Do you ever feel like the walls of your home are closing in on you?
As if your house is basically getting smaller by the day? Maybe you don’t have the space that you need to do the things you want to do and you’re feeling pretty hopeless about it? This was me when my husband and I first combined households a few years ago. I had more or less lived on my own since graduating high school 6 years prior- which means I had 6 years worth of furniture and mementos and whatever else that had accumulated in my house. Not to mention I’d had a baby in that time and if you don’t have children, just know – they come with a lot of ‘must-haves’. And now, here I was moving in with someone who already had a house full of things before I got there with very little space for anything extra. Y’all, it was hard!
I did all the purging I could think of before moving in and we still ended up with our attic chock FULL of so many things that just didn’t have a place in our newly combined household. At first, I was feeling pretty hopeless. I was immediately making a plan for how to convince my – then boyfriend – to sell his house so we could look for a more suitable space. (I laugh at this now, I seriously doubt my husband will ever sell this house! We plan to rent it out once we move.) So, of course, my grand idea was very short lived. I quickly realized that if we wanted to make our future plans of owning our dream house on a bit of property come true, then we’d have to stay put. At least for the time being.
Now, 3 years later, here we are in the same home but things feel much brighter these days! If you’re struggling with a tiny home that seems incompatible with your lifestyle, I’m here to assure you that there is hope.
So what will you do? Where do you start? First I’d like you to take a step back and ask yourself a few questions regarding the home you’re in. Take a look below and be honest with yourself as you go through them! Some may be easier to answer than others!
1. Is your current housing situation temporary or permanent (for the foreseeable future)?
This is a huge factor because if you won’t be staying in this home much longer, just look for a more suitable space in your next place. Easy enough. If you’ll be in your current situation for a while however, you may be willing to take more drastic measures as you’ll be able to reap the rewards for a longer period of time.
2. What is it that you need most from your space? i.e. home office, playroom, hobby/craft area, maybe even a gym/yoga space?
Now, I want you to stop and think about what you find yourself needing in your day to day lives. I’m not talking about wishing you had a formal dining room for 20 so you can host Thanksgiving once a year. I’m talking about a space that will improve your day to day life in some way. If you find yourself working from home full or part time, you would likely benefit from a home office to house all of your work related things. If you have 3 kids under 5 you probably could use a play space for them. If you practice yoga and meditation every morning when you wake up, a relaxing organized space for your mat and related items would be great! I think you get the idea.
3. Do you need a whole room for this or can you carve out a smaller area for your needs?
Once you have an idea of your true day to day needs, I want you to consider just how much space you actually need for this activity. Is your work enough that you really need a whole room for an office or could you make that space behind the couch in the living room work? Does your workout routine include large gym equipment or is a yoga mat and a few dumbbells more your workout style? If you haven’t already, take the time now to go over to Pinterest and search “Small space _____” (insert whatever you need in the blank). Even if you couldn’t see a possibility before, did you find a little inspiration? I bet you did! You can find my board dedicated to small space living here.
4. Is there any area in your home that is not being used to it’s fullest potential?
I need you to think a little creatively about this one. When you have a limited amount of space to work with sometimes you have to do the best you can. Do you have a formal dining room in your home that only gets used during the holidays? Would it be more suitable to your lifestyle to use this as the playroom or a study? (My Nana just changed her formal dining room into a pub/bar room!) Does that guest bedroom really get used as often as your thought it would be? Could you reclaim that space for a more suitable purpose by adding a desk and using a daybed as seating AND a space for overnight guests when needed? Do you have an over-sized closet in your home that could make a great play space for the kids or yoga studio for 1? What works best for YOU? This is your home after all. It should be suited to your needs, no matter how the space may have originally been intended.
5. What is your budget?
There you have it!
Work your way through your home with these 5 (well, really 4) questions in mind and try to think outside the box! Look at your space with new eyes, from a different perspective. I hate to admit how many times I’ve rearranged our house. I’ll forever be thankful for my husband being so understanding every time I have some new idea for our space.
I hope you’ve found these tips to be helpful. Are there any areas in your home that you’ve transformed in a somewhat unconventional way to better suit your family’s needs? Tell me about it in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!
Have a great day, friends.