Is your garage packed to the rafters? Are your shed tools wondering why they’re sharing their home with a futon? If lofts are bursting at the seams with extraneous bits and bobs, it’s time to address the magpie mentality.
No matter how much space we have at our disposal, we always seem to be able to fill it. So before you start looking for a bigger house, consider these cheaper alternatives! In no time at all, you can transform your home into a minimalist’s paradise without increasing the mortgage.
Many of us are guilty of hoarding. Holding onto items that we no longer use or need. Sentiment decrees they remain in a forgotten corner gathering dust. We might not have squeezed our teddy bear for 30 years, but knowing snuffles is in the house somewhere gives us comfort! The older we get, the more ‘stuff’ we acquire. Either through overzealous shopping or inheritance, possessions ever increase. It’s time to de-clutter and free yourself from extraneous objects. Take a ruthless approach. Avoid undue sentimentality that could see you retaining objects unnecessarily. The best way to decide is to ask yourself these questions; Do I use it? Do I love it? Do I need it?
Sell your Goods to the Highest Bidder
You may be tempted to hang on to an item simply because it’s too good to throw away. Make money from your clutter by selling it. Do some research to find out how much it can realistically fetch. Anything of value sell through a designated auction house or reputable online equivalent. For items of little or no value, holding a one-off car boot sale is a fast way to rid you of unwanted paraphernalia. Avoid being greedy. And don’t haggle over price simply to avoid making the sale. You don’t want the item anymore. So any money you make will be a bonus.
Give to Charity
Charities welcome all manner of donations. From clothes to sofas, toys to crockery – all of it is welcomed by grateful not-for-profit organisations. If you choose to donate your unwanted possessions to charity, ensure your item is clean and in full working order. Tatty shoes, chipped mugs and jigsaws with missing pieces aren’t going to sell in a charity shop. For larger items such tables and sofas, arrange a suitable collection date and time with the charity in question.
Make a Donation
You may hold an item or collection of no real monetary value. However, consider if a museum could benefit from having it as part of their collection. Your once-loved possession could give visitors pleasure for many years to come.
Communities up and down the country hold tombolas and bring-and-buy sales to help raise money for a local cause. Offer any small items in good condition as prizes for local events. This will give you a sense of being part of your community while giving your item a new home.
For items that aren’t fit for resale or donation, consider whether they can be recycled. Recycling plants are dotted around the country, so there is likely to be one near you. Not all materials are suitable for recycling. So find out in advance whether your possessions are fit for purpose.
Use an External Storage Facility
You may decide to give your goods a temporary home. Maybe until a sale is agreed. Or perhaps to give you time to decide the fate of the family silver. There are lots of storage firms around the country who offer self storage solutions for reasons just like yours. With containers of differing sizes, your goods will be stored in safety for a duration of your choosing.
Arrange for Collection
Make arrangements to have your possessions removed from your home. Use the services of a professional removal firm if appropriate. This gives you peace of mind that your possessions are expertly handled and will reach their new home in one piece.
Put up Shelves
If you’re determined to keep your possessions, there are various ways to create space. Wall shelves are an inexpensive way of doing so. They hold small items while keeping the floor free from clutter. Be careful not to put shelves too high. It will make it difficult to dust and retrieve contents. They can also give the appearance of a reduced ceiling height. Position them so as not to cause bumped heads, shins or elbows! Consider the weight of the items you intend to store. You want to avoid bowing or collapsing shelves at all times. Remember, less is more.
Buy Multi-Purpose Furniture
There are lots of clever storage solutions on the market today. Indeed, designers meet the needs of space-strapped residences with innovative solutions. Under bed storage is a common example. So too, under sink storage perfect for small bathrooms and en-suites. Stylish hall benches with built-in storage for coats and shoes. Drop-leaf tables for compact kitchens. The choices abound!
Use Every Nook and Cranny
On the windowsill. On top of kitchen cabinets. There are lots of little areas around the home to store small bits and bobs. These areas can help keep floors free from detritus. However, beware of overladen worktops and surfaces. Although they may prevent items becoming tripping hazards, they will still make your home look cluttered. Cupboards, such as under the stairs or in the pantry, are better options. They keep things ‘in their place’ while removing them from your field of vision.
Employ Damage Limitation
Things squashed into drawers and cupboards will inevitably get damaged. Clothes become creased; over-stacked crockery gets chipped. When items are in the way stored in hallways or spare bedrooms, vacuum cleaners become the enemy. Be kind to your possessions. You didn’t buy them from a showroom cupboard. So consider it they are truly happy living there now.
Once you’ve got your space back, desist from filling it up again! Rather, adopt a minimalist approach instead. Rediscover room dimensions formerly reduced by oversized furniture and overflowing bookshelves. You’ll be surprised how light and airy your spaces become. Enjoy your home once again and luxuriate in the newfound space it affords you.