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space savers how to make more room
by Yee-Fan Sun
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Space, like time and money, is one of those things that always seems to be in short supply for those of us in the quasi-adult stage of life. That 650-square foot apartment seems like a perfectly adequate amount of space when we're viewing it all empty and clean; a month after move in, with all our boxes unpacked and furniture slowly starting to accumulate, we find we can barely carve out a path between doorway and bed. Sure, it's easy to blame our lack of space on, well, our lack of space; sometimes, small digs are simply a fact of life. But no matter how puny your square footage, there are ways to use that area more efficiently. Looking for ideas on how to make more room in your cramped abode? Check out these tips…

1 What lies beneath Use those underspaces kids -- under the bed, beneath the sofa, below the side table. Even if it's just a few inches of space you're talking about, that's good storage potential you have there. You can buy long, flat plastic storage boxes to slide under your furniture, and use them to store out-of-season clothing, extra linens, and other items that you don't need to use on a regular basis. Can't find any underspace? Make some! A friend of mine used to keep her mattress and boxspring atop a set of cinderblocks to create extra under-bed storage; with a bedskirt and blankets, you'd never have known those ugly cinderblocks were there.

2 Over and over Don't forget to look up too. Make good use of all those overspaces -- above the fridge, over that wardrobe, above the toilet, on top of the washer/dryer. Here, shelving and wall cubes can come in handy, providing you with extra surface on which to stack stuff and get it out of the way.

3 The real skinny In just about every abode, no matter how small, there are the odd bits of wall and floor space that seem too bitty to accommodate any real furniture -- the areas around doorways and surrounding windows, the nooks in the corner of the room, for example, that tend to just sit there unused. Don't let them go to waste! You can put them to smart use by incorporating tall skinny storage units, corner shelves, or wall-mounting vertical storage or shelving. Skinny spaces are great for storing CDs and DVDs, installing a magazine rack, maybe an office supply organizer.

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