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15 Creative Space Maximizing Hacks That You Should Never Miss

15 Creative Space Maximizing Hacks That You Should Never Miss

No matter how much we save on rent each month or the fancy neighborhood we traded the size for, small spaces are always difficult to enjoy without daily frustration and the wish for a bigger house.

Here are 15 hacks to maximize the space in your house or apartment that don’t require major renovations or technical knowledge.

1. Forget low and small furniture – play with different proportions

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    Unless you want your house to look like a meditation temple or a dollhouse, stay away from choosing all the small and low furniture you can find. Play with different dimensions and the furniture placement until you fit everything you need, so your space looks complete and far from small.  Take clue from the living room above. You can’t guess its limited measurements at first sight, as it doesn’t lack furniture, but it’s instead rich in diverse proportions and scale.

    2. Use different width shelves for different purposes

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      Not all things require the same space, so consider narrower shelves for specific things, such as books, pantry staples, beauty items etc. This will allow you to get advantage of every little nook and you will come up with creative ideas on how to store your stuff.

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      3. Replace or remove the doors to gain light in windowless rooms

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        Take advantage of the doors to save windowless rooms by letting in the light from other rooms. You can replace the doors with semi-opaque materials like frosted glass that allow some light to come through. Additionally, if privacy is not an issue, you can remove them completely, so they don’t mess with your already limited movement when open. The best result of going without doors is the creation of uninterrupted visual perception that automatically tricks the eye into perceiving a bigger space.

        4. Define the areas – don’t divide the space

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          You can define areas with different functions, without adding walls or dividers into an open space. The most simple and inexpensive way is to use several carpets or rugs under the dinning space, sitting area, sleeping or working space. Using the floor to define the particular areas allows you to keep the upper part of the open space free and undivided.

          5. Place mirrors strategically

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            Mirrors are known as famous space maximizing hacking tools. However, they should be put in a position where they can reflect light or give the illusion of depth. So avoid leaving them facing a dark messy corner of your apartment.

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            6. Put stuff you need to hide behind a curtain

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              No need to worry about stuff you have nowhere to place or things you need daily and can’t store away. Make a simple curtain to hide them when necessary. Choose a hue that matches the rest of the space to avoid visual clutter or go completely opposite with a bold print to add interest.

              7. Use foldable furniture

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                Think about the surfaces you don’t need to use all the time and consider making them foldable or expandable. Tables, desks, ironing or cutting surfaces can be a few. Keeping them vertically on the wall or tucked behind other furniture when not used will be a beneficial space saver.

                Bedroom

                8. Install a retractable bed

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                  They might look intimidating, but if you can have one built, it is worth the extra free space you will gain. Hung from the ceiling, installed on a wall or stored inside a closet, you can find a system that works for your space.

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                  9. Use the space behind the doors for storage

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                    Every door can serve as extra storage, as long as you avoid heavy objects. Simple hooks are the easiest to start with, but vertical storage systems are great for smaller items, like beauty tools, stationery, jewelry, gadgets, shoes, accessories etc.

                    10. Raise your furniture to create storage underneath

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                      By raising the bed even a few inches, you gain more storage area underneath. Make sure to create a system of cases that fit the whole surface or a custom-built big drawer, so the under the bed area looks neat and stays dust free. After the bed, which is probably your biggest furniture and provides more space for storage, you can continue with other items of furniture, including nightstands, dressers, closets.

                      Kitchen

                      11. Choose kitchen cabinets over open shelves

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                        Many experts favor open shelves as space savers, but I would advise against them if you are not extremely organized and minimalist. You should have cabinets to hide the clutter utensils tend to create. They can match the wall color and blend a little into the background, so the whole space looks neat and calm.

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                        12. Use a narrow console as a dinning table

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                          A great way to avoid a classic table and save lots of space is by using a console or narrow desk and replacing chairs with stackable stools. You still have enough room for two and the possibility to add shelves underneath or at the sides. Besides dinning, this surface can be used for working, cooking and other activities. The stools can also go under the console or tucked somewhere else, to create more freedom for your daily flow.

                          Kids’ room/Nursery

                          13. Put playing space vertically

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                            To help the kids’ rooms remain clean for longer, try to organize the toys vertically. You can also set certain activity stations like painting, puzzles and magnetic shapes on the wall.

                            14. Think small and alternative for a nursery

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                              There’s no need to devote a whole room to babies, as long as they are tiny and don’t require much. Consider hanging a bassinet and adding a few shelves in a free corner to welcome your little one in your bedroom.

                              15. Put the crib wherever there’s space

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                                Another clever hack to maximize your apartment’s space when you have a baby, is to put the crib wherever there is a free space. Consider a closet or any free nook of the house, as long as the conditions are appropriate for the baby to be safe.

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                                Last Updated on October 20, 2020

                                How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                                We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                                The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                                Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                                1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                                Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                                For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                                • (1) Research
                                • (2) Deciding the topic
                                • (3) Creating the outline
                                • (4) Drafting the content
                                • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                                • (6) Revision
                                • (7) etc.

                                Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                                2. Change Your Environment

                                Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                                One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                                3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                                Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                                Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                                My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                                Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                                If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                                Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                                I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                                5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                                I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                                Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                                As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                                6. Get a Buddy

                                Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                                I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                                7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                                This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                                For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                                8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                                What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                                9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                                If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                                Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                                10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                                Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                                Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                                11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                                At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                                Reality check:

                                I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                                Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

                                More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

                                Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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