How to make the most of your family living space without breaking the bank

Recent research shows that homes in Britain are some of the most cramped in Europe. But whether you live in a tiny flat with small rooms or a large open plan home, you’re still going to need to know how to maximise the space that you have. So what’s the best way to use space in a clever but affordable way?

Step 1: Make a floor plan

The first thing you need to do is make a map of your home. Mark up dimensions with a tape measure, recording the length and position of each wall, door and fixture as you go.

On a piece of squared paper draw a scale map of each floor, complete with doorways and fixtures so you can view the layout of your home and see exactly how much room you have to play with.

Make sure you follow these simple instructions for each floor of your home that you want to furnish.

Step 2: Look at what’s available

Have a think about the space you have and what you’d like to do with it – maybe you would like a sideboard against a wall to place your TV, lamps and plants on. Or perhaps you’re looking for a Sainsbury’s corner sofa from which to relax and view the space around you.

Draw up a wish list of all the homewares you think you need. Remember, your goal is to maximise the space you have, so think about clever storage solutions and multi-functional furnishings that perform more than one task.

Make sure you note the furniture dimension of everything you are thinking of buying.

Step 3: Map what you want

Once you know what home items you need and exactly how big your domestic furniture is, you are in a position to map your goods onto your floor-plan.

Play around with where you think different sofas, tables, chairs and all the other furniture items should go. Once you are ready, draw the home furniture into your floor-plan, making sure that your home layout makes the best use of the space available.

Step 4: Bargain hunt

Whatever items you need, you can rest assured there are some great deals out there, especially online. As well as traditional furniture retailers you’ll see some surprisingly good deals at supermarkets like Sainsbury’s.

Many great retailers will offer you discounts if you shop online for cut-price goods. Some items take weeks or even months to arrive, so try to plan for this waiting time in advance.

Step 5: Put everything in its place

Now that your goods have arrived, you can arrange your new furniture in your house or flat exactly as you’ve mapped then on your floor plan. Only after that you should move your new goods around to suit your needs.

Then sit back and enjoy your new clever-yet-functional floor-space!

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