Saving Space 2: Bedrooms and Bathrooms
In part one we explored what it means to save space in the garage and gave many options based on the type of garage you have. But having a home doesn’t always mean you will have a garage, nor does it mean that you have a house. Your home is where you live, it is a place to have your meals, relax, sleep, raise your kids and enjoy your live. A home can be an apartment, condo, duplex, motor home, or house. With the exception of a motor home where you already need to conserve space all the rest might require some creative solutions to those problems. Even if you own a home, space can be an issue if you want to keep certain items together or in the same room.
In this section of the Saving Space series we are going to explore the option of saving space in the bathroom and the bedrooms. Now each living space or home is different, and when you first move in it can seem huge. After you have lived there a while and filled up that space it starts to seem small, cramped even. And in some cases you are stuck with the small space even though you have items that won’t fit into it. Here we will explore two important rooms in the house, the bathroom and the bedroom. If you were to time it, using the bathroom, brushing your teeth, showering, shaving and more in the bathroom, you spend close to 2 hours a day in that room. That roughly means you spend 30 days of the year in the bathroom. If you get 8 hours of sleep a day you spend over 121 days of the year asleep. Those two places in the house should be comfortable and not crowded if you are going to spend that much time in them.
If you have a large bathroom these tips might not apply for you, but for small bathrooms, even linen closets, these will help you conserve some space. Typically, a bathroom comes with standard amenities. They include a toilet, sink, bathtub/shower or combination of the two, and generally a medicine cabinet with mirror. Your bathroom can hold more, even if it seems small. Consider adding a toilet cabinet, this is something that stands up over the back of the toilet and contains shelf space, sometimes a cabinet or drawers as well. It gives you less wall space however it adds decorative places for you to add things like candles, or to store items that are best found in the bathroom, including towels, washcloths, extra toilet paper, tissue paper and more. For the ladies this could also be a great space to place make-up or little knick-knacks. To conserve counter space consider hanging your toothbrushes and toothpaste along the wall on the opposite side of the toilet.
You can easily add corner shelves in the entire bathroom, including the shower that can be used to hold various items. (In the shower would be everything you need to shower with, including shaving elements.) If you have linen space and looking for more decorative means and need shelves you can simply add some yourself or by a shelf unit that will match your decor.
If there is still some room to move around you can add a nightstand style drawer set to store feminine products, or extra towels for guests. Try to stay away from wood, because the moisture in the bathroom will warp it. Instead use something made of plastic, even a 3 drawer plastic storage bin on wheels. It gives you more space, you can lock the wheels if you don’t want it to move around and it gives you drawers to place various items in. This works wonders if your linen closet is small or non-existent.
Bedrooms come in various sizes and every home will have a master bedroom, one that is bigger than the others. This room is generally large enough to be comfortable and in some cases large enough for plenty of furniture. It’s the smaller bedrooms however, that can pose a problem when it comes to space. Since the parents generally get the master bedroom the kids will than get the smaller ones.
To save space in the children’s room, consider what they have, and how best to organize it. Kids will have their clothes which will also be seasonal with jackets, coats, swimwear, and more like items. They will also have toys or various sizes, games, perhaps you want a television in their room, or a desk so they can do their homework, a dresser, their bed, perhaps storage containers for the toys, etc. Consider storing clothes that are not in season in a tote to conserve space in the room. The tote can slide under the bed, keeping it out of the way, or in the closet. If the closet is large enough you can actually place the dresser in the closet making more room in the bedroom as a play area. It also keeps all the clothes together making it easier to find and keep track of. Toys should be organized in a toy bin, or plastic bins that go under the bed. Or you can have a twin bed that has storage built into it, or even a bed that sits up allowing space for a desk and everything else underneath it. (Not all kids like to sleep up high, and a child rolling off a bed like this can get hurt.) Consider a desk that has a drawer and a cabinet so all the school stuff can stay together, and always add a bookshelf to the room. The top can be used as a counter for toys, and unless they have a lot of books so can one of the shelves.
As my wife and I live in an apartment with a walk in closet it makes it easy to store some items. We have a his and her side, and against the back wall of the closet as a divider is a shared dresser for our underclothes. Most of my clothes hang in the rack allowing me to store my personal items in totes underneath them, freeing up storage space. My wife does the same on her side to an extent as some of the dresses hang low. We place her seasonal clothing in totes that sit on the shelves in the closet on her side, and games and collectibles sit on my side along the shelves. This frees up our actually bedroom to allow the bed in the middle instead of on one side. (Placing the bed against a corner wall will save space, but traps one person into that side. Not pretty if that person gets sick.) Since the bed is in the middle of the room we each have a nightstand and personal lamps. We added another dresser to the corner of the room near the closet (my wife has a lot of clothes), and a book shelf in the middle that doubles as a T.V. stand. I keep books on the bottom shelf with a PlayStation on top shelf under the T.V. so we can watch movies or play games. We also keep totes under the bed to store extra blankets, comforters and sheets, freeing up our linen closet so it can instead hold board games, towels, cleaning supplies, lightbulbs and laundry items. Depending on the size of your room you might have space for chairs or even a vanity which saves space in the bathroom. (We originally had this in our bedroom, but since I need little bathroom time compared to my wife we switched it out.) If you have only one bathroom this is a great option and frees up time spent in them for others to use.
Consider adding shelves into the walls instead of paintings or pictures, but beware of how much weight you add to them or at least that they are placed into proper studs before adding heavy items. Night stands don’t always have to have drawers as they can have shelves like a book shelf instead.