How to Find Extra Space in Your Home

By Ashley Wirgau on May, 19 2022
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Ashley Wirgau

Spring cleaning season is upon us, so as you’re working to declutter those nooks and crannies, why not spend a little extra time reorganizing?

One of the cheapest ways to grow your home is by better utilizing the space that you already have. Closets and cupboards start to overflow, basements and garages become holding tanks for forgotten junk, and the longer you’ve lived in your house, the worse it all becomes. Each passing year and holiday adds another layer of stuff, so take some time this season to reclaim your space.


Why Bother Organizing Your Home?

It’s just going to get messy again, right? Maybe not. When folks put in the effort to better organize their house, they tend to want to keep it that way. Items that have been given a proper home within the home have a better chance of making it back to their rightful place, helping to reduce clutter everywhere. By getting items up off of the floor, countertops, and other surfaces, a home automatically looks and feels larger – and who doesn’t want that?


Finding Function in Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans are still all the rage, and it seems they may never go out of style. But those spacious layouts can cause problems when it comes to maintaining a well-organized residence. With fewer places to hang shelving and less walls to break up the line of sight, a palatial property can quickly become a royal cluster. To avoid making your trendy residence look like a romper room, you’ll need a plan.


Divide and conquer:

A room divider does double duty when you find one with ample shelving. Adding a divider or two to an open concept home can help bring structure and organizational support as it provides a platform to store decorative or functional items. To divide a dining area from a living room, consider housing wine bottles and glasses or mugs and tea bags for an easy grab. When using a divider to set off a desk or office area, the shelves can hold supplies or objects like staplers, pens, or stationary that currently take up valuable workspace.


Out of Sight:

The trouble with free-flowing spaces is that it is so darn hard to hide the mess. Free-standing wardrobes, entertainment centers, and buffets can be used throughout a home to create interesting statement pieces that also serve a greater purpose – hiding all of your stuff. One company that does storage solutions well is IKEA, and most of their designs allow for customization to fit a homeowner’s exact needs.


Organizing Small Spaces

This is where things get a little tricky. Teeny tiny spaces make organizing difficult, but they can make a world of difference when done properly. Here are a few rules to make the process go a lot more smoothly.


1. Eliminate excess.

If you are working within a limited space, there is no room for things that you have no use for. If you do not use it regularly or completely love it, it doesn’t belong. This goes for clothing, furniture, kitchen wares, toiletries, décor, everything. Each item inside your home that is not permanently affixed should be evaluated for its inherent value to your life. And if that value is low, it's time for it to move on.


2. Have a home.

When organizing a small area, every single thing must have a home. This is non-negotiable. Without a proper place to put each item, that small space becomes even smaller. The same principle applies whether you are dealing with a half bathroom, a linen closet, or a chest of drawers. Regardless of the area, each item that belongs inside of that area must have its own designated location to avoid chaos.


3. Hang it whenever possible. 

It is truly amazing what a few hooks and hangers can do for a tiny area. Bathrooms instantly seem bigger once you add a few towel bars to clear out the too-small cabinets. Laundry rooms grow when ironing boards are hung behind the door and drying racks are fastened to the wall instead of taking up space on the floor. And don’t get us started on the garage. There are specified hangers for nearly every item currently living within your garage. From bicycles to ladders to gardening tools to hoses – almost everything can be hoisted off of the floor and on to the wall to create more space.


4. Get a Kit.

This is especially important in pantries and closets. For either space, you will want to utilize an adjustable kit that can expand and change to fit your specific area. There are lots of options out there, but The Spruce has done some of the leg work already, so review their top picks before settling on your next organizing kit.


For additional ideas on how to make those small spaces more manageable, check out our tips on closet, laundry room, and pantry organization. And for homeowners hung up on how to make a small living room feel bigger, Homes & Gardens has some great options for chic storage solutions.


Finding extra space in your home is usually just a matter of determining what actually belongs inside of it and what doesn’t, and thankfully, that’s the hardest part. Once that’s finished, all you need are a few hooks, some shelves and a few statement storage pieces to find a little more square footage and a lot more sanity.