Why do people move? That is an age old question. There are many many reasons that people go through the hassle, headache and expense of moving. But "I've outgrown my space" seems to rank right up in the top 3....or maybe even 2.
What exactly does that mean? Usually people who moved into a home single but have since gotten married and had children use that sentence. In their situation, I can believe it to be true. However, there are a lot of single people and couples (whose family size has not grown) who use that phrase. So what are they talking about?
My bet is, they haven't outgrown their space.....their stuff has.
Do you remember your first place? I do. My parents gave us their old couch, his parents gave us the bed from their guest room, we received tons of wedding presents such as 10 toasters (not exaggerating), 5 irons, 3 ironing boards, along with an assortment of mixers, blenders and other household (and very useful) items.
Even with the generosity of our friends and family, we still resorted to using a cable spool (see picture below) that we found as our dining room table and stacks of pillows as our chairs.
Our little apartment seemed HUGE when we first moved in. Why shouldn't it? We had next to nothing to put in it. But by the time our lease was up, we had outgrown our little space and needed something larger. Our apartment didn't shrink....we had just gotten more stuff to put in it than it would comfortably hold.
So what is the cure for our obsession with stuff? The obvious cure is not to buy more stuff than will fit into your space. While that's an easy solution, it's far easier said than done.
Then the children come along and guess what? Yes....more stuff. Children have a unique way of taking up every square inch of your home. Your living room that once entertained all your friends on a Friday night now barely has the space for you to sit and watch television comfortably because the baby stuff has taken over. There are car seats, strollers, play pens, toys, walkers, play mats, high chairs....the list is endless.
So let's look at some ways to end this clutter trap and make you want to stay rather than move.
Extra bedrooms are a renters best friend. Most rentals don't have a ton of storage space. For some reason the people who design rentals tend to believe that a renter is like a nomad. They move about from space to space and live out of a single suitcase. They would be wrong. If you have a bedroom that you aren't using on a regular basis, make it your storage room.
I don't mean open the door, fling in whatever item you want stored and then quickly shut the door. I mean shop your local thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales (and yes, relatives garages) and find shelving units. Line the walls with these units. You can get as fancy or as plain as you wish. You can even use cinder blocks and wood for your units. Easy to assemble, easy to take down and easy to move about. Cinder blocks run about $1 to $2 each and the wood can be reclaimed or bought new for about that same price. Paint it if you like or leave it plain. Either way, it is a storage unit that can be added on to easily and works perfectly. Add a few baskets to contain the small stuff and you have some amazing storage.
Or how about buying portable hanging systems?
Maybe you don't have an extra bedroom? Do you have a garage? There's always extra space in there!
What if you currently use that spare bedroom for an office and don't want to let go of that? Not a problem. Chances are you don't need a formal office space unless clients are coming to your home. Take a corner of that spare bedroom, hang some shelving then take a cheap interior door and make yourself a corner office! You still have plenty of room left for storage.
There are tons of areas in your current space for you to turn into storage. All you have to do is look around and be creative. Using the back of a door is a great way to get some of your stuff off the tops of your dresser's and out of your drawers. Hanging purses, scarves, jewelry on hooks that are placed on the backside of your bedroom door is a great way to add more storage.
Let's not forget baskets! I don't think there is a greater declutter tool known to man than baskets. Put a few beneath your coffee table, then just scoop up the clutter and throw them into the baskets when company's coming for a quick, stylish way to control your clutter.
Pottery Barn, Pier One and tons of other stores carry unique and well crafted baskets of all sizes and shapes (and even colors) that will last forever.
If you love your neighborhood and you have a good landlord already, why move if you don't have to?
I say, just work with what you have and before long.....you will fall in love with your space all over again!
Enjoy your space!