Storage is something most of us need more of. Whether it is inside or outside of the home, we need better ways to utilise our space – especially if there isn’t much of it. There are thousands of ways you can implement clever storage solutions and in this guide, we have come up with a load of them for each room in your home. Whether you are in need of better kitchen organisation, or ways to keep all of your toiletries in a tiny bathroom, we have a solution for you. Take a look at our smart person’s guide to storage solutions and see if there are some here that work for you.
Outside the Home
Before we take a look at clever storage solutions for your home, it’s important to note the one that exists outside of it. Storage units are often forgotten when it comes to freeing up space, and they can be a great way to get rid of a little clutter. If you have sentimental possessions or ones that you just don’t want to part with, but no room in your home, then a self storage unit might just be your best option.
You can choose from a wide number of sizes, so no matter how much space you need you are likely to find it when you go to look at a self storage company. A lot of the time, it is recommended you look at packing your storage unit like you are playing a game of Tetris. This tends to work pretty well in terms of saving space. However, you can also use quite a few of the tips below for maximum utilisation.
Of course, compared to finding new storage solutions in your home, a unit will be costlier in the long run. However, if you have a small home and desperately need more space, then it can be a wise investment. You can even use some of the methods below for inside the home, and then store the excess in a unit. That way, you won’t have to rent as much storage space.
One final thing to mention with regards to self-storage is to check out the level of security they offer in their packages. Many units will have physical and digital security methods in place, so that your belongings are well guarded throughout the day and night. This is especially important if the unit you select has 24/7 access, as it is important to know that your possessions are secure.
Inside the Home
The following section is split according to which room in the home it is, followed by the appropriate storage solutions. You are sure to find some nifty new methods here.
#1 Pots and Pans
Your pots and pans can take a lot of room up in your cupboards, even when they are stacked. Not to mention that the cupboard location often makes them harder to get to and usually results in at least one item falling out of the cupboard. One great solution is to install pull out racks in your cupboards that you can hook your pots and pans on (as well as their lids). This makes them easier to reach, keeps your cupboard tidy, and leaves room for other items to be stored on the bottom shelf.
#2 The Dishes
If you don’t have a dishwasher, and instead use the traditional sink and draining board method for your dishes, a common problem is not having enough room on your draining board, or dish rack, for everything to dry efficiently. The best solution? Build a dish rack into the kitchen cupboards above the sink. This way, they dry over the draining board efficiently, and they have already been put away. Plus, it creates more space as the dishes are stood up on the rack.
#3 The False Drawers
The false drawers under the sink are there for decorative purposes, but think of the space that is being lost. Obviously, they cannot be used as full drawers due to their location, but it is possible to utilise the space. You can attach hinges to the bottom of the drawer, so that when pulled down it reveals a handy container that has a few essentials. Things like your marigolds, scrubbing brush, and also soap for your hands. It may be a small solution, but it can save a lot of counter space.
#4 The Spare Drawer
Most of us have a spare drawer. The one that isn’t really used and has ended up forgotten. Most of us also have an ironing board. These are bulky and often difficult to store. However, it is possible to convert your spare drawer into one that holds the ironing board. That way, you can create a fold out drawer, so the ironing board just slides out and is ready for use. When you’re done, you just slide it back in. It saves a huge amount of space, and makes use of that empty drawer.
There are actually two uses for the spare drawer here. The other thing you can do is use it (or them) to store your bread and root vegetables in handy little baskets (or a box for your bread). You can get great drawer-sized baskets from stores like Ikea. They help keep the root veggies fresh, and the box is great at doing the same for the bread. It’s a unique idea, and one that really utilises your excess space.
#5 Baking Goods and Seasoning
Everyone who has a decent collection of baking supplies and seasonings knows that the bottles and jars take up a lot of room in your cupboards; room that could be used for other things like dried pasta, rice, and tinned goods. The best and easiest solution for this is to get a wall-mounted cabinet for your spices and baking ingredients. Many of them come with compartments that let you pour the products into them, so you have constant and easy access. You can even attach hooks on the sides for your wooden spoons and other utensils. Now you have quick access to your essential ingredients and more cupboard space.
#1 Hair Supplies
For those who own a hairdryer/straighteners and other hair supplies, it can be tricky finding storage for them all, especially if you have a small bathroom. There are two potential solutions for this. The first is using a pullout shelf in your bathroom cupboard. You can modify it so that it can hold all of the equipment required to keep your hair looking great. It only needs to be slim, so it can fit just about anywhere.
You can also install a small shelf on your wall on which you can store everything, from your hairdryer to the product that you put on your hair each morning to make it look great. You can even section it off accordingly (you can do the same for the above storage solution as well) so that everything is easily accessible. This is great for te particularly pokey bathrooms.
#2 Little Things
This includes the commonly found items in a bathroom, the ones that are always getting lost – bobby pins, tweezers, nail clippers, nail files, and those tiny nose hair scissors. A great solution for these is to place a small magnetic strip on your bathroom wall. This way, you can stick them on, and they are always easy to find. Plus, they won’t get lost anytime soon. It can be a little unsightly if left plain, so it might be worth being a little creative with the surrounding area. Some magnetic strips can even be painted.
#3 The Sink
You’d be surprised how many of us end up with a cluttered sink, especially if it’s not one of those nifty sinks that have a wall shelf behind it. You can purchase a very handy metal shelf that will sit over the taps on your sink. It has a top dish and a dish on each side to hold things like soap, toothpaste, and other essentials that you like to keep close to the sink. It takes up hardly any space, and it looks great too.
#4 The Empty Space
Often you will find yourself with a slim space in your bathroom and nowhere to store your essentials. Branching off a little from the first solution in this section, you can install a skinny shelf. Often, they look like a slim box that stands in the space in your bathroom. However, you can pull the shelves out, and everything is there. Toilet paper, soap, toiletries, anything can be put inside and stored safely. Plus, the shelf doesn’t mess up the aesthetics – especially as the outer boxing can be painted.
#5 The Laundry
It can be pretty unsightly to have your laundry hamper visible in your bathroom (or your laundry room), especially when guests come over. A great solution is to have cupboards installed that allow you to pull your laundry hamper out like a drawer. It keeps your bathroom or laundry room looking tidy and also ensures the aesthetics are not altered. Plus, your guests won’t be faced with the sight of your laundry hamper.
#1 Magazines and Colouring Books
These can be quite messy when left to their own devices, so it’s good to keep them tidily stored away. Using a dish drying rack can be a fantastic solution. You can keep colouring books and/or magazines neatly stored between the prongs. You can even place a plastic container at the front with colouring pens and pencils. It looks good, and it keeps things together.
#2 Corner Shelves
Need more places to put your books or display pieces? The corners of our living rooms are famously underused, so invest in some corner shelves. These can be mounted on the wall and spaced in whichever way you want, creating the perfect space for you to place important items or literature. Plus, they look great and really help to bring the living room to life.
Invest in some corner shelves
#3 Books or DVD’s
If you have a lot of books or DVD’s (even video games) and space is something you do not have a great deal of, then here is a genius solution. Make your stairs into a bookshelf. It’s quite easy to achieve, cost effective, and saves a lot of space. Not to mention it looks amazing and really adds a little something extra to your home.
Make your stairs into a bookshelf
#1 The Printer
The printer is often pretty bulky, and it takes up a good deal of space on your desk. One clever solution is to take an unused drawer in your office and convert it so that it can be used to store your printer. Pull the drawer out, and then hinges on the front of the drawer allow the front to be flattened so that the printed paper does not get crumpled. Then, when you don’t need to use the printer, you simply close the drawer up.
Filing cabinets are not the most attractive thing, and more often than not they end up jamming or breaking in some way or another. A great alternative is to take a chest or bench and convert it. You can use the inside of the lid to fit a cork board, and the inside to store your files in an organised manner. You can even install a shelf for stationary and other important items that need to be kept inside. You can also buy chests or benches that have locks, or the clasp for one, so things can remain private if they need to be.
#3 Cables and Cords
Buy yourself a cable organiser. It’s one of the best investments you will ever make, especially for your office where there is a load of tech at all times. It might even be an idea to buy one for your living room as well. There is a huge range of cable organisers that you can purchase, all at varying prices. So even if you are on a tight budget, there is sure to be one in your price range.
#1 Phones and Glasses
Usually, people put their phone on charge just as they are about to go to bed and they need to put their phone somewhere. The same goes for glasses and other small accessories. Some people dislike end tables or don’t have the room for them in their bedroom. The solution is simple, just mount a picture ledge next to or behind your bed. You can place all of your essential items on it before you go to bed.
#2 Your Shoes
The bedroom is a popular storage place for the nice shoes that you only wear on special occasions, or the ones that you take to the office with you each day. However, they can take up a chunk of space in your room. It might be an idea to invest in a hollow ottoman, one that you can remove the top of to store things inside. This way, you can place show holders inside that keep your footwear separate and tidy. Plus, the ottoman can be sat on when you are getting ready in the morning. It’s a clever storage solution.
The space behind a mirror is often wasted, especially a full-length one. One clever trick is to put the mirror on hinges so that it comes away from the wall – revealing a secret storage place for your jewellery. It’s a great place to hang necklaces, earrings, and other accessories that you use regularly. Plus, it is making use of space that is otherwise being wasted.
If you have quite a few belts, it can be handy to keep them all in one place. If you invest in a paper towel holder that would usually be used in the kitchen, you can tightly wrap your belts and slide them on. This way, they can be stored on a shelf in your wardrobe and take up a lot less space than they would in your drawer or hanging on coat hangers. Alternatively, you can also put hooks on the back of your bedroom door to hang them from (the same goes for scarves).
#5 Under the Bed
Perhaps a slightly obvious one, but a lot of people forget that they can usually find space for storage under the bed. You can buy storage boxes that roll under on small wheels, or you can purchase a bed that comes with some pretty nifty storage solutions – everything from TV’s that are hidden at the base of the bed, to a mattress that can be lifted to reveal storage space. The bed is a versatile piece of furniture when used in a smart manner.
The most fun toy for children (and adults), LEGO can be a little tricky to clean up after a long day of playing and constructing. However, you can purchase some pretty amazing drawstring bags. They are so large that when opened up they can be flattened and used as a play mat. The LEGO never leaves it, and when the child is finished playing, you just tighten the drawstrings, and everything is neatly away, ready to be used again the next day. It saves you a lot of time, and can be stored away conveniently.
#2 Bulky Toys
The trucks, diggers, and other assorted vehicles can be a pain to store away nicely. Bulky toys, in general, tend to be a little trickier, but there is a nifty solution. Investing in a pegboard has two main benefits – it is the ideal place for hanging bulky toys, and it gives the room a stronger construction theme (or whatever theme the child is interested in). Plus, the pegboards can be decorated so that they fit in better. It’s fun, and saves a lot of space on the floor.
#3 Picture Books
Children’s picture books tend to be quite slim, and they can be awkward to place on a bookshelf. Not to mention, the shelves can take up a lot of space in a room. However, it is important for children to read and this is why shallow shelves are such a great idea. They can be placed anywhere in the room and keep the books secure as well as organised, with the added benefit that the front cover can be seen at all times. This helps your child pick out the book they want, but also adds colour to the room.
#4 Stuffed Animals
The bane of many parents’ existences are the stuffed animals that their children accumulate over the years, simply because they are everywhere. However, you can purchase a fantastic wooden storage crate known as The Zoo. The animals are piled up in what looks like a tall zoo cage, and the words ‘The Zoo’ are on the top. The height means that it does not take up as much floor space, and it also adds an element of fun to the room – which is sure to have your kids cleaning up after themselves.
You can invest in some mini pegboards and hang them on your garage wall in an orderly fashion (much like the posters you find in the DVD shop). You can hang your tools on each side of the boards, and flick through them easily to find the ones you want. It saves space and keeps everything together, making it a pretty efficient storage method.
#2 Nails and Little Bits
Nails, screws, nuts, bolts, and other little items often escape, and we lose so many of them. Especially washers, those are the worst culprits. One of the best solutions is to invest in some of the little plastic drawers, the ones that sit on top of your workstation. They are the perfect size for nails, screws, and other little pieces that are easy to lose.
Hopefully, you have found some of these storage solutions useful or inspirational and will use them in your own home. There are so many ways we can utilise our living space, and these are just a handful of them. It’s time to get creative and find a way to keep everything neat and tidy.