Much as we may love our families, sometimes we all just need a little space of our own. It might come in the form of a wardrobe where searching for your own stuff doesn’t become an archaeological dig, or you might find that your living room is filled with toys but has no space for your kids to play.

While it may be harder to make space for everyone in an urban apartment, there are ways to get a bit more space without having to remodel the house.

Throw the non-essentials out
Whether it’s due to a hoarder in the family or just stuff building up over time, living with clutter can frustrate the other occupants in the home, so take the time to clear out things that are non-essential.

Beyond the obvious, like old magazines or clothes the children have grown out of, this can include superfluous furniture, such as tables or chairs that have no use other than to hold even more piles of stuff. Remove furniture that blocks hallways or walkways to allow more room to breathe.

Maximise empty spaces
Look up. The tops of shelves, or an extra ‘attic’ in a wardrobe could double as storage spaces for keepsakes or winter clothing and accessories. Stylish wall shelving can also be installed on empty walls for storage.

Items can also be kept below furniture, such as under a bed, as long as they aren’t visible. Things sticking out from under the bed can look and feel messy.

Choosing the right size appliances for your home can also make doing your chores easier, while ensuring that they do not affect the aesthetics of a space.

Make a space for everyone
If you are sharing a room with a partner, the wardrobe can become a battleground over space to store your clothing and accessories. It helps to agree on and separate the space in the wardrobe for each person’s clothing. Usually, women have more items, so husbands and boyfriends may need to be more accommodating. Given that they don’t wear long items like dresses however, they could install an extra rod further down the wardrobe to hang more pieces of clothing.

Store accessories and smaller items in colour-coded, labeled boxes, so you know whose stuff is in which box.

Children should get their space too, even if they are sharing a room. The space can be as small as a shelf or drawer, or they can get their own tables. Teach them to respect their siblings’ space, including their beds, and that they should ask permission before they use it. This gives the child some control over their space.

Elizabeth Png is the brand and consumer communications director for Electrolux Vietnam. She can be contacted at elizabeth.png-reade@electrolux.com