IT’S hard to deny that current circumstances haven’t had an impact on our homes, with many having to double up as offices, schools and even play areas. Although this may have been a temporary measure, you might find that you need some extra, permanent, space in your existing home. With some imagination and a surprisingly small budget, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve without having to up sticks and move.

Storage

Do you have the room space but just too much stuff? For starters, it sounds obvious, but do a big clear out. With recycling centres and charity shops open again there’s no excuse. Spend the weekend sorting through any unwanted items and donate where you can.

For storage solutions, you need to think outside the box – literally. Vacuum bags are ideal, they normally come in multipacks of various sizes and are really cheap. Great for anything soft that is taking up a lot of space. Winter clothes, quilts and blankets can be reduced to a tenth of the size and slide under the bed nicely.

If floor space is a problem, then the sky is the limit, literally. Consider storing items that aren’t needed on a regular basis above units or wardrobes. Think about shelving units that are tall and slim, rather than long and bulky. Cheap and cheerful plastic, canvas or cardboard boxes can help to keep everything in place while adding a splash of colour and style. Perfect for keeping clutter off the floor.

Shelves above radiators are a great way to use otherwise wasted space.

If the kids are desperate for some space, a reading nook or kids study area can easily be achieved under the stairs or a window. A simple storage box with a couple of cushions on top will create a comfy seat and can double up as extra storage.

Hooks can be attached to pretty much anything like bedroom doors and inside cupboards – again keeping items off the floor will create the illusion of more space. In the kitchen, using hooks to hang pots and pans and magnets for knives can free up cupboard space and make a statement.

Knowing where things are is half the battle when considering storage options, so think about clear plastic boxes or bags that are easy to see into and can be labelled.

Flexible furniture like extendable dining tables, sofa beds and even clothes rails are ideal as they have multiple uses and can be stored away easily when not in use.

Let there be light

Lighting and mirrors are your friends when it comes to making a smaller room feel bigger. Change large floor lamps for smaller wall lights and when it comes to wall colour, stick to pale colours and swap out heavy curtains with blinds. Luckily, a big tub of value white paint goes a long way. Let in as much light as possible, give the windows a good scrub and update yellowing lightbulbs to bright white.

Outdoors

Is it time to rethink that huge sofa set and professional sized goal posts? When buying furniture, think small, light and foldable so that they can be stored away in a shed or cupboard or easily moved around. Updating your garden furniture doesn’t need to cost the earth, you’ll find some really great bargain sets in supermarkets like Aldi, Asda and Tesco and homeware stores like B&M.

Another way to make it feel bigger is to simply give it a good tidy. You’ll be surprised at how much space you do have after clearing out those unwanted flowerpots, cutting the grass and trimming back the hedges.

Your home is an investment, to be enjoyed for a long time and with these simple but effective ideas, you can enjoy the space you have for longer.