Space Management: Do You Need A Bigger House?

English: Brigham Young's Lion House in Salt La...

English: Brigham Young’s Lion House in Salt Lake City, Utah. Español: Casa del León construida por Brigham Young en Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some folks tend to think they need a larger living space.  This is not necessarily true unless perhaps you want to start a home business or are married and raising kids.  If your household needs are not growing with time, you can make better use of the home or apartment in which you live.

What inspired me to write this article?  My brother and I rent a three bedroom house in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I used to live in a larger home in Minnesota before I moved out here.  Moving into a residence with less square footage meant I had to get rid of some of my belongings, which I did.  Still, my current home is big enough for my needs.

Mostly, I wanted to do certain things like working out and making drawings, but felt it was rather difficult since I lacked the space.  Yes, my house became cluttered with a lot of stuff making these things rather difficult.  Over the years, I’ve collected and sold hundreds of books, CDs, DVDs, and cassettes on eBay and Amazon.  I accumulated shelves, boxes, and bins of media that lost their value and were just taking up space. I found myself making excuses why I can’t do this or that unless we lived in a bigger house.  Knowing this is easier said than done, I got creative and moved things around making the extra room  I needed.

Do you need more living space?  Would you like to purchase more items (say furniture or electronics) but you don’t have a place to put them?  Would you like to do certain activities, but don’t have enough room?  Before you opt for a larger house or apartment, see if you can make better use of the space you already have.

If your home is tiny, you more likely need a bigger place to live, but if it’s good sized, efficient space management may do the trick.  As logical as this may sound, some people give this little, if any thought. Others rarely make the effort to organize things and convince themselves they need everything they have.

Here are tips to free up extra living space:

  1. Add shelves – If you have a lot of bare wall space, you can purchase wall mountable or free standing shelves.  Shelves come in many different widths and heights, some spanning from floor to ceiling.  Move around furniture to make room for shelves if necessary.
  2. Get rid of junk – Over the years we accumulate a lot of stuff that we think we’ll use but never do.  Let’s face it, if you haven’t used a particular item in the last two to five years, you never will.  Hence, it is best to sell it, give it away, or dispose of it.  If you have broken down appliances and/or electronics but don’t have the funds to get them repaired, get rid of them.
  3. Reorganize storage spaces – If you don’t frequent these areas, they’re bound to be overlooked.  You can make better use of closets, cabinets, shelves, or rafters by sorting them out.  These spaces may contain clothes you no longer wear, books you no longer read, paperwork you no longer need, equipment you no longer use or the like.  Selling unwanted items may generate more cash or donating them may serve as a tax deduction.
  4. Remove unused furniture – Such items may be tables, dressers, or chairs just taking up space and never being used.
  5. Get rid of excessive boxes – If you still have packaging materials from large electronics and appliances that you don’t plan to return, discard them.

After you’ve taken all the above steps ask yourself: “Do I still need a bigger house?”  If not, you can save thousands of dollars in moving expenses and higher rent.

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