Running out of space in your home can sneak up on you. Over months and years, your possessions will accumulate and your life will take you places you didn’t expect, leading to a situation where your home feels like it’s closing in on you. Table tops turn into storage areas, books seem to multiply like rabbits, and closets appear to shrink. You may not even realize that you’ve come to the point of no return. Here are a few ways to tell if you’ve outgrown your home.

Growing Family

young couple with new babyA home that comfortably fits a childless couple is going to start feeling crowded very quickly upon the arrival of a baby. The new furniture, accessories, and toys that come with the birth of a child can rapidly add up, and repositioning your existing possessions to make way for new ones can swallow up any free space quickly. New children aren’t the only reason your family could start to feel the need for more space—whether you take in an aging family member or adopt a new pet, any new member of your family is going to require some extra room.

Career Changes

hands checking laptop and phone at deskThe job you have when you first buy your home may not be your job five or ten years down the road. If you get a new job on the other side of town, the length of your commute and the associated costs in car maintenance and gas may lead you to resent the time you spend in the car. To maintain a healthy balance between your work and your personal life, it may be in your best interest to seek a new home.

A career change can also affect your living space if you start your own business. Establishing a dedicated space from which you can run your business is important, and if your current living situation doesn’t have the room for you to set up a home office, you might need to consider your options.

Vanishing Storage Space

No matter how hard you try to keep from accumulating unnecessary extras in your home, you may come to find yourself with limited counter space and crowded closets. Closet organizers and shelving can go a long way, but if you’ve made every effort to declutter your home and you still find your storage space running out, it’s possible you’ve reached critical mass and could use a home with more space inside. It could be time to move if every surface in your home is covered in possessions.

New Passions

If the job you’ve had for years is no longer thrilling you and you would like to seek a complete change in your path, or if you’ve taken up a new and exciting hobby, it may be that you are not conveniently located to enjoy the things that truly move you. For instance, if you join a climbing gym and find that it truly suits you, you may want to live closer to it—or closer to a natural park where you can climb outdoors.