How to make the most out of a living space


Young adults around the world truly feel the struggle of having too much stuff and too little space. The hard fact is, as people get older, they end up having ownership over things like furniture, appliances, 9-year-old rugs and other odd things that they have no idea what to do with. This does not mean that there is no chance in figuring it out. It just means one’s organizational skills and creativity need to step up a notch.

Planning to move into my first place was over-the-top exciting until I found out that, after all this time, square footage matters. Before, I never had to care about it. Bringing furniture in early was a giant wake-up call for me as I realized that “planning ahead” was more than I had expected. During the winter break, my roommate and I visited an Ikea in Tennessee to buy furniture for our new house and got ideas from their in-store displays.

After seeing the displays and planning to my fullest extent, I came home with a better understanding of how to function in my own space. There were so many ways to set up things like shelves, pictures, shoe racks and lights on the highest parts of my own bedroom walls. I knew this was the right way to give myself extra space for more day-to-day things on my height level.

After some thinking, I realized that closets are a great storage place. Putting up shelves in my closet saved me from keeping my belongings on every piece of furniture in my room and having it look messy. Valuable, fragile items are best placed in closets, especially if it is sentimental and you have pets. As for shoes, shopping for shoe racks to hang on doors or walls is the best bet for anyone saving up closet space.

I am that person that has far too many T-shirts that I sleep in, and I once had a giant drawer just for them. Planning to put these shirts into a drastically smaller drawer, I decided to try tightly rolling each and every shirt to save space, and it worked perfectly. Between my closet and fantastic folding skills, I was able to fit about seven bags of clothes in my one-person room.

Extra rooms, sofas and guest beds are another story. Not everyone has an extra room, but having one gives them more storage, and they can make more room for company. Whether as a game room, study room or art studio, there are easy ways to combine hobbies with friends. For example, my extra room was split between me and my roommate for study, hobby and storage purposes. Although we wanted to have a room for guests, we decided to get a futon for the room to serve as a modern sofa and a bed when needed. The futon is light, easy to manage and surprisingly comfortable. In my opinion, it was the best way to take advantage of the extra room.

I have learned other tricks along the way, but as a graphic design major, I now understand that creativity and organization are the guides to making the most out of every home.