A tiny house or flat is a simple reality when living in London. That’s why you need to make sure you’re using the space to its full potential – because, in London, space is money. You learnt how to use the tube. You learnt to drink before leaving the house. You learnt that Leicester Square isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Now it’s time to complete your education as a Londoner – it’s time to learn how to declutter.

It may seem like an insurmountable challenge. Like Everest for hoarders. But it isn’t. We’ve rounded up 15 of the best space-maximising ideas from cramped cities around the world to make your time living in London as enjoyable and, well, spacious as it can be.

You can’t really teach people how to declutter with mere words, so we’ve provided plenty of sumptuous interior imagery to help get your creative cells firing (and save space). Get scrolling!

1. Bring Out the Multi-Functional Furniture

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This tip takes inspiration from a California-based living room designed by Chloe Warmer. The living room above is kitted out with the Swiss army knives of the furniture world. The squishy cubes double up as a desk, a dining table, seats and a coffee table. The sofa doubles as a guest bed. Perfect for when guests come over

2. Make Every Piece Count

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Designer Ken Fulk recommends using “two small round tables instead of one big coffee table.” This offers the maximum functionality in the minimum square footage.

3. Don’t Display Eeeeeverything

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Nuff said.

4. Open Up Your Entrance Space

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Often overlooked… but it shouldn’t be. Why? Because it’s the entrance is the first bit of your home you see after a hard day’s work. And the first room your guests see when they come round. That’s why it’s worth taking time to make it more inviting. After all, you know what they say about first impressions!

How to declutter your entrance space? Well, place a bench or chair for removing shoes and for kids’ backpacks. Counter-intuitive but works an absolute treat. Or get some wall-mounted hooks. Use open shelving for knick-knacks. Place a large mirror on the wall to create the sense of more space. Use a bold colour on the walls to make the space welcoming and open.

5. Make your Kitchen Easy to Cook In

The kitchen is the busiest room of your entire home.

You cook tasty meals. Or, living in London, you may more realistically make tasty snacks – or even just consume an unending succession of takeaways. Whatever floats your culinary boat, every human needs kitchen space. So here’s how to maximise it:

  • Keep kitchenware that you don’t use often in cupboards
  • Use drawer organisers
  • Use vertical storage shelving
  • Have no more than 4 spare mugs (if there are 4 people in the house, that’s 8 mugs max, not the 78 you currently have!)
  • Install overhead pot and pan storage to free up space below your counters

6. Don’t Hide Junk in the Garage

Many misuse the garage to store outdated furniture, broken appliances and more. But what happens if you want to actually fit a car in your garage? The answer: install overhead ceiling racks. Luggage, recreational equipment, seasonal decorations and lawn equipment now take up much less space than before.

And yes, we know – who in London has a garage anyway? But on reason you can’t apply this top to any loft space you have. Just don’t put try to put a car in there.

7. Hidden Storage

If possible, build in customised storage. Storage nooks and furniture with inbuilt compartments let you utilise every available sliver of space. A few other ideas are cupboards sunk into wall spaces and under-bed storage (i.e. drawers that slide out of the side of your bed frame).

In Oliver! Fagin was even able to turn most of the space under his flooring into hidden storage – for a range of stolen candlesticks, gold coins and embroidered handkerchiefs. Basically, it’s whatever works for you.

8. Ditch the Traditional. Get Low-Slung Furniture!

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If you’re currently living in London, you may have picked up on one particular canine trend over recent years. Yes. People are mad about low-slung dogs. From dachshunds to pugs, the closer to the ground your dog’s torso is, the more rich and desirable you are.

And would-be social climbers don’t have to content themselves with slinging only their dogs low. London is all about low-slung furniture too. Low-slung beds. Low-slung chairs. Low-slung sideboards. Low-slung coffee tables. Low-slung sofas. It all adds height to a small room. Balance this low level with a few very tall items – like an over-sized floor lamp – using every inch of the height that is available.

P.S. This trick is especially effective under a slanted ceiling. Putting a light a few feet from the wall draws attention away from the point where the ceiling is at its lowest.

9. Use Fabrics to Create Rooms

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Partition and sliding walls create privacy if you have limited living or bedroom space. However, this can be very expensive to install.

A great alternative is using hanging curtains from the ceiling to break up a small home. This generally works best in older buildings with high ceilings. And it’s particularly good in flats where you want to create a smaller living room, dining room and bedroom.

P.S. If you use white or translucent curtains, it will make the rooms look bright and airy.

10. Use bigger – but fewer – furnishings

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Small home = small furniture, right?

Wrong. Small pieces can be an inefficient use of space and end up being less functional. If you’re a normally sized human, then you need normally sized furnishings. Ask yourself: Is it better to have two or three small bookshelves or just one mahoosive one?

Big statement furnishings maximise a little nook. You wouldn’t dare call it pokey now!

11. Save space: “think vertical”

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New York’s business elite saved office space by building up. It may be time to do the same with your books.

Take advantage of the under-used space between upper “furniture level” and a room’s ceiling by thinking vertically. This creates an impression of space that brings out hidden qualities of your home. For instance:

  • Take bookcases and cabinets all the way up.
  • Choose a media cabinet that’s not so wide but which extends, again, to the ceiling (or close to it)

12. Put Mirrors EVERYWHERE

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Mirrors are a practical way to introduce a sense of openness and space that wasn’t there before.

One great place to do this is on your wardrobe doors. This will make your bedroom look a lot bigger than before. Large bathroom mirrors – and mirrors in hallways – also create the same effect.

13. Install Shelving Just Below the Ceiling Line

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Take advantage of high ceilings. Shelving just the ceiling is perfect for books and anything else you don’t need to reach on a daily basis (cue: if you own a barometer, put it up here!)

14. Get a Desk That’s a Shelf Too

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Yes, you heard it. It’s 2019 and desks can, if it so pleases, be a shelf. Ladder desks are saviours because they create a separate work area. Not only do they take up minimal space in a corner but they come with plenty of space for belongings too.

15. Your Door is Your Declutter-Friend

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This great tip proves that, when you’re thinking about how to declutter, you should not ignore any area. If you install a hanging rack – or a selection of clothing hooks – your bedroom door can double up as a coat rack or provide storage space for accessories.

***16. BONUS TIP: Insure It!

There’s no point crafting the nicest living space for yourself that you can – with all your nicest things artfully and economically arrayed – if you’re at constant risk of losing it all. This can happen in any number of ways – it could be a burglary, or a pipe could burst in the flat above you. Remember, if you’re renting, you’re not responsible for repairing the property (this is your landlord’s problem) but you can still lose everything you own in the property.

You’re right – contents insurance is not a thrilling topic. But it’s not actually as big a pain as it’s made out to be. And, fundamentally, it’s here to make your life easier and more livable. Want to learn more about the options? Read our brief guide to all things contents insurance or head straight over to buzzvault for some personalised home and contents cover.


So, those were our top 15 (16) picks on how to declutter your home. Use them well but don’t abuse them – after all, we’re not recommending that you renovate your entire home, merely that you find ways to maximise your space.

Remember always: you don’t need to succumb to your small flat. You just need to outwit it. Focus on smarter space rather than more space. Optimise small nooks and crannies by picking fit-for-purpose, multi-functional furniture. Use mirrors to open up a new sense of space that wasn’t there before. Declutter. Don’t hide junk. Essentially, make every piece count.

Get hyper-personalised home and contents insurance with buzzvault. Find us on the app store or visit: https://gobuzzvault.com/