Decluttering Tips

De-cluttering Britain: top tips for getting the best out of the space in your home
There's nothing worse than living in a cramped and cluttered living space, and with homes in the UK reported to be the smallest in Europe, this is a problem that is becoming increasingly common for households all across the nation, one that Brits are being seriously affected by.

Having conducted some research, we found that over half of people living in the UK (53%) have been forced to throw away their favourite possessions to create room in their homes, the most popular items comprising of clothes, cuddly toys, old school artwork and collectibles.

But even though many might question how badly people are affected by binning their most cherished possessions, we found that 70% of our respondents felt serious remorse are parting with their belongings, with three in five 18-35 year olds (61%) being forced to throw away their goods to make room for a partner.

In order to fight the lack of space in a home, many people resort to throwing away their possessions. But there are a number of alternatives to make sure they don't have to. Follow these simple tips to help order the chaos and make the most of your space.

Line a hallway with bookshelves
Most hallways are left bare and utilised only to walk from room to room but it can often provide the most space in a home. Line one of the walls with a row of shelving and fill with books, films, ornaments, shoes and whatever else is cluttering your home.

Buy a coffee table with storage compartments
A lot of people like to add a coffee table in their front room, which generally occupies a lot of space. The best solution to this problem is buying one that has lots of compartments, which you can fill with remote controllers, old CDs or board games. An ottoman or chest can also work perfectly well as a coffee table, while offering a dual function.

Choose bookshelves that run to the ceiling
If you're working with a small space, make sure you buy a bookshelf that will reach the ceiling, otherwise you're not utilising the maximum space you have.

Use light colours
While darker colours can make a room seem comfortable, they also absorb light rather than reflecting it, which can make a space feel a lot smaller. Installing lighter coloured flooring as well as wall colours will create the illusion of space and make your home feel light and airy.

Corner installations
Make the most out of a space by fitting corner bookcases and wardrobes, transforming a usually unused area into a practical spot for stowing away your possessions.

Less is more
Use fewer large pieces of furniture and home accessories to reduce visual clutter and open up your living space.

Window shelving
Install shelves all around your window areas to make use of surrounding space that usually goes unused.

Window Seats
Another great addition to window shelving is installing window seats with lids to put possessions in, whilst simultaneously creating a subtle and relaxing setting to rest in.

Put your items into storage
Whether you're transitioning from a smaller to a larger accommodation, in a temporary living situation or simply trying to make the most of your space, on-demand storage services such as Boxman provide a great alternative to throwing away possessions. We provide the boxes, collect your goods, store them for you and return them as soon as you want them back, limiting all transportation costs and opening the possibility for creating more space in the home.

Paint or wallpaper the ceiling
Anything that draws the eye's attention upwards has the effect of making a room look and feel bigger. Decorating the ceiling with paint or wallpaper can be a great solution when trying to achieve this.

Sofa bed
If you're living in a one bedroom apartment, a sofa bed or futon can be the perfect solution when entertaining, adding another function to an essential piece of home furnishing.

Limit Obstructions
The further you can look into and through a space, the bigger it will feel. Arrange furnishings to avoid blocking views of windows and doors.

Use stripes to elongate space
The same way that striped clothing can make people seem taller, a striped rug can have the effect of elongating a room, drawing the eye to create the illusion of space.

Blind over matter
Light projects space and depth into your home. Try not to cover your windows with thick curtains and opt for blinds to create as much open space as possible.

Reflect light with mirrors
Placing mirrors in strategic spots around your home will help reflect light and create more depth. Glass and Lucite furnishings are also very popular right now and can create a similarly expansive effect.

Additional lighting
Help banish room-darkening shadows by placing a number of additional light fixtures in dark spots in your home.

Monochrome flooring
Keep the flooring throughout a small space the same neutral tone for visual continuity. Hardwood floors are particularly good for enhancing the space in your home.

Magazine storage
Buy a magazine rack or stack magazines in flat-bottom baskets underneath a console or coffee table to de-clutter your living room.

Plain sailing
In a small home, choose sofas and chairs with plain or textured upholstery rather than vibrant prints. Sofas are often the most obtrusive part of the home and you don't want to draw too much attention to them.

Tips provided by Paul Stricker, storage expert and Founder of Boxman