September 25, 2008

Trunk Call for Space Savers

FOR most of us, struggling to cram a lifetime's worth of possessions into an average-sized semi, space really is the final frontier.

Those of us with children, particularly, find ourselves tripping over toys or hunting for the right pair of shoes. But you really don't have to live with a home resembling a jumble sale - as long as you put in a bit of work yourself, help is at hand from a veritable array of space-saving ideas designed to make your home more manageable.

Firstly, you need to take control. Look at each room and decide what it's going to be used for - for example, is the dining room better off as a playroom; do you really need a spare bedroom, or can it be turned into a study; could the kids share a bedroom?

Next, get rid of everything you don't need. Be ruthless - only keep things you actually use, or which have great sentimental value.

Once you've cleared out the clutter, think about ways to use any space you have effectively. Do you have a garage, a sound attic or understairs area which can be put to better use? Is there wasted space under beds which can be used to store blankets, linen or toys? Do your rooms have space for cupboards, shelves or hanging racks?

You'll find plenty of space-saving ideas to help transform your pit into a palace.

In the children's bedroom, why not use bunk beds or cabin beds, which give you space underneath? In the spare room, a sofa or chair bed is ideal for occasional guests.

Use pretty but functional boxes to store linen or towels. And clear plastic bags under the bed can be used to store items not used very often - such as winter woollies in the summer - in a dust and moth-free environment.

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