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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 January 17, 2019

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                Listen carefully:

                                We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                1. Pray Daily

                                You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                3. Smile Often

                                Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                8. Go Exercise

                                Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                The Bottom Line

                                It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                More Resources About Mindfulness

                                Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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