to remove the old wallpaper with a steam chisel or by using a bucket of water to dampen the wall and a chisel to remove the paper. Get the kids involved to save the time and teach them how to remove wallpaper, and then comes the fun part.

When wallpapering, if you are using a patterned paper you’ll not only need to measure, but also line up the pattern. Show your child how to do it with the first few strips, and show them to cut the paper and spread paste onto it, and then let them take over. You’ll be the one actually hanging the wallpaper, but your child will be learning everything else. In time, you may even teach them how to hang the wallpaper and get rid of bubbles.

Pinterest Crafts

Pinterest is full to the brim of amazing crafts that you and your children can do together. If you want to add some finishing touches to your living room, making your own DIY cushions with old fabric can be a fun way to teach your child how to sew. Or maybe even making some wall art to hang up in the family kitchen to show off your personality and add some colour into the space.

Kitchen Touches

If you feel like your kitchen needs an upgrade, you can visit the Tap Warehouse website to upgrade your taps, hang up the pots and pans and plant a small herb garden with you children. This will be a great opportunity to teach your kids about plants and how to look after them, you could even make it their job to keep the plants alive and watered. Having extra responsibility in the home will make your child feel more appreciated and will give them the necessary skills that they need later on in life.

Finishing Touches

Take your kids with you to a large furniture store like IKEA, and let them help you choose accessories for your home. It could be soft furnishings, candles, artwork or even vases. Once you are done, your child can place them around the house and feel a sense of pride in what they’ve done.