When did I even buy all this stuff that’s filling up my house?!
We’ve definitely asked ourselves that question more than a few times, especially since HDB flats and condos in Singapore aren’t as spacious as big family houses we see on TV.
And while we still haven’t found the answer, we do have a couple of storage tips to maximise the space in your home:
You know your ever-growing shoe collection is getting out of hand, but is that going to stop you from buying more shoes? No.
Instead of setting your shoes next to each other, double the space on your shoe rack by storing them on top of each other with shoe stackers like these:
If you want to take it up a notch, here’s something you might not know: You can actually purchase the corridor space outside your HDB flat under HDB’s Sale of Recess Area Scheme.
If your HDB flat was built before 1996 and complies with specific safety, technical and design requirements, you can submit an application online via My HDBPage.
Costs vary depending on the floor area, whether you need to relocate service ducts or fittings, as well as the date of application (the unit price of the recess area is reviewed every 3 months), but it generally doesn’t exceed $8,000-$10,000; owning the recess area means you have more freedom with what you want to do with it. Hello, extra (shoe) storage space!
Pro tip: If you’re house-hunting for a HDB flat you intend to stay in for the long term, this is an often overlooked factor you should take into consideration: What are the limitations on how much you can zhng your HDB flat?
If you’re got room behind a big piece of furniture, that could be the perfect space to hide your suitcases. For instance, instead of backing your sofa up fully against the wall, slide your suitcases in between.
3. Winter clothes and coats
These can go into said suitcases, since we don’t think you’ll be needing a winter coat anywhere without needing a suitcase.
4. Kitchen appliances
You have your blender, your toaster, your steamboat pot, your waffle maker… Kitchen appliances that you pull out once every few months.
The reason why they’re so rarely used might be because they’re so far tucked to the back of your kitchen cabinet that it’s such a hassle to get them out. Try installing pull-out drawers instead – simply making them more accessible might just make you more creative with your kitchen adventures.
5. The birthday gift you got 7 years ago that you’ve never used even once, but can’t bear to throw away
This, on the other hand, is the kind of stuff that can go to the very back of the cabinet or cupboard. There’s often a wealth of unused space, for instance, behind the clothes hung in your wardrobe.
6. Extra bed linen
Slip your bedsheet sets inside the pillow case before storing them, so that it’s kept neatly as a set and takes sip a bit less room.
7. Gym equipment
Many of us don’t have the luxury of having a dedicated fitness room if we’re living in HDB flats or even condos, and most gym equipment are hard to store because of their irregular shapes.
Try a shelf with a uniform, boxy structure so that the regular lines frame the equipment, creating a neater look. Or, keep them entirely out of sight when not in use in an ottoman, which can double up as a bench in your balcony.
Things like resistance bands and yoga mats can be hung vertically on the wall. This way, your resistance bands won’t get all tangled up, and your yoga mat can be left to air after use.
Exercise balls are a huge space suck, and it probably isn’t worth the hassle of inflating and deflating it every time. Instead, repurpose them as dining room chairs, and store them under the dining table when not in use.
8. Everyday essentials
Install a rack over your washing machine or toilet, and you’ve got yourself more than enough storage space for essentials like cleaning supplies and toilet paper:
9. Unwanted things
Well, the fact that you’re categorising it under “unwanted things” says enough. Time for a decluttering sesh? Sell it away on Carousell for some spare cash.
But we all know that it’s easier said than done. If you can’t bear to sell or it or let it go just yet, stash it away in a box and see if you miss it after a month or so. It’s the ultimate test to see if it’ll make a difference to your life or not.
10. Everything else
Creating more storage space in your HDB flat, however small it is, doesn’t have to be a huuuuuge project involving a complete overhaul.
It could simply be a case of replacing your bed frame with one that has internal storage space, or finding ways to reorganise your items.
Alternatively, you can find affordable renovation services if you do want to create some built-in storage space:
Do note that there are renovation rules set by HDB if you’re planning to install platforms, or hack or erect certain walls in your HDB flat.
Or you might find that it’s simply a better long-term plan to buy a larger home with more space to accommodate your needs in the future – you might not need that spare bedroom now, but it could be converted into a nursery when you’ve got a child on the way.
Chances are, it’ll make more sense financially as well. For instance, the average price of a 3-room resale HDB flat in Choa Chu Kang is about $300,000, while that of a 4-room in the same town is about $340,000. For just over 10% more, you’ve got a place that you can call home through more life stages!
Neater home = neater mind
Perhaps you’ll find your home much neater with just a single weekend of tidying, or perhaps it’s time to upgrade to a bigger home. There are tons of paths to eventually achieve a neater home. And if it’s any incentive, a neater home can give you better physical and mental health (science said so!). Happy tidying!