As a real estate agent, I see many homes that could have sold faster had they used their small square footage to good organizational use.
Many had this problem while in university: small space, even smaller budget. This was something we all learned to skirt around, by taking in second-hand items and using milk crates as if they were mahogany entertainment units. It’s something, although ‘chic’ in its own way, we are sure we never want to repeat again.
But, with the rising house prices, and smaller than usual condos being built in every big city around the world, small spaces are here to stay…whether we like it or not.
Our design, however, does not have to stay in the days where Kraft Dinner could be happily eaten for every meal. Here, is the first of many installments of a grown-up’s guide to small budget living:
Many buyers, especially women, end up having a hard time finding a home that they like in their price range and location with the large closets that they so desire. This can lead to frustration and disappointment as you schlep to house after house, hoping that one will have everything you have ever dreamed of. Which, will probably be a false hope if your budget isn’t in the $400’s and up.
What’s a girl with hundreds of shoes to do? Downsize her apparel? Nonsense! There are a few ways to get exactly what you want out of an older home with limited closet space, all you have to do is be a little creative.
1. Spare bedroom, anyone?
With marriages starting off later and later in life, a lot of young professionals are out there looking for a house or condo by themselves. A lot of houses and condos come with two or more bedrooms. Sure, it’s great to have a spare bedroom when out-of-town friends come to visit, but how often will this occur? Spare bedrooms can be the gateway to your walk-in closet dreams.
Adding closet organizers along the walls (or rolling racks work just as great and come with easy storage), shoe racks or shelves, a mirror and maybe a chair to add extra space could make your second room into a glamorous closet. Still not sold on the idea of not having a second bedroom for guests? A day bed can be easily added for a cute touch and versatility.
2. Organization is key
Small closet? No closet? Organization is the big must-have with small spaces. Clutter only makes the room feel even smaller, giving yourself and all your friends a massive headache when walking in. A rolling rack that you can put downstairs, or wherever your storage may be, for winter items in summer and summer items in winter is perfect for adding extra space to your main closet.
For people with zero or minimal closet space, installing a closet organizer or adding rolling racks in a corner of the room can add superior hanging space, while taking up a small area.
No space for a large dresser? Invest in wire cubes – these can be put together and stacked up to any height or width. You can continuously add to the shape of your ‘dresser’ at anytime. Add cute baskets for tanks, pj’s, intimates or skirts to make the cubes a little less Garage Chic.
3. Shelves, shelves, shelves
The best thing about shelves is that they can go up, up and up. Installing shelving along the ceiling of your room in a nice deep wood, or a crisp white can solve your space issues and add a little pop to your decor.
The 360 shelving is perfect for books, pictures and knick-knacks. Love shoes? Add your favourite pairs to the corners to show-case them.
Taking an entire wall and adding shelves for books, shoes, and decor is great when there’s limited width in the room for any full shelving units that would usually take up twice the space – and twice the budget.