Want an organized home (but hate organizing)? You’ve come to the right place. Yes, we’re here to tell you that achieving a chic-looking space doesn’t necessarily require a degree in interior design—or even a knack for space-saving. All you need are few handy hacks to take your abode from arg! to ahh.
1. Make your bed.
We know, we know. This seems obvious. But making your bed (and maybe fluffing a pillow or two while you’re at it) goes a long way in making your space feel tidy and buttoned-up.
2. Put like with like.
Have a bunch of rogue candles lying around? Or a handful of helter-skelter jars all over the place? A good way to create a sense of order (without actually putting anything away) is to simply group like items together. This can make your space seem more considered, both visually and categorically—and it can be a choice opportunity to consolidate the collections you currently have.
3. Look to the wall.
Utilizing wall space is a great way to showcase the belongings you don’t have room to store at home. Pressed for space for an extra bookcase? Try floating shelves instead. They’re functional *and* visually appealing. No room left in your closet? Hang bags and scarves to save space, and to infuse your walls with your personal style.
4. Clean your fridge.
Chances are, you’ve got an expired bottle of ketchup or an old jar of jam crammed in the back corner of your fridge. Take 30 minutes of your day to go through the contents of your ice box and discard items that are old or expired. It’s basically the easiest way to reap the rewards of organization without doing much. And hey, you might be so inspired by the extra shelf space that you’ll feel compelled to give them a good clean.
5. Makeover your medicine cabinet.
Sure, perishable foods and liquids have clear expiration dates. But a lot of people don’t realize that cosmetics and creams expire, too. So that tube of mascara you’ve been using for the last year? Get rid of it. Those vitamins you never ended up taking? Toss ‘em and recycle the container. Consider it making room for a new-and-improved set of personal care items.
6. Recycle, recycle, recycle.
Once more for the people in the back: Recycle! Have old papers and documents lying around? Coupons you never got around to redeeming? Put them in the trusty recycling bin. For important paperwork, scan what you need, then get rid of the hard copy. You’ll be surprised how much lighter you feel after cleaning out your drawers—and you might find that half the papers you thought you needed are actually unnecessary or outdated.
AUTHOR: ERIKA JORDAN
Erika Jordan is the Copy Lead at MakeSpace. When she’s not working her magic with words, she’s doing yoga and/or eating peanut butter (she’s still trying to figure out how to do both at once).
Moving out of your home and into a brand new one is already a daunting task, but coupled with a disability, it can be even more challenging. Keeping yourself organized and focused is essential for anyone undertaking a big move. But for those who have accessibility concerns, frustrations are bound to happen during the moving process.
There are many skills you can learn, however, to make a more accessible and stress-free environment for you or your loved one with a disability. Your disability doesn’t have to hold you back from accomplishing your moving goals, and these tips will help you do so.
Making your new home accessible
If you or a loved one is disabled, it’s a number one priority to make sure the house you’re moving into is accessible and includes the right assistive technology. Conducting a home assessment is helpful in confirming a house is right for you. These are questions you should be asking when looking at houses to move into:
Are the doorways wide enough so wheelchairs can go through them?
Are doors easy enough to open for those with low grip strength?
There are many ways to make your home a more accessible environment for someone with a disability, but here are a few tips:
For those who are hearing-impaired, installing carpet in your new home can help make sounds not echo as much as they would on a hardwood floor.
Closing doors and attaching tennis balls to chairs can reduce background noise and make it easier for those with hearing loss to understand clearly what’s being said to them.
For blind and visually impaired individuals, reducing the amount of clutter in your home is helpful for them to be able to navigate safely and efficiently. Using different textures in your home’s rooms can help low-sighted people figure out which room is which easier.
For many families, lots of travel is required during a move. But traveling with a disability can be extremely challenging. If you’re flying to a new destination, a level of planning is required to make sure the airport is wheelchair accessible and your mobility devices won’t become damaged by airline workers. When booking your flight, make sure you have an aisle seat so you can travel comfortably without having to climb over the person next to you.
If you’re travelling to a new city or state, you’ll have to plan ahead to make sure your disability benefits and services are still available. If you use a local disability service, plan ahead to see if this service can be used in your new hometown. Contacting your housing authority or city government can help in determining what disability benefits and services are available to you.
If you have a child with a disability and are moving to a new area, it’s important to find a school that’s right for them and their disability needs. Finding an inclusive classroom for your child can surround them with positivity and support. Whereas a special education classroom separates students with disabilities from others, an inclusive classroom creates a learning environment in which students with disabilities work alongside all kinds of different students, have more opportunities to interact with students, and are given the same access to lesson plans. According to research by Concordia University, there are several benefits to having an inclusive classroom, including “better communication skills, improved social skills and more friendships.”
Find the best moving company
When you’re all packed up and ready to move, you’ll need to find the right moving company with the capability to handle all of your needs. Some moving companies may help you unpack and have experience working with movers with disabilities. If you have movers helping you unpack, make sure present you’re present with them and keep an eye on important belongings so they’re not misplaced.
Checking reviews online can help you find the right moving company for your needs. Make sure they’ve handled customers with disabilities and have a good track record doing so. If you’re willing to spend a little extra cash, you can hire someone to pack for you, which can eliminate the stress and hassle that comes along with it. These individuals are professionally trained to make sure items are packed safely and securely so they won’t break or become lost in the move.
Moving into a new house can be scary, especially for those with disabilities. But having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful mover. By planning ahead and keeping yourself on track, you’ll be settled into your new home in no time!
Frankie Wallace is a freelance blogger who contributes to a variety of blogs online. Wallace is a recent graduate from the University of Montana and resides in Boise, Idaho.
On moving day, fragile furniture can add extra stress to an already difficult process. Unless you never grew out of your inflatable furniture phase of the late 90s, you most likely have pieces that could use some extra attention as you pack them for moving or storage.
Although MakeSpace’s Storage Rules disclaim all liability for items that one could reasonably call “fragile,” we do still store them. All we ask is that they’re packed with additional care.
If you know you’ll be storing delicate furniture like the items below, and you don’t want to give them a second thought once they’re hauled away to our secure storage facility, be sure to follow these tips:
Click any of the links below to jump to a specific section:
Particle board is an engineered wood product that can be laminated for the look of real wood but without the heft or cost. It’s manufactured from combining wood chips, sawmill shavings, or sawdust and a synthetic resin or other binder, and is then pressed and extruded.
Particle board is commonly found in cabinetry, furniture manufactured in the 1950s, or inexpensive pieces that are more or less meant to be temporary additions to your decor. It is considered fragile because its pressed wood components are more susceptible to damage than their solid wood counterparts. This is particularly true when the piece required assembly after purchase, but will be stored and/or moved in its fully-assembled state.
If you’re trying to pack these items for storage, note that while our SpaceMakers will be thrilled with how easy your furniture is to carry, they will be hesitant about dents and dings. Since the structural integrity of the material is not guaranteed, you’ll find that many moving and storage companies do not offer increased insurance coverage for furniture made of particle board.
To protect pieces made of this material, take extra care in wrapping the edges and corners of bookcases, desks, cabinets, dressers, and shelves. Adding a layer of bubble wrap or other padding prior to wrapping the item in a moving blanket will help prevent chips and impressions on the material’s surface.
Hopefully, before you broke out the nail gun, you checked whether the pallet was marked with an HT or MB. These codes tell you how the wood was treated prior to being made into a pallet, and could affect its strength and safety when it’s repurposed into something else.
Heat treating (HT) is a process in which the wood is heated to a core temperature of at least 132.8°F (56°C). HT is performed as a pest control treatment and is not otherwise harmful to your health.
Pallets marked with “MB” have been chemically treated using and methyl bromide. This potent pesticide kills invasive insects like pine beetles, but has also been linked to health issues in humans, as well as having a negative impact on nature. Methyl bromide was banned in 2005 by The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC); however, you may still find pallet wood from time to time that has been treated in this manner. We’d recommend avoiding it.
Regardless of how the wood was treated, pallet projects are considered fragile because of the unpredictable nature of recycled wood. While definitely sturdier than particle board, wood from pallets could have been subjected to environmental factors or weakened from prior use.
Before packing this kind of furniture up, tighten screws and give nails a few light taps with a hammer to secure them. Then, wrap the entire piece in packing paper to avoid snags on any rough edges, and cover it with a moving blanket.
Wooden Desks/Tables with Carving and Ornamentation
Your grandmother’s beautiful wooden writing desk is incredibly solid. It’s the carved details and additional ornamentation that make pieces like this gorgeous, and since you don’t see furniture decorated like that anymore, you know you’ve got a timeless piece on your hands. Unfortunately, these elements make older items risky to move, as well. With decorative components protruding from the piece, the possibility of it of being scratched or chipped increases, which can take away from its character and value.
If there are any embellishments that give you cause for concern, wrap a few extra layers of padding on to provide extra protection. Steer clear of any material that could scratch the wood, and avoid using tape near its surface, as it could remove the finish and/or leave behind an unsightly residue.
Vanity Sets with Mirrors
A classic vanity set is a piece of furniture that can be passed down from generation to generation. Let’s make sure it makes it through that journey scuff-free by packing it safely.
If the vanity itself is solid wood, it can be wrapped appropriately and would not be considered fragile, and is therefore covered under MakeSpace’s standard protection plan. The mirror, however, is a different story.
The mirror falls under the “fragile” category for obvious reasons. When still connected to the vanity base, it’s less sturdy than it would be on its own, and runs the risk of cracking or breaking off. If possible, separate the mirror from the vanity so that it can be safely wrapped independently from the rest of the piece.
To do so, first put tape across the mirror in a criss-cross pattern to keep it secure and hold pieces together should any accidental breakage occur. Wrap the mirror in packing paper or newspaper, then wrap again in bubble wrap. Wrapping in only bubble wrap can cause it to cling to the mirror’s surface and create tension that could lead to cracking, so be sure to do the newsprint step first.
Prepare a large, flat box meant for frames by stuffing the bottom of it with extra newspaper. Place the mirror inside and fill any gaps with newspaper, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or other protective packing material. Tape the box shut, and be sure to label it “Fragile” so the SpaceMakers know to use even greater care than usual.
Small Plastic Appliances
You’ll never crave a quesadilla more than when you receive your quesadilla maker back from storage and it’s cracked beyond repair. We don’t want anything to come between you and cheesy goodness, but the plastic coating on these and other small appliances is susceptible to breaking if not properly wrapped for storage.
To make sure your food processors, electric kettles, rice cookers, and more won’t suffer from electrical issues or total product damage, start by coiling the cord appropriately. Then, wrap the appliance in a couple layers of bubble wrap or a thick sweatshirt to give it extra cushion before it’s packed away in a bin.
If you have the original box that the product came in, or if you’ve found a small box that will hold it, stuff a few old socks or washcloths in the free spaces to eliminate shifting and provide a little softness.
A glass-top table is the be-all-end-all of fragile items. It’s both incredibly delicate and dauntingly cumbersome, and if not wrapped properly, it’s almost guaranteed to come out of a storage or moving experience with some kind of damage.
Let’s avoid that, shall we?
Being scrutinizing when protecting the table is the best defense against encountering any issues, so although this seems like a lot of steps to follow, we swear they’ll be worth it.
First, remove the glass top from the table base. For some tables, this will simply entail lifting the glass off the base. For others, you may need to carefully unscrew the top to separate it (detailed steps on how to do that can be found here). Wrap the base as you would any other wood furniture.
Once the glass top is removed, wrap it completely in packing paper secured with tape. Make sure the tape doesn’t come in direct contact with the glass or else you’ll have some sticky adhesive residue to deal with. Wrap the paper-covered glass again in bubble wrap (avoiding direct bubble-wrap-to-glass contact—see Vanity Sets with Mirrors for the reason why).
Next, place the glass top inside a large box suitable for a TV or frame. Fill any empty spots with extra packing paper or bubble wrap, and tape it shut. Label the box as “Fragile” and even note that it is a glass table top so that the SpaceMakers are aware of the extra care it requires.
Once you’ve wrapped and cushioned like nobody’s business, you can breathe easy knowing your fragile furniture will be handled responsibly by MakeSpace.
Although they don’t fall under our storage rules, we’re still happy to pick up these pieces (once they’ve been verified as safely packed) and carefully transport them to our secure storage facility. There, they’ll be cautiously stored until you’re ready to have them returned to you, which is super simple: Just schedule a delivery online or in the app, and we’ll bring your items right back.
Don’t sink to using plastic milk crates and cardboard furniture simply because you’re worried about moving fragile items. With a little extra attention and a lot of bubble wrap, your delicate furniture can withstand storage without a problem.
Here’s a riddle for you: A household has accumulated more than 300,000 personal items. The home itself spans approximately 930 square feet. How does all the stuff fit?
Answer: It doesn’t. And not for a lack of trying, either.
MakeSpace recently conducted an online survey with Ask Your Target Market (AYTM) about the state of stuff in America, talking to 1,000 men and women in the United States.
What’s the general consensus?
While we’re aware we have a lot of stuff, downsizing is no easy task, and determining what can be kept, stored, or given away can be a daunting process.
“This survey confirms what we’ve known at MakeSpace for years, that while people are seeking out a more minimalist lifestyle and choosing to live in smaller spaces or downsize, most still have a lot of belongings, many of which have sentimental value,” said MakeSpace Chief Marketing Officer Richard Mumby.
Let’s see how the stats [and the boxes] stack up:
The Nostalgia Predicament
People are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they’re holding onto, but even more stressful is the potential remorse they’d feel if they got rid of something “important.”
So what are we saving?
47.7% of people are keeping their and their children’s old toys or books, even those that are no longer useful.
25.8% are reliving their glory days with old trophies.
43.5% of respondents confessed to holding onto a school art project or handmade gift from their kids.
People know that they should clear the clutter, but many are hesitant from experience: 41.6% of those surveyed said that they regret throwing or giving away sentimental items in the past, despite not having any space to store them.
Brace yourselves, people: the things your peers are willing to do for more closet space are…fascinating, at the very least.
It seems that closets just aren’t big enough to hold all our stuff. 67.2% of people said that their bedroom closet is the most cluttered space in their home, while 25.3% claim their hall closet holds the bulk of their clutter.
And whose fault is that? Ladies, raise your hands. 47.7% of women admitted that they use more of their home’s total closet space than their significant other. But the men aren’t off the hook: 9.2% of those surveyed admitted that they’ve taken over the closets in their homes.
Regardless of who’s commandeering the closets, more than half of people (52.6%) agree that an extra walk-in is preferable to an extra bathroom.
Of course, to accommodate extras, you’ll need to cut back in other areas. Nearly half of participants are more than willing to make some major sacrifices:
49.1% of those surveyed claim they would be willing to be celibate for 6 months in order to have more closet space, because it’s easier to wear your chastity belt than to try and store it
17.2% of respondents said they would opt for a six-month pay cut if it meant a more sizable closet
51% of men would be open to adding instead of subtracting—to their waistlines, that is. They would consider gaining 10 pounds for 6 months if it meant more room to hang their now-two-sizes-too-small pants
Square Footage Fight
Handling your own overflow of stuff is one thing. Purging someone else’s extras is another. And 32.7% of women have done it, admitting to throwing out or donating some of their significant other’s things—without them knowing (only 16.4% of men admitted doing the same. Smart).
With on-demand, full-service storage in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, DC, customers no longer have to sacrifice their already-small spaces by implementing awkward storage solutions. MakeSpace picks up, stores, and delivers your items, and it can all be handled with a few taps in the app.
Downsizing is tough, but with MakeSpace, we can start to tackle our piles (hidden and otherwise) in the most convenient way possible. Schedule your first pickup today (it’s free!), and see why stress-free, affordable storage is the answer to America’s clutter quandary.
A well-packed MakeSpace bin is a work of art. That’s not hyperbole. That’s fact.
And we believe everyone has the ability to be an artist. You just need the right tools and some creative inspiration.
Packing your bin properly not only gives you an excuse to post a #belfie (bin selfie, duh), but it also ensures that your items will remain protected and organized throughout the storage process.
We’re all for creative license when it comes to expressing yourself through your art, but when prepping a bin for pickup, there is a right way to do it. Follow this step by step guide to a perfectly-packed MakeSpace storage bin.
Step 1: Check the Storage Rules
Before you show off your packing prowess, make sure the items you’re storing adhere to our Storage Rules.
We can store the Uncle Sam costume you don each Fourth of July; however, the leftover fireworks from last year’s celebration have to stay with you. Similarly, we’re happy to safely store your spice rack, but it has to be empty—perishable and non-perishable food items are forbidden, so we won’t be able to take your turmeric and thyme.
Our Terms of Service go into all the details of what can and can’t be stored and how the whole experience works, so check those out prior to packing.
Step 2: Gather like items
Similar items packed in the same bin will make it easier to request one bin back that holds all the necessities.
No more digging through one bin for your party shoes and another for your cocktail dress. By keeping like items packed together, you’ve created a quick one-stop-shop for your essentials.
Step 3: Create boundaries
Your stuff is important to you, and if the option to hire full-on bodyguards to protect your things was offered, you have to admit, it’d be tempting.
While jacked dudes with ear pieces aren’t part of our protection plans, it is possible to build in some extra security to each bin you pack at home.
Take sturdy items like books and wooden accessories and place them around the perimeter of the bin. This will create a rigid barrier against the sides that will prevent the rest of the contents from accidental damage or shifting during transit.
Our bins are pretty tough, but we don’t take any chances when it comes to your items, and we know that you don’t plan to, either.
Step 4: Lay down the base
When you pack a bin that’s all about the base, you can rest assured that there will be no trouble.
Now that the sides are secured with books, take your extra towels, blankets, thick jackets, sweatshirts, etc., and use them to line the bottom of the bin. This extra-cushiony layer will give your belongings a soft spot to land. Plus, these bulky items tend to be difficult to pack otherwise, so you’ll be giving them dual purpose while ensuring the rest of your things are well-protected.
Step 5: Roll them up
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck out of each bin, consider rolling (not folding) your clothing.
Although the jury is still out on which method will leave your clothes wrinkle-free upon unpacking, rolling your jeans, t-shirts, and yoga pants will save space and is best suited for fitting the most items possible.
Pro Tip: Some items might benefit from being rolled inside out, like those adorned with sequins or delicate embroidery, or pieces that are dyed, like dark-wash jeans. Since there will be less friction against the decorations as the clothing is moved from the truck to the storage facility, you won’t have to worry about wear and tear or color transfer.
Step 6: Top it off
Just as you gave your items a cushioned base, adding another soft layer on top of them will safeguard everything as the bins are stacked and moved.
Rolled up newspaper and scrunched up plastic bags are handy if you’ve run out of sweatshirts and coats. And, of course, bubble wrap is the old standby that keeps your belongings guarded against heavy bins and other objects set on top.
Step 7: Write that down
With our online photo catalog, you never forget what you have in storage. However, these pictures are not an item-by-item photo album. While we recommend packing bins in such a way that it’ll be clear to you what each one holds, writing down their specific contents before they’re sealed can help ensure exactly what you ask for is delivered back.
Each bin features a barcode, which helps our team properly manage it once it enters our facility. When the bins are still in your home, copy down this barcode and list the individual items in each bin. Once we’ve picked up your stuff, hauled it to our facility, photographed each bin, and the photos are available in your online photo catalog, you can edit the information associated with the bins to keep track of their contents, piece by piece.
This will come in particularly handy if you have multiple bins-worth of holiday decorations, but only need the one that holds the inflatable menorah. Listing what’s inside of each bin will make finding what you want and scheduling a delivery a piece of cake.
After you’ve sculpted the masterpiece of all MakeSpace bins, what do you do next?
Our SpaceMakers will pick up your perfectly-packed bins, wardrobe boxes, and anything else and transport them to our safe and secure storage facility. You barely lift a finger.
Whenever you’d like some or all of your things back, simply schedule a delivery with a few taps in the app and we’ll bring them right back to you. This saves time and allows you to do the things you really enjoy, like painting the next classic work of art or filling in a page of a coloring book.
However you choose to express your artsy side, get creative with MakeSpace.
With the uptick in intergenerational living that we’ve seen over the last few years, more families are seeing the value in the moving-in-with-the-in-laws arrangement. Saving on housing, having more people to help with childcare and household chores, and developing relationships are just some of the benefits.
However, lack of privacy and turf wars are commonly cited as problems when living with family. Here are seven tips that will help you organize the space and maintain balance until you’re ready to strike it on your own.
1. Have Rules
It’s important that rules be well-established before any moving takes place. If you’re living at your in-law’s home and they have a strict “no shoes in the house” rule, make sure you abide by it. If they’re living in your house and you don’t want their dog on the furniture, they need to respect that, too. Make sure that any deal-breakers are defined before boxes are brought in.
2. Establish Routines
If you work during the day and your mother-in-law is at home, have her do her laundry while you are working. That way, when you do finally get home in the evening, you aren’t fighting over the washing machine. The same goes for showering and cooking times, as well. You don’t want to be baking a chocolate cake to take to a party while someone else is cooking a particularly garlicky dinner.
3. Rent Out Storage
If moving in with your in-laws is just a temporary situation, travel light. Bring minimal belongings with you so that you can cut down on clutter. If you need to, put your items in storage so that you can access them if needed, but so that you are keeping your invasion into their space to a minimum.
Even better: schedule a MakeSpace pickup from your old home, and your things will be stored while you’re staying with your folks. Once you’re out on your own again, MakeSpace can deliver your items to your new spot, so you never have to visit a storage unit again.
4. Use Baskets
If you find yourself having to share a bathroom, having a way of keeping everyone’s items separate is a good idea. Hooks for towels are a necessity, and baskets for each person’s toiletries will avoid morning routine confusion.
Organizing baskets are also a good way to keep foods separate in the fridge and the pantry, and can maintain a semblance of order near the front door. Make sure each person has a place to put small items like keys and sunglasses to avoid confusion or missing items. Your father in law won’t be thrilled when he can’t find his keys, especially if you were the last person to drive his car.
5. Keep Lists
When sharing a space with others, it’s important to stay on top of things like groceries and household chores. Make sure that you have clearly posted lists of things that need to be done, and if you finish an item from the pantry, add it to the grocery list. Keeping on top of these smaller points can prevent major communication issues down the line.
6. Set Boundaries
It may be their home, but that doesn’t give your in-laws the right to snoop through your things when you’re not there. Remember to always knock on closed doors and respect each other’s privacy.
With everyone disjointed from their regular habits, it can be tricky to navigate things like TV time and who’s cooking dinner. Remember that good communication is going to be your most effective tool for managing your living arrangement.
7. Be Respectful
Respect can go a long way towards making this transitional time go smoothly for everyone involved. Let each other know when someone’s not going to be home for dinner, or if you’re going to have friends over and would like some privacy. Don’t play the TV too loud late at night and try to keep conversations at a lower volume while other people are sleeping. Just be considerate of the fact that you live with other people and you should all do just fine.
Whether you are staying with your in-laws temporarily, or if they have moved into your home due to health concerns, there will be hiccups along the way. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that the situation works well for everyone.
This post was written by Rachel Jackson. Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about traveling, education, and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at Bizset.com – an online resource of relevant business information.
Now your apartment seems tiny and depressing. Was moving to such an exciting city worth the trade off for space?
Of course it was.
There are simple tweaks you can make to your apartment that will have it looking and feeling more spacious without the need to book it back to the ‘burbs. Watch your apartment grow with these nine tips:
1. Lighten Up
You may like the drama of black walls, but your tiny place will look less like a dungeon if you use more cheerful colors.
Try painting all walls vibrant colors like sky blue or daring yellow and enjoy the enlightening difference. Even bright white can add some refreshing pizzazz, and as an added bonus, it reflects sunlight to create a more open feeling overall.
2. Drop it down
Your giant platform bed towering three feet off the floor has you sleeping like The Princess and the Pea, but royal vibes notwithstanding, it’s using up valuable space.
Instead, choose a style that drops it low and hugs the floor. With your bedroom more opened up, every night can be crowned a restful night’s sleep.
Ever go into someone’s house and see a wall completely covered in a mirror? They’re not just extremely vain. By strategically placing a mirror across from a large light source like a window or chandelier, a depth effect is created that makes the whole room appear twice as big.
Great lighting + huge mirror = ultimate selfie station.
4. Fold it up
Remember your mom’s ironing board that folded up into a closet door? Borrow from the same principle when creating some extra space in your own apartment.
Foldable chairs, hidden storage behind artwork, and footboard drawers are all great ways to have your stuff available when you need it, and tucked away when you don’t.
5. Multi-functional pieces
Seek out furniture that pulls double duty. An old-fashioned Murphy bed or a coffee table that doubles as a desk are two helpful possibilities that let you make the most of your space. Now if only they could clean the place.
6. Pop out those ceilings
Yes, we told you to paint walls white, but to create the illusion of taller ceilings, go dark up top. A ceiling painted black, dark grey, or navy suggests height and will make your your eight-foot ceiling take on twelve-foot penthouse vibes.
7. Move it out
This one is a little counter-intuitive, but stay with us: If you move furniture a little bit away from the walls it can create a feeling of spaciousness. A sofa and chairs butted against walls tend to look very confining, whereas providing a little wiggle room gives the appearance of more room to breathe. Your living room will look larger, and your furniture won’t be left holding its breath.
8. Leave the windows alone
Overcrowding a room with excess furniture is already a small-space no-no. Covering a window to allow more stuff to fit? Unforgivable.
If windows are blocked, everything quickly looks smaller and cramped, and the lack of light will give the room an eerie cave-like feeling. Resist the urge to squish lots of furniture pieces in one room, instead opting for a few solid pieces that balance the area while showcasing the natural light.
When making the move to a smaller apartment, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have more stuff than can fit in your new space.
Consider a yard sale to help you get rid of unneeded things. Starting with an almost-clean slate will make it easier to visualize where to place your favorite things, rather than wasting time and energy packing up stuff that you simply no longer need.
Still have too much? Schedule an appointment with MakeSpace. They’ll pick up your stuff, transport it to their secure storage facility, and deliver it back whenever you decide that, yeah, actually, the foosball table will fit.
It may be challenging to get that big apartment feel you’re used to in a smaller place, adjusting doesn’t have to be difficult. Give these simple tricks a try and embrace life in the city, with room to spare.
Sam Radbil is an author at ABODO Apartments, an apartment marketplace website that makes apartment hunting easier for people all across the country. Check out their available apartments in Chicago, IL and follow along on Twitter at @ABODOapts.
When guests arrive to stay in your home with a little to no notice, providing an inviting, relaxing space for them is one of the best ways to show your hospitality. Impromptu visits are bound to happen, but with these simple tips for being guest room-ready, you can be assured your family and friends will know they are always welcome!
1. Clean Up
The first step in welcoming guests is to provide a clean, uncluttered environment. Quickly freshen up the room by opening the curtains and windows. Let the sun shine in as you vacuum and dust the windowsills, furniture, and picture frames. Clear floors, furniture, and counters to make sure there is adequate space for your guest’s suitcases and belongings.
If space allows, a comfy chair in the guest room is ideal for putting on shoes, reading, or relaxing. Keep air filters updated to ensure the room is kept as allergen-free as possible. While sprucing up, don’t forget to tidy the guest bathroom, as well.
2. Create A Cozy Feel
Because the majority of time is spent resting and sleeping in a guest room, you will need to make sure the bed has a set of soft, freshly-laundered sheets. When making the bed, keep in mind the time of year. You may need to add warmer blankets during the winter season, and in warmer months, lighter bedding often works best. It’s always a good idea to have extra quilts available in the closet.
For rooms with hardwood floors, consider placing a cozy rug near the bed for additional warmth. As a final touch, one or two decorative pillows that make family feel especially welcome.
It is important to have your Wifi password handy for guests. Keeping it in a stylish frame on the bedside table will make it easily noticeable and works much better than a piece of paper that could become lost.
3. Provide Some Basic Toiletry Items
It is beneficial to know what makes your guest feel at home. Keeping a well-stocked decorative basket with items such as fresh toothpaste and toothbrushes, dental floss, soaps, travel-size shampoos and conditioners, body wash, hand lotion, band-aids and cotton balls can do wonders for your guest.
In the guest bathroom, always set out fresh towels, hand towels, and washcloths that are kept especially for company. Time permitting, adding a fragrant vase of fresh flowers from your garden is an added touch your guests are sure to enjoy.
4. Snack Basket
If you have a few extra minutes, another thoughtful way to care for your guests is to set out a basket filled with some easy snacks and beverages. Water bottles are especially nice to have in addition to an assortment of fresh fruit, granola and/or protein bars, small packages of crackers, or a variety of chocolates treats.
5. Personal, Comforting Touches
Last but certainly not least, set out some personal touches for your visitors to enjoy. Framed photos of fun memories give the room an added cozy feeling. Proper lighting is important in the room, and it is a good idea to make sure all light bulbs are in working order. Candles are a great way to add ambiance and tranquility. It is best to use soft, subtle fragrances that are not too overpowering. A selection of coffee table books, magazines, and even local travel guides are a nice touch in the guest room. And finally, nothing is more welcoming than a personalized notecard expressing to your guests how wonderful it is to have them there!
These simple and easy tips for getting your guest room ready that take minimal effort, but speak volumes to make loved ones feel welcome. In turn, you can know that these little details mean so much to your guests and will make their stay all the more memorable.
Annie Grace Fleming is a Public Relations Specialist for Crawlspace Depot. She regularly produces content for a variety of blogs that cover topics from insulation to air filtration systems.
Modern designs are all about bringing the natural world inside.
These days, we have enough distractions: From our smartphones to our laptops, we seem to always be looking at some kind of artificial screen. That’s why the latest trends are focused on bringing nature into our homes to provide some much needed “breathing room.”
As more people move to the city in search of urban excitement, we make our homes our own natural wonderlands. Let’s explore the best interior design trends of 2018 that are all about bringing the colors of nature inside:
Bring your favorite plants and flowers inside
One of the easiest ways to bring the great outdoors into your urban environment is to simply place potted plants and fresh flowers around your home. These small accents might not be huge, but they add a breath of actual fresh air.
Don’t have a green thumb?
There’s no shame in choosing fake plants if you aren’t up to the task of caring for real ones! If you want to start small, consider a plant that’s low maintenance, like a small succulent.
Upgrade your cabinets
Of the places in your home that are in need of a natural refresh, the kitchen may be at the top of your list, but can also be the most daunting task to take on. For an easy upgrade with major impact, bring natural colors to your cabinets.
Deep greens, golden tans, and muted browns occur frequently in the great outdoors, and are chic choices for a cabinet update. You can also return your cabinets to a deep, natural wood by switching out the doors (RTA kitchen cabinets are a beautiful option). Your kitchen will be instantly modernized with an added essence of warmth.
Feel closer to nature with natural floors
While tile might be easy to care for, it can sometimes leave your apartment feeling cold and outdated. Bring your home one step closer to nature by switching your flooring to something more environmentally sound.
Choosing a natural material like wood, cork, or even bamboo will give your home a noticeable refreshing feeling. There are plenty of eco-friendly materials available that are more sustainable than traditional flooring options without sacrificing style. Counter these natural floors with contrasting wall colors to create a unique, well-rounded effect.
Add touches of the outdoors
If the ideas above are too big of a commitment, there’s no shame in starting small! Look for patterns and prints that mimic the colors of nature. A palm or floral print can transform a room when highlighted correctly.
Remember: nature doesn’t come in a single set of colors. If you live in the Southwest, that might mean bringing the impressive warm sunsets inside with fiery reds, oranges, and even fuchsia. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you might choose prints that remind you of the greenery and the rain. Let your interiors reflect the view from your window.
Let in the light
Finally, don’t forget to let the light into your home. If you live in an urban apartment, abundant natural light can be hard to come by. Take advantage of the glimpses of the great outdoors that you do get with sheer curtains in shades of white, pale yellow, or light blue. Sometimes the best decoration is the one beyond your window, so leave window sills clear of clutter and invite the light in!
No matter where you live or which design aesthetic you prefer, we all could use a little more nature in our lives. Even small touches go a long way to making your home a comfortable and captivating space, so stir up some sunshine and welcome Mother Nature in for a visit.
This post was written by The Blog Frog, a unique platform that helps bloggers build stronger and better networks.
The best get-togethers are those that seem to never end. Sleeper sofas make watching movies, playing games, or just catching up over a glass of wine an easy overnight affair. Host holiday visitors right in your living room with pull-out sectionals, or set up sleepovers for multiples in the guest room with loveseat sleepers.
When adding a piece of furniture that can dramatically expand and contract, it’s key to consider the room’s layout and decor. Here are our best tips for easy, functional designing around a pull-out sofa.
Choose the best size and shape for your space
With the range of sofa sizes and shapes available today, you can easily add a sleeper to nearly any room in your home—the living room or family room, the home office, or even a large guest bedroom. In most cases, these pieces will function first and foremost as couches and secondly as beds.
With that in mind, first consider how the piece will fit into the designated area as a sofa. For large rooms, get optimal seating with a full sectional arrangement. For a tighter space, a small loveseat pushed up against the way may be all you need.
Also, evaluate the mattress size that would be most appropriate for both your daytime couch-sitters and your overnight guests. A twin mattress is the perfect sleeping spot for a single person, but they’re typically only available within daybeds or two-cushion couches. If you can swing it space-wise, choose a queen-sized pull-out bed—it’s the most useful and versatile, providing enough room for one to two guests without overwhelming the space.
Keep comfort in mind
Just as important as sofa size and shape, the comfort level of your couch is integral to the perfect sleeping setup. The sofa cushions should be plush enough that guests sitting on them would never know that beneath them is an entire pull-out contraption. The thicker the cushions, the better. A firm fabric such as a tight-weave linen-like upholstery or slick natural leather also helps protect guests from the metal bars inside the furniture.
Next, think about the mattress itself. While you should look for sleepers with thick, comfortable mattresses, remember that you can always add a super-plush mattress topper to any bed for cloud-like coziness.
Place a thick and textured throw blanket in complementary colors over the arm of the couch—it can double as extra warmth for sleepover guests.
Use storage furniture to hold bed linens
Store extra pillows, sheets, and blankets in the guest room in attractive storage furniture that doubles as decor. Place linens in decorative baskets and bins in the corners of the room, or tuck them away in hidden media center drawers or cabinets. Choose a storage space that’s extra-roomy, and swap out bedding with sofa pillows and blankets until morning to keep the space clutter-free. You’ll save space in your linen closets, and you’ll make everything easy to access for your guests.
Too many blankets, not enough storage furniture? Schedule a MakeSpace pickup. We'll pick up and store the extras until you need them delivered back again.
Add versatile furniture
If your sofa-sleeper just so happens to be the main seat in the living room, it will serve primarily as a seating area. You’ll likely need a coffee table and at least one end or sofa table, depending on the size of the piece. But to make the sitting area functional as both a lounge space and a makeshift bedroom, you’ll want furniture that’s easy to rearrange. For example, a lightweight acrylic or rattan coffee table is much easier to push aside than a solid stone or concrete drum table.
If you still want to incorporate a hefty natural material into the room, look for tables with marble, stone, or thick-cut glass tops and airy, open bases. The same advice applies to side tables. Or, if you still want to add a solid, sculptural metal or wood table with some weight to it, let that one act as a nightstand when the pull-out bed is in use.
Accent chairs, lounge chairs and armchairs should all be arranged clear of the pull-out space. To allow the overnight guest room to breathe and to avoid boxing the bed in with auxiliary furniture, arrange these spare seats so that they are flanking the sofa area. Angle the chairs out and away from the sofa to create a layout that feels open.
Illuminate with all-purpose lighting
As with furniture, you don’t want the hassle of rearranging the lighting when it’s time to pull out the couch for the night. Arc floor lamps are the perfect all-purpose option for sleeper sectionals, sofas, and loveseats alike. Specifically designed to fit behind a couch or chair, the arched neck of these lights maximizes the area the illumination covers, and the overhead design allows it to easily convert to a nighttime reading lamp for those tucked into the pull-out.
Another option that works for the entire space is a chandelier or overhead flush mount (use multiple flush mounts, if the space requires a little extra brightness) paired with a table lamp or two. Keep one table lamp on an adjacent side table that can do double duty as a bedside light for overnight guests.
Style decorative objects in the name of simplicity
Carefully consider the décor that sits atop the furniture pieces you’ll need to move when you pull out the bed. For example, think about the coffee table or ottoman in front of the couch. Instead of creating an elaborate tablescape of candles, hardcover books, vases, and other decorative objects, keep it simple and choose just a couple of items to display. You can still decorate with all the accessories you originally wanted—just spread them throughout the entire room, placing on console tables, wall shelves, and display pedestals instead of clustering most on the main surface.
If you plan to host overnight guests often, consider taking a minimalist approach to the decor in that particular room. As a DIY bedroom, it should be zen and welcoming, and a color palette of soft, neutral hues is visually comforting in a bedroom.
Pull-out sofas help you make the most of the space in your home. Try to make the most of the sleeper itself by surrounding it with accommodating furniture in a functional layout. Your future couch crashers will love you for it. Happy hosting!
Hannah Bollman writes inspirational and actionable content around home design and entertaining for Crate and Barrel, where you can find sleeper sofas to meet your hosting needs. When she’s not providing guidance on interior style, Hannah enjoys performing stand-up comedy and working to improve her 5K time.
You see, a lot of people imagine dogs as these big, messy animals who need lots of space, will always run around, and will ruin every couch they can get their paws on. Sure, some of them are like that, but a lot of other breeds are actually quite peaceful and love nothing more than to lounge on a couch indoors with their owner.
If you live in a small apartment, don’t lose hope yet. You, too, can be the pet parent of a beautiful dog; you just need to find the right breed (and maybe a little extra room. MakeSpace can help!).
Find out which dog breeds are the best for small apartments. Maybe you will find one that suits you and fall utterly in love with it!
1. The Bulldog
It doesn’t matter if it’s a French or English Bulldog, this breed of dogs is perfect for people who live in small apartments. Since they are low in energy and don’t mind just hanging out all day on the couch with you, Bulldogs are a great breed from those who not only own small flats but are also quite introverted. Loving and kind, this breed is one of the easiest to take care of: all they need is a good bed to sleep on, a healthy meal, and your company.
Of course, like every other dog, they need exercise. While they don’t have as much energy as, say, a Golden Retriever, a couple of walks during the day or a game of fetch in the backyard does their wrinkly body good. Just be careful during hot days, as they can overheat pretty quickly!
2. The Chiweenie
Even this dog’s name tells you he’d be a great small apartment dog. A mix between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund, the Chiweenie is able to fit everywhere thanks to his small body, which makes him perfect for people who live in small spaces. Just keep in mind that the Chiweenie is quite hard to train, as he is a very stubborn fella, and might even suffer from the “small dog syndrome” if he’s not trained well.
Playful and low maintenance, the Chiweenie is the perfect breed for people who don’t have enough time or space to take care of a bigger dog. Note, however, that he might have some difficultly with kids, so if you have children, consider a different breed.
3. The Bassett Hound
The Bassett Hound is a “medium” dog that fits well in small apartments. Usually very quiet and calm, they are great if you are living in a building with really thin walls. After all, no one wants to stay awake at night because of one dog barking incessantly. All a Bassett Hound needs to be happy is daily exercise (nothing too excessive though: a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood or a stroll to the dog park is enough) and a loving dose of attention.
The Basset Hound is definitely not a small dog (compared to the Chiweenie at least), but he has nothing against hanging out in a small spot in your apartment the whole afternoon or just cuddling with you when you [both] need it.
4. The Pug
Of course, we can’t write about small apartment dog breeds without mentioning the Pug. This famous small dog is a ball of happiness, and you’ll be more than delighted to have one around at all times. Small and low in energy (just like Bulldogs), they are easy to take care of, even though they can suffer from many health issues due to inbreeding.
So, if you don’t mind caring for a dog who could sleep for hours after chasing his tail around (bonus points if you take a funny video), we’d say the Pug is perfect for you.
Morkies do require some extra training—especially if you have human kids running around along with your fur baby—to take the time to ensure he’ll show love to every member of the family.
This is guest post by Houda from DiamondPup. She is a full-time writer, traveler, and self-proclaimed dog person. She also makes lame jokes, writes poetry, and loves eating weird food in faraway countries. Did she mention that she was a dog person? Yeah, give her all the puppies, please.
Millennials prefer a convenient location and open floor plan, and they would like to communicate with realtors through texts or emails.
Generation X members value a solid school district and house features over the location and would prefer to connect with realtors through emails or phone calls.
Baby Boomers are focused on first-floor master bedrooms and accessibility for future needs, and when communicating with a realtor, they prefer phone calls.
Members of the Silent Generation are focused on smaller homes close to friends and families, and they choose to communicate with realtors through face to face interactions.
No matter what age group you are in, considering your current and future needs is crucial when making such a big decision as choosing a home. If you’re willing to downsize, what will you do with all your extra stuff (hint: MakeSpace can help you out)? If you relocate from the city to the ‘burbs, which once-necessary items can you potentially give away? Are you tired of taking on the responsibility of homeownership and are ready for the freedom that renting affords?
There are a lot of things to think about. The Realtors at Del-co Realty are ready to help you sift through it all.