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Maximising small spaces

Whether it is because you are retiring and buying a smaller home, moving in with roommates or have just purchased your first start-up home, it can be a big advantage to find ways to maximise the space you have and make the most of what is available, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

He provides a few tips for when one moves into a smaller space:

Declutter

Ideally when it comes to downsizing or maximising small spaces, it is best to reduce clutter as much as possible and only keep the items that are essential. Holding onto unnecessary items will only make it harder to find space for the necessary ones. “Confront drawers that have been classified as the ‘everything drawer’ and see what is useful and what is just taking up space. Often the reason an item lands up sitting in a drawer for months is because there is no longer any use for it,” says Goslett.

Sort stuff into yes, no and maybe piles

If possible it is best not to have a maybe pile as this means dealing with items more than once. Homeowners should try to deal with each item once and make a decision as to whether they are keeping it or getting rid of it. While this may seem like a difficult task, especially for those who struggle to let go, ask whether the item could be replaced if it lost and how often it really gets used.

Donate

While packing it is possible that you’ll find a number of hidden treasures that might not make sense to take to your new home. There are several charitable foundations that do amazing community work which would benefit from a donation of household items. “A great deal of charity organisations can only do the work that they do due to donations made by the public. Making a donation is a great way to reduce clutter and provide assistance to members of the community who are less fortunate,” says Goslett.  Remember to only donate items that will be useful and which are still in good working order.

Make some money


Goslett points out that selling off items is another excellent way to get rid of unwanted items while making some money to put towards the move or towards buying more suitable items to fit the new space.

Be seasonal

Although it might not always be practical, only have the current seasons clothing in the cupboard. Large winter coats and winter boots take up a lot of space, so if possible these items should be left in storage or stored in sealable containers and packed away until needed.

Get organised

Although the object is to get rid of items, going and buying an organisation system or containers that can help to reduce the amount of space needed for items can make sense. “Organisation goes a long way to decluttering an area without having to throw any items away,” says Goslett.

Follow the trend

Getting rid of clothing and unwanted items will mean that you may no longer need a large set of drawers. Large pieces of furniture can be sold or donated to make space for more suitably sized furniture.

Be strategic

Instead of aimlessly shoving items away, have a plan when packing them into cupboards and drawers. If an item is not used very often but is an item that is going to be kept, pack it into a box and label it. Boxes and containers are easily stacked to make more space and will help to protect the items inside.

“Having a plan and ensuring that only the necessary items are moved across to the new home will ensure that the most is made of a small space. Maximising the space available will make the home a more comfortable space to live in,” Goslett concludes.


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