It’s a chorus being sung from John O’ Groats to Land’s End, a refrain familiar in every household currently containing an office, school and home; ‘’this place is running out of space’’. Say it out loud so you know how it feels…
The demands of lockdown – of fitting so many disparate elements in to the domestic space – has led to tension. With the demands of the home office and homeschooling clashing with the normal running of the house, it can be hard to find peace in a place which used to bring so much comfort.
The pandemic has inspired a cleanout of homes as people transform their interiors into gyms and homes offices. Reports reveal that the demand for self storage units has been on the rise during the UK’s three lockdowns, with many putting their belongings into storage to create more space. In fact, online searches increased by a fifth at the start of the UK’s first lockdown. We can only imagine that number has increased since.
Fear not, there are things you can do to give yourself room to breathe, think and perhaps even swing a cat once again. From decluttering to self-storage solutions, here are 4 ways to make more space at home during lockdown.
A sense of peace and quiet is something we’re all after at the moment. However, it can be hard to keep peaceful and calm when you’re surrounded by clutter.
The pandemic has demanded that we rethink the way we use and structure our homes, but it’s still important that you make space at home to relax and reflect. To create the most serene of scenes, simplify your home by decluttering .
Take a note out of Marie Kondo’s book – if it doesn’t spark joy, it’s time to say goodbye. You’d be amazed at how much stuff you uncover which hasn’t been used for years and therefore, has brought no value to your life for some time. It could, however, bring value to others.
Though we can’t take things to the charity shops right now, you can tap into the potential of clever storage solutions to both minimise clutter and keep hold of items you cherish. And for those items you’ve deemed surplus to requirements? It’s okay to bid them farewell, just this once.
Store anything you’re keen to keep but aren’t currently using somewhere safe, be it in your loft or under the bed. If you have a garden, you could invest in some garden storage.
Speaking of storage…
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SELF STORAGE
Let’s pose a familiar problem; you’re working from home. You don’t have the space you so desperately need for a home office, but you do have a guest room filled with beautiful furniture that you’re keen to keep.
Or perhaps it’s a dining room with a dining table set and gorgeous sideboard that’s currently not being used. You’d love to clear space in here for the kid’s home learning operation…
The solution? Self storage, of course.
Storage is ideal if you’re looking to make room in your home, but don’t want to part with your belongings. STORED, who offer storage in Brighton, tell us that “the price of storage facilities will vary depending on the location of the unit and that city centre will be more expensive than in suburban areas….The annual industry report from The Self Storage Association UK, states that the average price for self-storage last year was £23.11 per square foot per year”.
Though that might sound like an investment, think of the price of storage as akin to renting out an office space; you’re paying for that extra room at home, and actually, when you put it like that, self-storage seems like a savvy temporary solution to your ever-changing domestic needs.
STORED also advise that you can choose between short term and long term storage. Most companies offer a discount for storing things for a longer amount of time; they themselves offer a 30% discount when you book one of their storage options for 6 months or more.
CONSIDER A SHOFICE (SHED OFFICE)
Instead of making room in your home by decluttering and putting your belongings into self-storage, why not make some extra room by creating a ‘shofice’?
As reported in the Guardian, “Research by Direct Line’s home insurance arm found that since lockdown began almost 1 million homeworkers have splashed out on a shed or similar outbuilding to use as an office or workspace and a further 1.1 million are planning to do so in the next 12 months’’.
Of course, you’ll need a garden for this one, but it might be a smart investment to relocate your home office to the garden shed. Remember any furniture or equipment installed into the building, such as desks and shelving units, can be claimed back on tax relief. Food for thought, indeed.
CREATE MORE STORAGE SPACE IN ‘DEAD’ SPACES
Even in the tightest, most compact of rooms you should be able to eke out ample storage space within. There are nooks, crannies, shelves and spaces lurking in every home; you just have to know where to look.
Store your things inside the bed, under the bed, inside a window seat, and even on newly installed higher shelving which climbs the walls. Beds with built-in storage are particularly useful here, as are Ottoman storage chests at the end of the bed; both provide an answer to those pesky storage conundrums posed by a small bedroom.
If your budget allows, and you want to make the most of the space you have in a room rather than just the space in your current wardrobe, think about investing in a built in wardrobe, which can be tailored to suit your needs and the space limitations of your bedroom.
Finally, remember to look above the floor line for storage solutions; there’s so much dead space in the higher reaches of the room just waiting to be filled. In doing so you may not carve out enough space for a whole home office room, but you’ll certainly give yourself some room to think.
If you’re looking to streamline the rest of your home, too, then check out these 6 IDEAL storage solutions for your kitchen. Get ready to embrace the space!