5 ways to make use of double-duty spaces

This article is part of a series in collaboration with ParticipACTION. Discover how "Everything gets better when you get active!"

Now that we’re spending so much more time at home, rooms that used to serve one function are now being used in multiple ways. A family room may now be a home office, a classroom, and even a home gym. The problem is, many of these spaces weren’t designed to serve all these purposes. So, if you’re struggling to make this work, you aren’t alone! Here are five hacks to help make your home meet all of your needs.

1. Design with purpose

To create a space that needs to serve more than one function, planning is key: 

-        Start by making a list of all the functions a room needs to have

-        Take inventory of furniture and items you have on hand, or need to source, to make it work

-        Make sure every item isn’t just beautiful, but also serves a purpose, especially in small spaces

-        Create a simple floor plan and play around with furniture placement to make sure everything will fit

2. Think double duty

Think about using furniture and decor that are double-duty pieces or can easy be tucked away when not in use:

-        A collapsible table or a small lap desk for work and school

-        A sofa or ottoman with hidden storage for workout gear or toys

-        Decorative baskets with lids that keep office supplies close at hand

-        A cart on casters to house school supplies that can be wheeled out of sight at the end of the school day

3. Keep it clean

It can be hard to stay motivated and focused on mental and physical work in a messy space. Make rooms easy to keep tidy by decluttering. 

-        Tackle this in small steps to make it less messy and not too overwhelming

-        Focus on a closet or dresser and then move to another part of the room

-        Remove anything from the space that does not add function or beauty

-        Keep flat surfaces tidy and free of clutter to make them easier to dust and clean

-        Donate or sell any unused items

-        Store most-used items, like school supplies or work out gear, out of sight when you aren’t using them, but within easy reach in baskets or cabinets

-        Get the whole family involved in keeping the space tidy

4. Work with what you’ve got

If you’re on a budget, shop your house and get creative! You may already have what you need:

-        Use a small dining table or that collapsible table you have in storage as a desk

-        If you don’t have a yoga mat, do your workout on a soft rug

-        A sturdy coffee table makes a great workout bench

-        Household products like laundry detergent or food cans can be used in place of hand weights

5. Timing is everything

Being at home all the time can be stressful. Ease that stress by making movement a priority by scheduling it into your day: 

-        Go for a daily walk after dinner

-        Get outside and play catch with the kids on a lunch break

-        Start your day with a home workout

These tips offer simple solutions to make your home function better, but renovations are also a great option if bigger changes are needed. For extra peace of mind, consider enlisting the help of a qualified professional for renovations and speak with your home insurance provider to ensure you have the protection you need. 

 

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