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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 August 13, 2020

                                12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                                12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                                As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

                                1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

                                I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

                                Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

                                Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

                                2. What is the purpose of meditation?

                                The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

                                It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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                                Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

                                In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

                                You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

                                This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

                                The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

                                Less Physical, More Psychological

                                Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

                                This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

                                The First Benefit of Meditation

                                The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

                                1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
                                2. Relaxation of the body

                                Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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                                Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

                                That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

                                When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

                                When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

                                Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

                                Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

                                This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

                                Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

                                Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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                                This benefit takes you to the second one.

                                The Second Benefit of Meditation

                                While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

                                1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
                                2. Observance
                                3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
                                4. Patience

                                Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

                                You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

                                This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

                                1. Energy

                                Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

                                2. Observance

                                The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

                                3. Peacefulness

                                Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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                                4. Patience

                                The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

                                The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

                                Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

                                Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

                                The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

                                • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
                                • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
                                • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
                                • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
                                • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
                                • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

                                These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

                                Final Thoughts

                                Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

                                Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

                                Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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                                Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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