Downsizing to Conserve Space

So you have a nice apartment, but it's not as big as you would like. Don't worry, this is a common problem. Let's take a look at a few things you can do to help downsize your apartment in order to utilize the space you have better.

Be multi-functional
Cedar chests and trunks are fantastic for storing clothing and other belongings. But they have other uses as well. A cedar chest can double as a coffee table in your living room. All you need to do is decorate it with a lacy table runner or some doilies. Another idea is to buy a piece of fabric and place it over the top. Voila! No one will ever know that it's really storage for your summer clothes.

Some trunks have soft tops and can be used to sit on. Lean your trunk up against the wall in your bedroom and you've got yourself a handy seat.

Think high
Purchase easy to install shelves and use them to display your knick-knacks, collections of figurines, plants, etc. Shelves allow you to get your breakables safely away from accident-prone fingers and pets as well as give the walls a nice touch. It's homey and comforting and, best of all, it doesn't clutter up surfaces of tables, dresser drawers, countertops, desks and so on. The higher the better, as a general rule. Seven-foot shelves utilize empty space better than three- or four-foot ones.

Mirrors add volume to a room
Mirrors have a way of widening a room and creating the kind of spacious appeal most tenants are seeking. But they have to be hung in appropriate locations. In other words, place your mirrors opposite a point of interest, such as a framed photo, a painting, a window, a vase of flowers or a striking piece of home décor.

Big is often better
It sounds contradictory, I know, but sometimes a few items of larger-sized furniture can make a room look bigger, as opposed to a whole bunch of smaller items. For example, a sectional couch and a coffee table might be more effective in your living room than two loveseats, a multitude of chairs and too many end tables.

This goes for lamps as well. One larger attention grabber of a lamp might be all you need (provided it gives off enough light to illuminate the room).

Colors
Colors can open up a room unbelievably. It amazes me sometimes how a coat of paint can improve upon the look of an entire room. But before you break out the paint cans and paintbrushes, check with the manager of your building. Some allow tenants to make these kinds of changes while others do not.

Lighter and more neutral colors tend to make a room shine and look more wide open. Darker can also be good, but if you're a conservative, cautious sort, err on the lighter side of things.

Clutter
Clutter is when items are piled everywhere and there is no form of neatness or organization in sight. Nothing diminishes any room in your apartment more than clutter. Learn to organize and find proper storage for all of your belongings. And don't just pile everything up haphazardly. Learn to categorize and organize!

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