Anyone with children will know and understand that the family home seems smaller as the kids grow bigger. Not only is the physical size of the family a consideration but the possessions increase as the kids' activities increase. So a family of four with two children over the age of twelve might take up four times more space than the same family did when the children were under four years-old.
When space becomes a premium the first thought is to either renovate the home or move to a larger house. However, the outlay of thousands of dollars may not be practical and moving requires leaving a familiar location and services, perks that may not be available in another area. And renovating may include both large sums of money and uprooting the family for up to six months.
In many cases the lack of space is simply a lack of organization. With the right storage applications many problems that stem from a space shortage can be solved. Re-evaluating the home's living requirements can save tens of thousands of dollars and bring peace-of-mind to the household.
One of the best ways to claim more space is to clean out all the things that are no longer needed.
Adults: If an article of clothing hasn't been used for two years it should be given away. If you haven't got a filing cabinet buying one from a used furniture store will be a great investment. You'll be more organized and find information faster than having it thrown in drawers.
Kids: As kids grow have monthly dressing sessions where clothes that are outgrown are put in bags and given away. Incoming clothes that are still to big should be put in plastic tubs and labeled. For example, a five year-old's clothes should read: 5 Years. As they are water and air-tight the tubs can be easily stacked in the garage or basement.
2. Basement Storage
Many basements are under-utilized, so if you have one you can have great storage prospects. The best way to start is to assess your basement for moisture. If there is just a damp feeling then putting a dehumidifier down there will solve a lot of mold and mildew issues.
Shelves: A metal shelving unit is around $50. These can be bolted together and placed against a wall to hold plastic tubs of kids' clothes or other stowables.
Ceiling Racks: Special hangers can be purchased that can suspend shelves from the ceilings.
Wooden Shelving: Building a wooden, "ladder-shelf" system is an inexpensive idea for a handy person. The supports are made from two-by-four lumber and the shelves made from space one-by-three strapping so that air can circulated through the storage items. This also puts cardborad boxes off the floor and ventilated.
3. Think European
Parents in space-limited, European countries raise three and four kids in an area the size of a three-bedroom apartment because they wisely make use of the space they have. For example, curtains work great for hiding clothes racks, boxes and even food items. The area above cabinets is lined with racks where the contents can easily be accessed when needed. Children's beds fold up and away during the daytime making room for school desks.
4. The Garage for Home Storage
Homeowners with a garage can make use of space even if it is a small space. Special ceiling hangers can liberate three feet above the car with easy accessible space, an area that cannot be used by anything else and is just wasted space. Just as they can in the basement the walls in a large garage can become instant shelving areas by lining them with metal shelves or building wooden ones. Some garages also have attics that can be accessed by installing an attic ladder system. These allow the homeowner a staircase to bring boxes up into the attic.
For more information on creating storage consult our Contractor Directory. Shelving, attic ladders and other storage ideas can be easily handled by a handyman or simply post you project online and have one come to you.
Kim Kinrade writes for renovation, travel and news sites. When he is not doing this, or renovating old houses, he finds the time to write novels.
Key Hiring Tips
From large to small projects, before you select any contractor be sure to take the time to properly screen them. The time it takes now to screen a contractor will help ensure success for your home improvement project and avoid problems down the road.