Storage solutions for the spaces you never knew you had

As much as it saddens me to admit it, I’m going to come clean and confess that I am a hoarder! I keep paperwork for years and struggle to discard anything without considering all its potential uses first. It appears I’m not the only one in life who clings to things like a static balloon. I meet fellow hoarders from day to day who feel crushed by their belongings mounting up around them. Some are blessed like me to have a wife who ruthlessly cleanses from time to time, but for those not so fortunate, there are some remarkable ideas out there to really utilise the space in your home no matter how small it is.

Vertical Storage

To minimise your floor space used, especially in those smaller rooms, why not go for tall standing shelves? These take up a small section of the floor, and are recommended by interior designers to make small spaces appear bigger, as they draw the eye upwards when entering the room. If you really want to make a room bigger, use a backless, open sided shelf, as it creates a light and airy affect.

shelvesAnother designer’s tip is to hang shelves near the ceiling to create an illusion of height. The shelf provides a tucked away space for those books you doubt you’ll read again but cling to regardless, plus it makes a great cosy feature like the example below:

shelves above sofaMake use of hidden storage items

Before you buy an item for the home, think about all the other options there are which will look just as good, but could be twice as useful.

A coffee table for example, most people have one, and why not? You can rest your feet on them, use them for your drinks, paper work, magazines, books, diaries…..yes you see where I’m going with this. Coffee table = clutter station!

Why not consider an item which can provide a multipurpose such as an ottoman? It’ll take up the same space, but provides a nifty storage option right when you want to tuck those papers out of sight.

Storage dividers

This idea is a great option for people wanting to break up a room without enduring the pain staking task of building a new wall.

By placing a storage divider across a space, it creates a natural flow into the next area of the room. Not only this, you also gain a good chunk of storage space in the process. I love these as a feature, and they are particularly useful when hiding the backs of sofa’s which are placed centrally within a room.

divider 3divider 2divider 1

The same method can be used at the foot of your bed. However, if you want to keep things out of site, perhaps consider a bed with built in storage, or better still up cycle a drawer, fix on some wheels, and create your own little under bed storage solution like so:

drawers under bedbed storage

Use your walls & furniture
When looking online, I can’t believe how many good ideas people seem to have for storing things in places you would never have thought of. Take this picture for example. At first glance, a simple picture, but hidden within is a mecca of jewellery which is easy to access and neat to store.

PicturePeople are also doing some enterprising things with doors and furniture. Why not use the backs of your kitchen doors to store utensils rather than cluttering up perfectly good drawer space?

Storing behind doorsOr build shelves around a doorway perhaps? The space around a door is nearly always clear, but shelves can create a nicely framed entrance, remove clutter from your floor space, and once again maximise the storage potential of your home.

Hang items above your kitchen work surfaces

I love this idea for the smaller kitchens out there. It frees up cupboard space, creates a larger work surface, and fills an area under cupboards which would usually be a vacant space. There are lots of options out there, baskets, metal, wooden boxes, the list goes on.

Hnaging counter shelfLook for dead space

I don’t know how small your house is, but I’m pretty sure most of us have areas which lend themselves to storage. Take stairs for example, these will nearly always have a void underneath just crying out to be filled. I recently built a pull out drawer for my stairs, and found it to be the perfect solution for those hard to reach area’s right at the back. I can’t tell you how many times I have rummaged through a mountain of footwear to find the one lonesome flip flop I am searching for. This new drawer was quick to make and affordable.

under stairs

People are also using the space beneath their stairs to form a cosy nook. This saves on the expenditure of a sofa, it keeps a seating area tucked away out of the room, and can really be made into a quirky feature.

Seat under stairsAnother area where people are doing some great things is around windows. Depending on the shape of your window, there is sometimes the potential to build seating under it which frames the window nicely. Take a look at these great examples of people really maximising their space and storage potential:

window2

Goodluck with those sort outs, and to conclude I shall leave you with an Albert Einstein quote, “Out of clutter, find simplicity”!

Top Tip posted in Small spaces & handy storage on May 14, 2015