Regardless of whether you live in the countryside or in the big city, one unfortunate living condition that most UK residents face is the lack of space. It is a well-known fact that as the population increases, space becomes scarcer and scarcer.
According to the BBC, “shoebox homes” are becoming the norm. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) reports that the majority of the houses that are being built today are too small to raise a family. The term shoebox home has been coined to call houses with limited space.
A three-bedroom house should cover at least88 sq m or 947 sq ft. Unfortunately, the Royal Institute further states that the average three-bedroom home in the UK is eight square metres short of that.
Another survey of new-home buyers also found that over half of them (58%) were not happy with space as there was barely enough space for their furniture, much less other activities. Unfortunately, this statistic gets much worse when you live in the capital city. London residents are now experiencing the adverse effects of having a high population density.
As the demand for living spaces continue to increase due to the influx of residents moving to London, basic economics dictates that the price would also increase. Because of this, many are forced to downsize to an even smaller place. Or worse, share their “micro-flat” with other people to afford the rent.
The lack of space can lead to quite an unhappy and unfulfilling home life. That is why we have created this list of tips. Give this a read to find out how you can make do with living in a “shoebox home.”
The first step? Declutter. It would be best if you got rid of all of your unnecessary possessions. Let’s be real. We all have items that we do not need in our daily lives. Some of these are just clutter and taking up the valuable space inside our homes. Here is a list of the stuff I threw out or gave away when I decluttered my house:
Broken appliances (you’ll never have time to fix them trust me)
Items you bought on a whim and have no practical use
Unused Children’s toys
If you really can’t stop yourself or don’t want to throw out your items, then there is an alternative: storage units. Many residents are now renting a self-storage unit in London to house the things that they cannot fit inside their micro-flats.
It would be counterintuitive to own so many items when you already have limited space as it is. While I’m not saying you should live a minimalist lifestyle, you should think of holding back on shopping sprees.
Aside from the lock and the guards of the storage site, owners can have a CCTV system installed in their unit so that they are assured of their items’ safety.
When you have a small place to move around in, the mess can quickly accumulate and pile up. Make it a regular habit to clean up after yourself. Studies have found that a clean place can correlate to a positive mood and mental health. On the other hand, living in a messy home can worsen your anxiety and lead to a foul mood. Keeping your rooms spotless is a must!
When you have limited space, you want to make use of everything as a storage space. Hanging your items on walls is one sure way of saving up on space. Hang your clothes, shoes, and even your entertainment system!
For example, when you have a TV aerial installed, instead of buying a bulky TV rack, why not buy a TV wall mount instead? This way, you can put other stuff under your TV instead of a huge table taking up all the space. This tip also goes for your clothes. Your closet space will definitely be limited. Instead of keeping your suits inside your luggage, hang them instead. It takes less than half an hour to fit wall hooks all around your apartment for you to hang stuff in.
Lighting is key to making your place look bigger than it is. Once you’ve freed up your area of items, make sure to open the curtains and let the light pour in. A bright and well-lit room will create a spatial illusion that would make your house appear bigger. Adding mirrors in the right places will also help.
Invest On Space-Saving Furniture
As the entire country experiences a lack of space, innovative minds have created space-saving furniture to mitigate this problem. While slightly more costly than your regular, run-of-the-mill furniture, they are worth it in the long run. There are two ways you can go about space-saving furniture:
Furniture with Built-In Storage Space
The first option you have is to buy furniture that has built-in storage. For example, an ottoman acts both as a chair and a place for you to store small items in. A bed with a drawer for your clothes underneath does not only save space but is also convenient.
Another ingenious creation to solve the space dilemma is to buy foldable furniture. They do their job well, and when you don’t need them, you can easily fold them up, so they don’t take up much space. Foldable chairs, tables, and desks also provide a modern look to your place.
Having limited square footage is out of our hands. It is what we can afford as of the moment. However, this should not limit what we can do with that space. Make the most of your area by being smart with how you store your stuff.