Apartment Living Chronicles Part 2
To optimise space in our apartment, we need to first create order out of what can range from organised chaos to utter mayhem! We need to seek ways to use our space in the most intelligent manner possible as this will translate into a greater sense of space and home harmony. And there is no time like the present – thanks to covid and our current enforced homebound state when we are spending almost every hour of our life in our own home.
The less stuff you have, the bigger your space will feel. The greatest way towards a well-ordered and above all beautiful home is to start with a pre-spring clean. Keep an eye out for things we rarely use that are simply just taking up space. A good rule of thumb for the exercise of culling our excess, is if you haven’t used it in a year, toss it out. To make the task less daunting, start by going through a couple or drawers, a cupboard or a wardrobe each day. Set the intention to be realistic – will you really ever wear that bridesmaid’s dress again? Do you really need eight vases and two sets of cutlery? You will be surprised at how you hardly use or wear, and anything that is in good order can usually be donated to your local church, St Vinnies or Smith Family.
Once you have removed the excess (and I know how hard this can be as sentimental value can have great power over us), we need to find space saving and storage solutions to allow our homes to shine in all their clutter-free glory. A smart place to start is when looking at furniture, opt for dual purpose or adaptable size pieces. When looking for an ottoman or even a bed, if you are short on storage then get one with storage drawers underneath. Need side tables – try nesting tables as you can pull them out as needed. A daybed can be a chillout couch for you or a bed for guests.
If you like to entertain, extendable dining tables are the way to go as they don’t take up as much space for the everyday but come to the party when you need them. And beware of oversized pieces of furniture as they will dwarf your space, however where you cannot go wide you can go high. A tall armoire looks gorgeous, has a small floorplate and holds a lot. If you are in a studio, a Murphy bed is the way to go. It slots up in its cupboard against the wall by day, giving you loads more room to move, and pulls down by night.
Final tips for organising your space, create spaces to put things away once they have been used. If your memory is not the best, write an alphabetical list outlining where you have stored things, such as Medical files: Second shelf in the armoire; Winter tights: Bottom drawer of the guest bedroom; Wrapping paper: Top shelf of linen cupboard. As the seasons change, review you wardrobe and pass on anything you no longer wish to keep, then swap out winter clothes for summer by putting heavy clothing in the spare bedroom wardrobe. Swap winter tights out for bikinis/speedos. Remember that a clean house is a happier, lighter, far more pleasant place to live so keep on top of housework and you will find even your mind feels less cluttered. And most importantly, only buy things you absolutely love and always think quality over quantity.
If you need some more inspiration and information on organising your home, get one of The Home Edit’s fantastic books