Got too much stuff? Or are homes really getting smaller?

Got too much stuff? Or are homes really getting smaller?
Is your home a sleek minimalist pad with a place for everything and everything in its place? Or, is it bursting at the seams with every nook and cranny filled to the brim? Most of us hanker after the former- and red-facedly admit to the latter- but don’t feel guilty, it’s not your fault as today’s homes are smaller than ever before.

Homes are getting smaller

A study by LABC Warranty found that today’s new build homes are significantly smaller than older-style- properties.  Homeowners in the 1970s enjoyed living rooms that were almost 25 square metres, but today’s equivalents measure just over 17 metres square.  An average ‘master’ bedroom today is typically just over 13 square metres- the smallest on record for over 80 years. Kitchens- at 12.61 square metres on average-are now officially too small to swing a cat in compared to kitchens of the ‘swinging sixties’ that were typically 15.37 metres square. 

Advantages to smaller homes

It’s tempting to blame property developers for the squeeze on space but Martin Skinner, chief executive of Inspired Homes, says that his firm’s speciality, ‘micro apartments’  which start at 30 square metres are popular as they can be up to 25% cheaper than regular new builds in the same location:  “In Croydon, for example, a buyer can purchase one of our micro-apartments with a salary of around £36,000 a year, instead of the £43,000 needed to buy an apartment meeting the nationally described space standard.”

Socialising is still possible

Socialising with friends on rooftop terraceIt's easier to get on the ladder with a smaller property but will you have to compromise on lifestyle? Most buyers have fantasies of throwing dinner parties, or bigger events, to show off their new spaces but just how do you do that in a micro apartment? Developers are conscious that building smaller homes means that communal facilities are a must for residents who still need space to work and play, whatever the size of their homes. Innova Croydon residents have access to a ninth-floor sky terrace with seating and BBQ, ideal for mingling and entertaining. There’s also a Wi-Fi- ready club lounge on the ground floor, with comfy seating and areas for people to work.

Handy apps to plan your space

Apps to help design and decorate propertyLiving in a smaller space requires greater planning when it comes to furnishing. There are plenty of apps around to help you plan your space and find furniture to fit. Billed as ‘the Wikipedia of interior design’ Houzz has 18 million home interior photos for inspiration and can connect you to over one million interior designers, architects and builders. Take a photo of your space and Magic Plan turns it into a floor plan that you can share with interior designers and you can even shop for products you like. Ikea’s planner tools let you become your own interior designer as you drag and drop your choice of furniture into the room and fit it to your exact measurements. See what it looks like in 3D, find out the cost and you can then save, print or email your plan and pick up your chosen products at your nearest branch. 

"We’re all probably a little bit guilty of holding onto things that we don’t need especially clothes and sentimental items."

Stop hoarding, start storing

We may be living in smaller spaces but we’re still hoarding, according to a survey from home interiors specialists Hillarys. The survey looked at the hoarding habits of 2,500 Brits revealing the top items that homeowners tend to hold on to. The study found as many as one in five find themselves hoarding items with clothes topping the list (82%), followed by shoes (74%), books (66%) right down to Tupperware (28%) and even out of date tins of food (8%).  Whilst 12% of people admitted their hoarded goods were ‘worthless’ and would go straight in the bin if they could be bothered to sort them out, most guilty hoarders estimated their hoarded goods’ worth at around £500. Hillary’s Tara Hall says: “We’re all probably a little bit guilty of holding onto things that we don’t need especially clothes and sentimental items. Perhaps after seeing the potential value of these items, some people might be tempted to have a bit of a clear out and make a bit of money!”

Sort for the season

storing bikes and clothesYou might make some handy cash by getting rid of things you’ll never need again but it doesn’t have to be a straight choice between hoarding or selling. Here at Safestore we know that getting organised and sorting things out at the start of each season then storing them can be a great way of freeing up space. When Spring comes get your bike and summer clothes out whilst storing winter clothes, heavy footwear and skiing stuff. Give your space a home makeover but put pictures and objects you’re bored with into storage, so you can rediscover them next time you redecorate. 
There was tons of stuff I wasn’t using but which I couldn’t bear to throw away.” The solution was to put things into storage....

No space to work?

New builds with office space built inMany developers now include workspaces at their developments so that home office space isn’t needed but- if that isn’t an option- putting stuff into storage to make way for office space just might be the answer. Jo McEwan is the co-founder of Positive Pause a website that gives advice on health and food for those experiencing ‘midlife and beyond’. Having downsized into her Dulwich home, McEwan soon found that she needed a home office as the website became successful: “There was tons of stuff I wasn’t using but which I couldn’t bear to throw away.” The solution was to put things into storage: “It’s been a godsend as I’ve now got a great home office and I can decide what to get rid of in my own time.” 
If you're in need of some extra space do get in touch as we have 117 stores nationwide and our friendly storage team would be more than happy to answer any of your storage related questions.  

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