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How To Maximize Small Spaces
Dated: February 19 2021
It’s been almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our lives, with many people having to adjust to working from home for the foreseeable future. For people residing in large homes, it may have been fairly painless to transform a guest room or basement into a home office. However, those living in a smaller space (or those forced to downsize due to financial concerns) have faced a different set of challenges when trying to create a usable workspace. In addition, stay-at-home orders mean that we have all been spending much more time at home than we ever have before.
However, anyone who lived in an apartment or condo (or those forced to downsize due to financial concerns), has faced a different set of challenges when trying to create a usable workspace. In addition, stay-at-home orders have meant that we are all spending much more time at home than we ever have before.
As we enter year two of the pandemic, what have we learned about how to best maximize small spaces and organize our homes to make staying at home as comfortable and functional as possible?
Assess Your Space
The first thing to do is make an honest inventory of any problem areas in your home. If you have spaces that are cluttered or messy, consider how they can be reconfigured and utilized to maximum advantage.
You may also want to completely rethink how you use the rooms in your home. There is no longer a need to have a formal dining or sitting room that goes unused when you are trying to make the most of the space you have.
Designate A Workspace
If you need a home office setup, look for an area that is relatively quiet. Put up physical boundaries that will separate it from the rest of the house. It’s a good idea to keep your work life from your non-work life, especially when working from home. It’s even more important to establish boundaries if you live in a small space or if you share your home with a partner, kids, other family members, or roommates.
If you can’t use a closed door as a “do not disturb” signal, find other ways of letting people know that you are working and can’t be interrupted, like a portable room divider or a shared bulletin board that indicates work hours. Resist the urge to eat lunch while working. At the very least, it will give your brain some time to reset and will allow you to go back to work refreshed, even if you’re just moving from one room or table to another.
Multifunctional Furniture and Storage
As tempting as that large living room sectional may be, look for furniture that’s scaled to the room, particularly when space is limited. There are many different types of sofas, beds, coffee tables, benches, desks, ottomans, and other pieces of furniture that include storage.
Consider that some pieces of furniture could be used for more than one thing. A dining room table, for example, can be your desk during work hours. Instead of a big, bulky office chair, find one with a sleek design that can be tucked away or also used as a dining chair.
When you run out of floor space, go vertical. Add drawers, shelves, and bins from floor to ceiling and get the most out of your home. Invest in shelving units that can be installed inside of closets to ensure that no space is wasted. And don’t forget about storage under the bed or sofa, especially for items that are used less frequently.
When space is at a premium, it’s even more important to ensure that you keep clutter at bay, especially in your work area. This can also be a great way to find hidden storage in your home. Junk drawers, junk closets, or even rooms filled with things you’re keeping “just in case” can be decluttered and reconfigured to be utilized in more practical ways.
While decluttering is important, don’t go overboard and completely depersonalize your home. If you’re going to be stuck at home, you might as well enjoy it. Resist the urge to get rid of everything. It’s more important than ever that your home feels like your sanctuary.
Create Visual Interest
Even in small spaces, you can be creative in finding ways to make your living space feel beautiful and inspiring. Decorate your windows with plants. Hang curtains strategically to give the appearance of higher ceilings. Add mirrors to provide the illusion of a larger space.
Layers of space can be another way to make your home cosy and inviting. You can add translucent blinds or screens to windows or use room dividers to give dimension to an area.