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Five space-creating hacks that will change the way you use your house

Spacious living area.resize

Sometimes life happens; a surprise baby number three, a parent or sibling that needs to move into your home for a while, or maybe you’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to start your business from home.  Now you need an extra room your house just does not have.

Chances are that, even though you need the space, you probably are not able to move to a bigger house right now. The good news is that there are things you can do to miraculously conjure the space you need.

Here are five of the best space-creating tips:

#1 Clean and minimiseMinimalist room

The best way to really create more space is to take a long hard look at all you’ve accumulated and then get rid of most of it. Declutter your home, and life, and you will be amazed at the freedom that comes with it.

The 100 things challenge advocates cutting down on all the unnecessary things and getting by with just 100 things. That might seem a little extreme, if the thought of getting rid of all but 100 things gives you anxiety, start small.

Take a look at your kids‘ rooms; do they really need all those toys? If they are old enough you can involve them in the process; let them pick the things they want to bless others with and take them with when you drop the toys off.

It’s easy getting rid of your kid’s stuff, may be a different story if it’s your guitar you never use anymore, the golf clubs and mountain biking equipment you’ve been meaning to use, or the priceless stash of collectables you’ve been lugging around with you since childhood. The trick here is to remember the money you can make. Sell these white elephants and use it to spruce up the space you’ve just created!

#2 Become the master of clever storage optionsClever storage in bedroom

Another space-creating tip for a child’s room is rotating toys. Put most toys in storage and rotate the toys. It creates more space, less clutter. Suddenly your kids can share a room and you have a nursery or office!

There are so many clever furniture options out there. Ottomans or coffee tables doubling as storage for books, games and other electronics or extra seating when you need it. Take another look at unused spaces in your home, like the area under the stairs. This space can easily be used as a bookcase or pantry if closed up.

#3 Divide and conquer spaceNice storage shelves

In the quest for more space you may be left with no other option but to use one room for multiple purposes. In this case a room divider is probably a good item to have on your shopping list. Opt for dividers that will double as shelving. This will leave you with extra storage/display space while giving a room more than one use.

#4 Take another look at your garageorganised garage

If you are in need of extra space you need to take a serious look at your garage, if you are lucky enough to have one.

The drastic step is converting it into the space you need, be it an office or granny flat/extra living space. This decision is obviously one that will require a financial as well as time investment from your side. You need to find contractors that you can trust and have the time available to monitor the conversion.

The other option is improving storage options in your garage. Organise the content and make sure that you need everything in the space, sell or donate what you do not need and ensure that the equipment you keep is stored in the best possible way.

It may be worth your while to invest in additional shelving in the garage or buy a small shed that can be used for gardening and other tools instead of storing them in the garage.

#5 Do a “things exchange” with friends and familyBaby room

Instead of selling things; baby equipment, mountain biking equipment, whatever it is that may be taking up space in your home unused, start an exchange with friends and family.

Women have been doing it for ages with clothes. Exchanging wardrobe items to have a whole new look at no cost. Why not do it with other space-stealing equipment.

Your friends’ toddler may be growing out of his cot and you’re expecting a new born. Instead of buying a cot consider taking in their cot. They might have use for your mountain biking equipment that needs to go to make space for the nursery. Two years from now you can give them their cot back and take up your biking hobby again while they wait for their second one to be born.

By using the things-exchange method your circle of family and friends not only reduce the things you use collectively, you also create more space in each home!

Great ways to maximise space in small homes

Let us know on mariette@hometimes.co.za if you have any space-saving tips and tricks that have worked for you. We’d love to see some photos of how you magically created space where there seemingly was none!


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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