Even though the cities are getting bigger, our living spaces have been constantly shrinking. Such a crunch obviously demands that we as homeowners be creative about how we use the available space and make the most of it. A way to solve the issue can be to maximize storage by reducing how much space things occupy. Just think about it: Why have an almirah to store out-of-season clothes when you can turn your bed into a storage unit? Multi-level storage solutions, transforming furniture, etc. are a few innovative solutions people are using to aesthetically store things.
Let’s talk about another BIG issue these out-of-the-box storage solutions can solve: Clutter.
Even if you have ample space, storage units can be a way to beautify the place and declutter. Clutter can make even a decently sized room feel claustrophobic, and it is probably a worse problem to have than lack of space.
But before we start…
Undertake a thorough cleaning first. Go through what you have and discard anything you don’t need. Even better, have a garage sale for stuff you no longer use. You can use the money for buying yourself that expensive dress you have been eyeing on the way to work or even a short getaway. Donating old clothes, appliances or tools can also be a great way to go about it. This will help inventory everything you have so that you can look for storage solutions that fit your needs, while also helping you get rid of anything that has just been collecting dust over the years.
Confused about where to start and how to start? We are here to help. Here is how you can organize stuff in every part of the room in unique and easy ways:
Related: Updating Home Closet Systems
Adding Storage to Your Bedroom
The fortress of solitude — or as we call it, the bedroom, is supposed to be the most relaxing part of your house. Be it for waking up in the morning and getting ready for a hectic day, or going to sleep at night after a long haul — a bathroom HAS to be peaceful. And we all know how clutter is no friend to that. Here are a few storage solutions you can use to achieve that elusive peace of mind:
- Wall Bed: The easiest and the most obvious solution for a bedroom. A bed generally covers the majority of space in a bedroom, and a wall bed can help you free it up and make space for other things.
- Storage Chest: Although tables are almost an essential, more often than not they do not afford too much storage space. Consider investing in a chest instead. The chest can be placed anywhere in the bedroom and can be used to store everything from documents to books to gadgets and a whole lot more.
- Knee Wall Dressers: To increase the storage space, you can also build dressers into the wall of your bedroom. These can be of varying sizes and if built expertly, they can be quite inconspicuous as well. Because they are recessed into a wall, you don’t lose out on any floor space either. Win-win!
Tip: Apart from these, you can also try multiple wardrobes and free-standing dressers according to your needs and space constraints. Walk-in closets can be the ultimate style statement too if you can afford them.
Adding Storage to Your Bathroom
Bathrooms have a very specific storage requirement: the material you choose should be waterproof. But don’t worry, you can still be very creative with the storage if you use stones like Granite, Marble or Quartz. Wooden solutions can also be placed in a way that water doesn’t come into much contact with it too.
- Mounting Shelves: If you have a small bathroom, you should really consider placing mounting shelves above the door or the toilet. They can have different sections for different types of essentials for convenience. Having a mounting shelf over the toilet is a very smart idea even if you have a big bathroom since it hovers over the toilet and doesn’t occupy any floor space.
- Vanities: You might be tempted to go for classy pedestal sinks to match with the decor, but it is always more pragmatic to have a vanity with ample storage space. It can be used to store towels, toilet paper, and reserve products like soap, shampoo, etc. This ensures that you always have some stock even when you run out of that toilet paper roll.
- Laundry Hampers: Instead of having an open basket and displaying your laundry for everyone to see, go for a stylish wooden or even metallic laundry hamper. Not only can it be a style statement in itself, it will also help you keep your dirty laundry out of sight. (no pun intended).
- Towel Racks: A space to hang your towels with a shelf on top can be a life-saving addition to your bathroom. Instead of having simple hooks on the wall, it can be so much better to have a dedicated rack where you can keep the clean towels and some supplies. It is a perfect mixture of style and substance.
Tip: Bathroom storage is really about plenty of wall-mounted racks and bins & baskets. It is important to keep the stuff just out of sight, but also easily reachable whenever you need it. Subsequently, make sure that you do account for potential water damage before choosing any material/item.
Adding Storage to Your Living Room or Lobby
Just like the areas discussed before, you got plenty of options to upgrade the storage capacity of your living room or your entrance lobby. Here are some of them:
- Mudroom Bench: You can have an area right at the entrance where you can keep your shoes, umbrellas, raincoats, etc. This can help you maintain cleanliness around the rest of your house. Moreover, you can have drawers in the bench to store cleaning supplies and all the other cleaning tools too.
- Storage Ottoman: An ottoman is a truly diverse piece of furniture. You can use it as additional seating space, as a footrest, or even a makeshift table. But using an ottoman as a storage unit is not as common. If you choose to buy a hollowed-out ottoman, it can be a great place to store sheets and covers in a very unique way.
- Cubby Units: Cubby units near the sofa or aligning a wall can be really beneficial when it comes to relieving the coffee table of clutter. You can designate different sections for magazines, trophies, pictures, etc as well. A sofa wrapped in cubby units can be a unique style statement as well.
Tip: Coat racks at the entrance, magazine stands, wall niches, key holders, are a few other common options you might want to try for maximizing the storage space around the living room.
The kitchen is probably the place that benefits the best from smart storage solutions. There are so many options out there to store everything from perishables to spice to kitchenware — that it is hard to actually find what you need. Here are some of the options you can try to maximize your kitchen storage:
- Rotating Spice Rack: Spice racks are great for keeping your spice inventory organized and easily accessible. Instead of shoving the bottles into a cabinet out of reach, you can accommodate spice racks on the countertop itself. A rotating rack makes everything even more accessible.
- Kitchen Pegboards: Although mainly used in garages for tools, pegboards can be used in the kitchen to hang pots, utensils, and even cutlery. A well-designed pegboard can turn your kitchen a center of attraction, while simultaneously being extremely helpful as an open storage solution.
- Walk-in Pantry: Although a little expensive to build, a walk-in pantry is super useful for a heavy-duty kitchen. Besides storing groceries in there, why not add a small island in the middle of the pantry to be used as an alternate work station? You could even place appliances like grinders there so that your main kitchen remains mess-free. Talk about kitchen maintenance made easy!
Tip: You can add cubbies around your kitchen, add drawers and cabinets on the island if you have one, have multi-level storage racks on top of the countertop, add a nesting table to your cabinets, and plenty more to increase the storage space around your kitchen.
If you have a garage, chances are it is one of the most disorganized spaces in your house. While there are some people who have found the elusive secret of keeping well-organized garages, most of us just cannot get our garages decluttered. And it is indeed understandable; after all a garage can easily become the ‘storage’ for the unwanted things in your house. Here are some storage options you can use to stop this process from repeating itself:
- Pegboards: If you have tools in your garage and if you use them regularly, then having a pegboard is literally a no-brainer. A pegboard makes it look like you know what you’re doing (even if you don’t), and is also simultaneously a great storage option to keep your tools safe and accessible. Add a light source on top of the board to make a statement with it.
- Garden Tool Shed: If you have a garden, you definitely need a place to keep those shovels and clippers. Rather than placing a shed in the middle of all that green in the garden, why not place it in the garage? It goes a long way in helping you preserve the beauty of your garden.
- Workshop Bench: Just like a kitchen countertop, a good quality workshop bench can be really important if you are into DIY projects. You can have a small pegboard at the side with a couple of open cabinets built into the bench for convenience. Make sure that the cabinets are big enough to hold your tools and materials, and life would be very easy!
Tip: You can go a step forward and have multiple cabinets to store things you no longer need if you have the space to do so. Make sure that if you are storing chemicals in your garage, they are secured out of reach of children.
Figure out where you need extra storage space in your home and proceed accordingly. For every room and every type of storage, there are hundreds of different products out there. The important thing is to not let the lack of space freak you out — instead, take the matter into your hands, be creative, and defeat the clutter demon to live forever in perfect peace and harmony!