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Small scale home: 4 coping strategies *

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The dreams may one day be of more room in your house than you know what to do with. Endless open-plan spaces, just waiting to be filled with various bits of furniture and any decor you fancy playing with. Long swathes of space that you could play cricket in if you so desired…

… the reality of right now, though? You’re living in a small space, with no immediate prospect of being able to move anywhere larger on the horizon. That means you are faced with the challenge of living your life as best as possible while space is at a premium. So how can you do it?

1) Outsource Whatever You Can

It makes more sense to be taking yourself to the likes of a serviced laundrette on a regular basis than it does to be sacrificing room in your home to washing and drying clothes. Think about how much room this practice takes up. Not only do you have to have the space for a washing machine, you also have to find allowance for either a dryer or somewhere to stack airers. When space is at a premium, it just doesn’t make sense - so make use of a laundrette a couple of times a week. At the very least, it’s a chance to sit and read in relative peace and quiet for awhile - something you might otherwise struggle to make time for.

2) Keep Cleaning Simple

One thing you can’t do in a small home is stock a huge amount of cleaning supplies, both in terms of appliances and the products themselves. Try and ensure that the products you buy have multiple uses for multiple rooms; if necessary, just go for one all-purpose spray alone.

The appliances you use to clean - such as a vacuum or steam cleaner - are trickier. It might be best if space is limited to go without, switching for a sweeping brush and just good old fashioned elbow grease. It’s a difficult sacrifice, but if you’re feeling the space pinch, it might well be one worth making.

3) Don’t Make Things Feel Smaller

If you try and cram too many items into too small a space, the immediate consequence is that everything feels smaller. While it won’t make a difference to the actual dimensions of the room, this is definitely something that you need to be aware of.

If necessary, relegate items - such as furniture or artwork - that don’t quite fit to a storage facility if you can’t bear to part with them. This is far easier than trying to squash everything into a confined space. You might even find you like living in a more minimal style.

4) Use Height

If you don’t have enough floor space, then the best method of storage is likely to involve using height to keep things tidy. Installing shelves close to the ceiling not only saves you on the amount of floor space you need, but it can also draw the eye upward. This creates an optical illusion that makes the room look taller - bonus!