If you feel like your possessions are crowding you out, it’s time to take a fresh look at storage and come up with a few solutions.
No matter how big the house is, everyone seems to end up with too little storage. Do possessions breed behind our backs? I sometimes wonder.
Here are some tips and ideas to help you get the most out of the space you have.
Find the Hidden Spots
Every house has at least one, and probably more, areas where a bit of extra storage could be squeezed in.
- Under the stairs? Even (or especially) if it’s already in full time use, that often awkward spot might benefit from a couple of small shelves, a hook or two behind the door, or a shoe rack to help keep random items together and in less of a muddle.
- In the kitchen? Look underneath the floor cabinets, and it it’s clean and dry, use it for storing short or long items. Mops, bakeware, boxed games, even shoes. Fit sliding or hinged doors in place of fixed boards for easy access.
- In wardrobes? Fit an extra hanging rail either with a kit or DIY. You can use a couple of tension rods at the bottom to create a shoe rack, or put a plastic tower drawer there to hold socks, undies, hats and gloves or folded clothing items.
Self Storage for Seasonal Items
If you’ve got things you barely use for half the year, those items take up a lot of space at home. Storing winter sports kit through summer, protecting garden furnishings through winter, DIY tools like ladders, pasting tables or bulky power tools are most likely not in daily use.
Having a nearby self storage unit gives you lots of advantages, some of them not immediately obvious:
- Save and protect furnishings not in use, such as nursery equipment you’re keeping for younger siblings.
- Create flexibility at home by storing guest beds so most of the time your spare room can be your hobby den, office, or playroom.
- Everything stays in great condition because it’s undisturbed.
- Things retrieved after a few months seem fresh and new again. You can get more mileage than you think out of toys, clothes, and furnishings when you hide them from yourself for a while.
Revamp Your Furnishings
If you’re planning an update of your furniture, factor in how it will help with storage as well as its style, colour, and size.
Storage furniture in living and bedrooms can really help you stay on top of clutter, tidying away all the annoying little things that we need, but look a mess when they’re scattered around. TV remotes, magazines, notebooks, games controllers and mobile chargers along with random pens are all good candidates.
So, look for occasional tables and coffee tables with drawers, shelves, or built-in storage areas. When you’re buying beds, go for divan or ottoman styles over frames so you’ve got hidden storage under the mattress.
Modular or cube shelving designs are great features and offer acres of storage or display areas. Also, footstools or decorative chests or trunks can look stylish and be practical at the same time.
And while you’re searching for new furnishings, look for items on legs that stand proud of the floor. While they won’t necessarily give you more storage space, they do let light circulate more freely and create fewer dense shadows, so you get the illusion of space. It all helps create a more ordered and airier ambience.
A final tip is to corral your clutter with a special place for items with no permanent home. Mail, keys, hats and gloves, small change, business cards and promotional materials, even bags and coats, can end up being dumped on the kitchen table meaning you have to clear space before you can do anything:
- Have a key rack close to the door.
- Have a letter rack or just a basket where you can pop paper items that need attention.
- Have a little bowl for loose change. If it fills with copper, you can drop it into charity boxes, and if the odd pound coin finds its way in, it can save you scrambling for parking money.
There’s no such thing as too much storage, but there are always ways to squeeze a bit of extra space or move things around to make living more comfortable.