Four Ways to Add Functionality to an Undersized Home

If you're currently living in a space that's simply too small to fit your needs, then you aren't alone. In fact, this is one of the most common errors made by buyers during the homebuying process. Whether it was due to budgetary limitations, a lack of suitable options, or simple miscalculation on your part, the result is still the same: you find yourself cramped and dreaming of wide-open spaces. Although you could technically build an addition to the house or move again, these expensive and stressful undertakings are best saved as a last resort. Instead, consider the following four strategies that can make living space appear almost out of thin air!

1. Downsize your furniture

The simplest way to free up precious space in your home is to edit your furniture. Do you really need that huge sectional couch? How about that big dining room table? When space is at a premium, you absolutely need to remove furniture with little or no utility. If the item is nice, then try to sell it at a garage sale or consignment shop; if it's not, then introduce it to the garbageman. For essential pieces, consider swapping them out with smaller versions of themselves or versions that have built-in storage.

2. Add vertical utility 

Speaking of storage, there's an area of the home that people often fail to consider when looking for more space: above their heads. We naturally prefer to store things at or below eye-level so as to make it easier to access the items, but how much of your stored stuff do you actually need easy access to? For things that are only rarely used, consider adding high shelves or even built-in shelving units along a wall. These will take up less space than a comparable dresser or hutch, as they fit directly against the wall and can be customized for your storage needs.

3. Look outside

If there's no more room inside your house, then why not look for some outside? Adding an outdoor living area such as a deck or porch can transform the feel of your house (at least, when the weather is nice). If you're looking for something that can be used at any time of the year, then consider changing an existing outdoor space into a sunroom.

4. Change the layout

By far the most effective way to find more space in the same square footage is to reconfigure the layout of the house. It might seem drastic, but sometimes removing even a single wall can open up a shocking amount of what used to be dead space. Some of the prime targets are walls that form a formal dining room or enclosed kitchen. Of course, you should absolutely consult with a professional before removing any walls, as you could otherwise inadvertently compromise the structural integrity of the home. If the wall in question is non-load-bearing, then removing it is a very cost-effective way to find more space in your home. 

Utilizing any or all of these methods can generate tons of precious space inside your cramped home! For more information on this topic, check out this article from