Few people use their home space as effectively as they could. All over the house are underused areas that could provide stylish, effective storage for all kinds of useful or decorative items.
So if you’re drowning in clutter, or are just wondering how to hide away some of the items you’ve collected over the years, read on for six great storage solutions that will help you keep your neat and tidy and help you stay focused and stress free as well.
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1. Put Staircases To Work
Convert traditional stairs into hidden storage areas by fitting drawers beneath the steps. It’ll take a bit of DIY knowhow or a friendly joiner/carpenter and you’ll have to forgo the fitted carpet, but since exposed wooden flooring is on trend, that’s no bad thing.
Smaller homes often have staircases fitted inside rooms rather than as part of a hall, stair, landing arrangement. This rather awkward space is an ideal spot for a small home office, a built in series of box or cube shelves or a cosy reading nook. See the stairs as part of the room’s furnishings rather than a functional necessity and you’ll start seeing ways to incorporate them into your décor.
An under-stair cubby hole is the bane of many a homeowner’s life. It tends to become a dumping ground, working only to cause frustration. Transform it by opening it up, fitting open shelves in the top part and a fitted cabinet beneath. Alternatively, install shelves, hooks or racks inside (along with battery LED lighting if it’s dark), and make it a proper mini store room for boots, coats or cleaning materials and household equipment such as the ironing board and vacuum cleaner.
2. Find Hidden Cabinet Space
Underneath kitchen cabinets lurks quite a few square feet of potential storage. To get at it, take off the standard fitted kickboards and fit new hinged doors. Providing your kitchen floor is good and the cabinets were neatly fitted beforehand, the space under them should be clean, functional and handy for larger, flatter items that are hard to store elsewhere — think outdoor games kit (bats or racquets), board games that only come out at Christmas, baking or roasting trays or rolling pins.
3. Use Storage Furniture
When you’re replacing furnishings, buy items that have built in storage rather than standard, single function things. Ideas include:
- Coffee tables with a drawer or shelf
- Occasional tables with built in storage
- Divan or ottoman beds
- An ottoman chest at the foot of your bed
- Footstools with lift-up tops
They all help create additional storage areas for little things you want handy but not on show.
4. Create Display Areas All Over the House
Using the space around and over doors isn’t something most people consider. These areas are, however, brilliant spaces for creating stylish decor statements. Recessed doorways are normally only seen in stately houses, but you can create your own with shelving fitted to either side and over a doorway. Use the area as a bookcase or a unique arrangement to display a collection of items.
Another small space rarely considered is the end of a kitchen cabinet. Put this little area to work by installing a towel rail, a rack to store recipe books, or a grid to hold rows of spice jars. If you have room and would like occasional extra work top space, you could also fit a hinged table top that folds down when not in use.
5. Solutions for Children’s Rooms
Children’s rooms can be particularly tricky, as they tend to be full of small things that are hard to keep tidy:
- Models and Figurines – Small characters (such as the little people that come with building bricks) constantly go walkabout. Keep them corralled on narrow shelves fitted to the side of a toy cupboard. Kids can instantly see their collection and pick out the ones they want.
- Books – narrow book racks that allow books to stand with their covers facing forward are more inviting to children than standard cases that display only the spine. Fit some at kid height in a corner of their bedroom, and drop a beanbag beside them to encourage quiet reading times.
- Hooks – decorative hooks in strategic places and heights provide spaces for bag hanging, coats or dressing up clothes or painting aprons.
- Storage tubs and boxes – wooden open cubes can either stand box-like on the floor or stand on their sides and double as stools. You could also fix them to the wall for bespoke cubby-hole storage or stack a couple to create a bedside table. They are extremely versatile for all kind of storage.
6. The Ultimate Space Saving Solution
When possessions take over, you need a more flexible storage solution. One idea that’s catching on is to rotate possessions so you have a cycling series of things kept at home, with the rest in self storage.
Rotations could depend on season, for instance, and incorporate sports gear, garden equipment and furniture or personal clothing you won’t need for a few months. Keeping what you don’t currently use in self storage frees up space at home. It’s a good decluttering strategy, allowing you to accumulate as many treasures as you like without compromising your desire for a spacious home and lifestyle.
It’s a juggling act to create living space and enough space to store and display the little things that get annoying when they’re left lying around. Using a few tried and tested storage tricks will help you keep more balls in the air, with fewer robbing you of floor space.