What Two Words Will Double the Space in Your
by Karen Fritscher-Porter
Just two words and a bit of explanation about them will help you to double,
maybe even triple, the space in your home now. Those two words are "Go
FUNCTION FIRST, LOOKS SECOND
That means that when you buy bookcases or other types of furnishing with
shelves, make sure these items have five or six shelves. Two or three shelves
per item are just wasted space. When it comes to home organization, you want to
buy furnishings based on the criteria of function first and then looks second.
So if two items are both of acceptable appearance to you, always purchase the
one that is most functional. If one item is slightly prettier than the other but
the other item has more vertical shelving, cubby holes and nooks, choose that
second item. The peace-of-mind you'll get from having a more organized home will
be much more valuable to you in the long-run.
DON'T FOLLOW YOUR EMOTIONS
Always remember that stores want to sell to you based on your emotions. That's a
fact. Most marketing research agrees with that statement. If the seller can hook
your emotions, they're closer to a sale. For example, you see a pie safe cabinet
that's outrageously priced but beautiful. So you say to your spouse who's
shopping with you: "Oh, look at that pie safe cabinet. It's gorgeous. Look at
that blue color. It's a little a high priced but maybe we can get it on
Stop right there!
As a smart shopper (and a smart home organizer), you want to buy based on what
your brain tells you. So for example, now you look at that same pie safe cabinet
and say: "Oh, look at that pie safe cabinet. It's gorgeous. What a pretty blue
color. But we need something a bit more functional. That cabinet only has four
shelves and the one next to it has six shelves and is cheaper. The second one is
maple stained, not blue. But that's okay. It's still a handsome piece of
furniture and it's more functional. We'll get more space to use in our home and
more product for our money."
Use your head, not your heart, to make decisions about furnishing items for your
home. Then you'll have functional home furnishings that double your home storage
space. Think like a home organizer versus a home decorator. Think function
ANALYZE FURNISHINGS IN YOUR HOME NOW
Look around your rooms. Do you have a two shelf horizontal bookcase? Do you have
a tiny three shelf freestanding pantry in the kitchen? Do you have a little
three drawer jewelry or lingerie armoire in the bedroom? Go room-to-room and
make a list of any type shelving unit like these or others (e.g. microwave cart,
television cart/stand, etc.)
Unless these items truly hold sentimental value, it's worth selling them to a
used furniture store or at a yard sale for a bit of cash. (I'll tell you why
sell in a minute.) Or spend a few bucks to put an ad in your local "Pennysaver"
type newspaper advertising the item for sale.
SELL HIGH; BUY LOW
Then negotiate with the potential buyer so you get the best price possible for
the item you're selling. That means you must suggest a price that's beyond what
you expect to get. Why? Because these days potential buyers will almost always
ask you to come down on the price. In fact, I guarantee three out of four buyer
prospects will try to get you to lower the price. So start high so they feel
like they're negotiating the price down.
Why sell the item in the first place? Because you want to use the cash you make
to upgrade to a taller unit of the same item. If you watch those home
decorating/organizing shows on television, you may recall that there is a
certain show that uses just this strategy. They have a big yard sale with all
the participant's useless items and use the money to upgrade to more useful and
stylish items for the same space in the home. The difference in the home is
usually extraordinary at completion. You're striving for a similar method and
NOW DOUBLE YOUR SPACE
You want to use the cash to buy a comparable piece of furniture that serves a
similar function as the piece you just discarded. You can even put the new
furniture piece in the exact same spot where you had the previous piece. But
make sure the new piece of furnishing is taller with more shelving or nooks.
Remember, the big two word secret in this article is "go vertical." So in the
end, you'll use the same floor space in your home but double its storage
And when replacing your items with comparable items, don't hesitate to buy used
furniture (even from the same shop you sold yours to). If it's in good shape in
regard to quality (e.g. no rotting, flimsy wood panels, etc.) but not exactly
your favorite color, you can fix that. Get a four dollar can of spray paint and
a primer spray coat and change the color. Or get creative such as use some
pretty contact paper to redo the outside. And one final piece of advice: Don't
forget to negotiate when you're the buyer!
Karen Fritscher-Porter writes about home organizing solutions at
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