Living in a small space is quite a challenge. Especially in India, where a ‘small room’ could even be what was once somebody’s extended balcony! But just because it’s small doesn’t mean it has to be unwelcoming.
Utilising every inch of space smartly while keeping it functional, comfortable and visually appealing, is indeed an art. We share tips from millennials who’ve been there, done that.
1. Make It Multifunctional
Opt for double duty solutions by investing in things that can serve you in more ways than one. Kanupriya Dhingra, research scholar at the University of Delhi, suggests, “One should never settle for a table without drawers unless it is a folding one, which can be put out of sight after use.”
She adds, “Tables with built-in drawers give you some extra space to organise things better. A computer table can easily function as a dinner and study table.”
Similarly, a key holder could double as an accessories hanger. An ironing board can also be used as a bedside table.
2. Go Vertical
Buildings in the city are going vertical and your room should too. This hack really helps to work your way around small spaces. Storing things vertically will not only help you maximise the space but also draw the attention upwards, creating a sense of height.
For instance, store redundant suitcases and bulky boxes above your cupboard. Use hooks behind doors to hang clothes and bags, and in the kitchen to hang that bulky pan your mum sent you.
You know those multilayer hanging racks? Use them to keep magazines, chargers, pens, anything.
3. Stuff Those Suitcases
Himanshu Tripathi, 27, who has been staying away from home since age 18 has a great advice, “Travel bags are a boon for anyone living in a small space. You can use them to store off-season clothes, shoes that you don’t use frequently, books and almost everything else.”
He adds, “If you’re a working professional and don’t have enough space to hang ironed clothes, you can also fold and place them inside a suitcase.”
If you don’t find space to hide your suitcases/trolley bags below the bed, try stacking them one over the other and use it as a table top.
4. Look Beneath Your Bed
In case there’s little space under your bed, you can always raise it using a few bricks (hey, anything to make room!).
Then put things in cardboard boxes and tuck them below the bed. You could also use large plastic pouches (easily available in markets) to put away heavy blankets and wedding outfits without damaging them.
5. Don’t Overlook the Corners
Invest in a corner shelf to hold bedside essentials. You can also place a multi-tiered shelf along the corners to create a bookshelf. Creating a statement décor like this in the corners will help make room for other things and also look pretty cool!
Try sliding foldable furniture vertically along the corners to save floor space.
6. Be Mindful of the Décor
No matter how tempting, do not bring in décor that occupies space. According to Divya Giri, 25, an engineer who recently shifted to Pune, “Things like flower pots, soft toys, lamps, showpieces and idols occupy (too much) space.”
She shares a great tip, “Opt for posters, paintings, photo frames or dreamcatchers instead. You can easily hang them on the wall and enhance the aesthetics without compromising on the space.
7. Be Minimalist
Firstly you need to declutter and get rid of all the junk lying around. But you also need to start being more mindful and minimalist.
Deepika Jayara, 24, a teacher in Roorkee, swears by this mantra. “You can never really have enough storage space. Since in India, we keep visiting our homes for festivals every now and then, I use those trips to get clothes as per the season.”
You can apply this golden rule to everything, from shoes to utensils to books.
Another space-saving hack by Deepika is to invest in a compact personal purifier bottle instead of installing a water filter.
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