Cleaning

Create Space In Your Crowded Home

We are currently a family of 5, soon to be 6. Once our baby has arrived in September, I will share a house with 4 kids under the age of 6. Toys, school books, clothes are found all over our home. We live in a 3 bed home… space is tight.

One of our stunning vintage tablecloths that was given to us.
One of our stunning vintage tablecloths that was given to us.

Something about having a large family means you often struggle to find space at home. This can be the kind of thing that soon becomes surprisingly stressful, and it is always worth knowing how you can make that situation better for yourself and everyone else at home. As it turns out, the creation of space in even the most cluttered and crowded of homes is not actually all that difficult. So long as you are prepared to follow a few basic rules, you will find that you can easily make your home as spacious as you need it to be.

Double Up

In all likelihood, there will be certain items around the home which you could probably easily double up on their usage. We are talking about those things which could easily serve more than one purpose. Finding what those are, and thinking of unique solutions for how you might be able to double up their usage, can be a profound first step towards creating a more spacious home.

Let’s look at the bathroom to begin with, a space which is often prone to feeling cramped. Even the smallest bathrooms can feel bigger by using items such as the shower baths found at www.drench.co.uk and other similar suppliers. Similarly, investing in the kind of storage space that can also be used as furniture can really make a huge difference here. I recently discovered that stacking plastic boxes in the airing cupboard, allowed me to keep bedding in an easy to reach, and organised manner.

airingcupboardspacesaving

Find slim storage boxes to go under beds and make use of wall space with shelving. Think ‘up’ and you can easily double your storage space, thanks to your walls and ceilings. I have even seen people adapting bath panels with sliding doors, for storage under the bath!

Reduce Items

You will probably find that once you start to look around, your home is full of things you don’t entirely have use for. Many items are bought on impulse and never used. If you feel that this is true for your home, then it is worth thinking about what items you might be able to do away with.

Look at what furniture you have, particularly in the communal or living areas. Are there too many chairs or sofas? Getting rid of even one of these can make an immediate difference to how at home you feel, and how much space there appears to be in the living space. When you reduce the actual number of items in this way, you are physically changing the space for the better, creating a more relaxed and luxurious home for all.

I live from a minimalist wardrobe, and what clothes I don’t keep for the girls to hand-down to their sisters, I donate to my local nursery as spare clothes. I regularly go through cupboards and draws and anything that we haven’t used, worn or even thought about in the last 6 months, gets passed on to charity shops. I try not to bin anything that I think others could make use from.

lanidng

Play With Lighting

Any decent interior designer will tell you that it is all about the lighting- not that I actually have any experience in interior design! For the uninitiated, it can sometimes seem impossible that playing around with the lighting can make that much difference. But once you start to experiment with the lighting around your home, you will find that it is actually quite profound as a tool for creating the illusion or feeling of space. Using tips found at http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-home-lightning-ideas/ can make a huge difference. Accessorise the space with many smaller lighting option, rather than one flat overhead light. Also consider facing them in many different angles, essentially creating pockets of space throughout the home. If you are able to do this in every major room, you might even feel that you have done enough to make your home feel considerably more spacious. If there is still more to be done, then one other thing you might do is use mirrors strategically placed to create something of an illusion of extra space.

But my home…

I quite often surprise people when they see my home. I do like to only hang onto to things I use and clothes that I wear. I don’t like piles of clutter. But, my home seems to feel very cluttered all of the time. It may be because we have so many people in such a small space, but as long as my floors are clear, I am genuinely quite happy. I collect antique furniture and my house somewhat resembles a living museum. It is a working home, and with working homes come with much lived-in mess. My house shall never be a show home. Our walls are filled with books, and the kids art work is stuck all over the kitchen… but it’s my version of happiness.

bookshelf

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 young daughters, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting brands.

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2 Comments

  1. Pete says:

    I think that creating space needs to be a practical thing sometimes and it needs a rounded approach rather than doing little things here and there, you can also save yourself a lot of time with more permanent solutions. With the kids and all the toys and clothes we found we were drowning in clutter recently and had to do something about the situation. We decided to go for fitted furniture in all the bedrooms (including ours) so everything had an appropriate home. We had a team from http://www.sharps.co.uk/ come in and install fitted bedrooms and it has changed everything for us. We’ve now got a home for everything and that’s been great as it stops the house getting insanely cluttered every few weeks.

  2. Pete says:

    I think that creating space needs to be a practical thing sometimes and it needs a rounded approach rather than doing little things here and there, you can also save yourself a lot of time with more permanent solutions. With the kids and all the toys and clothes we found we were drowning in clutter recently and had to do something about the situation. We decided to go for fitted furniture in all the bedrooms (including ours) so everything had an appropriate home. We had a team from http://www.sharps.co.uk/ come in and install fitted bedrooms and it has changed everything for us. We’ve now got a home for everything and that’s been great as it stops the house getting insanely cluttered every few weeks.

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