I’ve always been accustomed to maximizing space in small areas, and trying to make the best use of a very small budget. Its not always easy, but IKEA is great for simple, practical and affordable storage. And no, I don’t just say this because I work here! I used to love IKEA before I started working for the company designing kitchens, and I still think it’s one of the best places to get smart, affordable storage solutions for almost any room in your house. But this isn’t a post about IKEA.
This post will briefly touch on what it’s like to have your whole life in just one room, and how to make it work. It’s a 3X3 room, and we have: Prep space for cooking, storage space for a hundred books (or more….jazz musician!), DVD’s, a TV, a Playstation, controllers, CD’s, vinyls, cups, plates, baking bowls, all our toiletries, both our clothes, a printer, and yes – even groceries, cutlery and….wait for it…..
2 Gibsons, 1 American Fender Strat, a Joe Pass, a Fender bass, each with their own hardcase, three amps, and one ukulele.
Enough stuff for ya?
For it to work, you need solutions which have multiple uses. That’s really one of the best ways to maximize space.
When I first started going out with Lee he kept his room organized enough, as well as he could, but it wasn’t nice. There was one old wooden wardrobe, the kind which is storing ghosts in horror movies, an old bed, books stacked almost to the ceiling in one corner, and it just wasn’t cozy or cool.
Slowly but surely, we were able to re do it completely. It went from this:
Obviously, this is as we were redoing it. So yes it’s very messy, but the point is, as you can see from the stack of books, things were not really stored anywhere. The books actually were piled on the floor as you see them here.
We tore the room apart, threw lots of useless things out, organised, painted everything, and managed to make it look it like this:
I think it looks absolutely amazing! Everything we need is stored and kept in the room in an organized and clean way. It has since gone through a few more transformations (design wise only) and re organisations. We’ve thrown out a few more things Lee didn’t need and made more space. I thought the most important thing was that the guitars were always really easy to access. So everything revolved around having the guitars and amps easy to use at all times and keeping everything very organised and tidy.
Heres a brief summary of what was bought to reorganise the room.
- Bookshelves, one on each side of the window. They were either £15 or £17 each, come with the shelves you see. These ones don’t have the option of adding more shelves, they are what they are. We only needed this.
- Storage benches in yellow, under the window. £13 each. You can see them by clicking here.
- The wooden shelving which stores our clothes, the printer and a plastic box containing shoes and coats was about £30. You can see it here, it is composed of different pieces so you can add or take away shelves or sections as you like. I’ve hung the shirts by using a £1.50 curtain rod which extends to about a meter. I tied cool string to the curtain rod, and attached it to the top shelf of the unit. And ta-da, wardrobe.
- We also got a new bed, and we store stuff underneath it. The Fender strat hardcase, a Gibson, and some more books and CDs, all in plastic under bed storage boxes. The bed was “pricey” but you can’t complain for £125.
As you can see we’re still decorating it, with little bits and pieces. But just those four purchases made all the difference, as you can see from the photos!