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While grabbing some extra square footage is extremely desirable it also comes at a cost, something that most of us are unwilling to pay due to property prices and sky high rent charges. It may not be the three story townhouse you imagined but if you're living in a studio apartment, house share or dorm room you need to know how to make the most of the space you've got. Not to mention pulling out all the stops to create innovative and, quite frankly, ingenious storage solutions.
Many people believe that they need stacks of space to create well balanced, aesthetically pleasing living spaces but that's just not true. It’s entirely possible to fit everything you need in a thousand square feet or less, while still being able to move around freely. One of the best tips we can give you is to keep your things organised! Unlike in bigger buildings you don't have the luxury of being able to spread out, so if you do you'll end up constantly frustrated because you won't be able to find anything! You may need to do a quick sort through before you start and decide once and for all if you really need ten pairs of identical, ripped jeans?
Hide Stuff Under The Bed
We don't mean shove it all under there the way you did as a teenager when your mum asked you to tidy your room. Hide it under the bed in an under bed storage compartment that's perfect for winter clothes, books, shoes even paperwork while taking up no extra space. Sadly storage beds are expensive, if you're not willing to spend the cash you can either create your own DIY solution with boxes and baskets, or raise the bed frame and your Dunlopillo mattress up so that you've got extra room under the slats. Avoid having all your stuff on show by creating a valance, or fancy bed sheet that comes down to the floor. Then all you need to do when you want something is lift the sheet!
Consider A Wardrobe Wall
There are two ways you can achieve this storage solution, and both have their positives and negatives. Firstly, if you're living in your own, bought not rented apartment then you could consider built-in shelving or mirrored wardrobes that run the entire length of one wall. The plus side is you'll end up with stacks of extra storage space, however, be aware built-in's can't be moved around and they don't come cheap either. If you're renting somewhere another option is to buy a double, or even triple IKEA wardrobe tidy or freestanding zipped wardrobes that'll squash down when not in use. While admittedly these are clever places to store clothes and underwear, the material won't hold anything much heavier and they're kind of flimsy to start with.
Double Duty Furniture
Don't buy anything that isn't multifunctional as it transforms even the dullest piece of furniture into something worth having. Use storage cabinets instead of tables and desks. Choose round storage bins that'll squeeze into corners better than square ones and have a nightstand with shelves and cupboard space. Utilise every surface, even creating a DIY bookshelf by putting books and magazines on a window sill, or held in a magazine wall rack which frees up shelf space for ornaments. A swivel chair is better than a fixed one as its ergonomic design tends to make the base more flexible. Even the smallest of spaces can fit a couple of pieces of furniture if you think carefully enough about the layout.
Vacuum Pack Possessions
It may be an extreme solution, but for those of you who have more clothes than the entire sales floor at Debenhams then it may be worth your while. Vacuum packed clothing not only saves space, keeping garments free of dust and dirt while in storage but also gives you more space by shrinking items like sweaters, jeans and T-shirts that can be quite bulky. Why not make a quick mental inventory of what you're wearing? That way if you've not worn anything for a while, or it's not quite the season for strapless dresses vacuum packing them away will give you lots more room. Be careful when you are packing items away, always follow the directions on the packets and make sure not to stuff the storage space to the brim because they can explode.
Free Floating Rails
If your room contract allows you to put nails in then, you can design some free floating rails to hang clothes from. Not only does this give the space a bohemian Notting Hill loft vibe but it'll also free up some much-needed drawer space!
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