Home   News   Digital archive   Article

Don't be a waste of space

In a survey of UK households, IKEA has found that most homes add up to a waste of space – wasting up to £100,000 in mortgage payments. The independent survey suggests that our poor use of space squanders the equivalent of one whole room in our homes.

Across the UK, the average cost of that wasted space over a 25-year mortgage is an eye-watering £54,290 – and in London it reaches £100,280. So, where are we wasting space, and money, in our homes?

Well, we might love the kids equally, but it seems we don’t love our rooms equally. While 47 per cent of people said the lounge was their favourite room, energetic young householders (18-24 years old) spend a lot more time in the bedroom – 49 per cent of them named it their favourite room. Perhaps worryingly for those with partners, almost 10 per cent of men said their happiest room is the home office/study.

A further five per cent even favoured the loft, spare bedroom, utility room, garage or shed.

Whether it’s loving the living room, or lusting for the bedroom, the ‘happy rooms’ in the home justify their share of the mortgage costs. They also give us the emotional payback of a happier home. But if we don’t love it, we don’t use it. The key culprits in the ‘great space waste’ are that 16 per cent of us can’t stand the kitchen and none per cent absolutely dread the spare bedroom. Also, 77 per cent of us have a big problem with clutter. Valuable space around the house is being used as an untidy dumping ground.

The survey highlights that while we’re wasting a room in the house, we’re also dreaming of adding a new one. But that apparent contradiction does make sense. It shows that householders are aware that their rooms need to work smarter for them but have yet to take action. Dream home additions include home gyms, entertainment rooms and spare bedrooms (all, presumably, clutter-free).

Property specialist Roger Southam explains: "The findings are very revealing, never forget, absolutely every square inch of your home costs you money. If you’re not using it, you’re losing it.

"First, don’t automatically use rooms the way they’ve always been used. Think of them as blank spaces and work out which room types actually suit your family’s needs. Then get rid of the clutter by using smart storage and making better use of space. The result can be anything from creating a family entertainment room, which saves on spending going out, to creating a room to rent, which actually brings money in. Whatever you choose, focus on making every room in the house work for you."

Home and Lifestyle commentator Lindsay Blackman emphasises how the right rooms will deliver emotional returns too: "Property is not only a vital financial investment, it’s an emotional investment too.

"A house is all about creating a home and developing the lifestyle your family wants and enjoys.

"The survey shows that instead of simply worrying about house price movements, many of us could easily make a bigger emotional return on our homes through relatively simple and inexpensive changes.

"By aligning your home more closely to your own specific needs and making it work better for you, it will actually improve the quality of family life."


carries tips on how to kick out clutter and set about making every room a favourite in your home.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More