Marty Reardon is sharing some tips she has learned over the years how to use the space you have in your home for storage.
I love to re-purpose dressers and other pieces of furniture. Think outside the box and make your home work for you and your families needs!
Finding storage space is always a difficult task; after all you can’t create space out of nothing, at least not in our Newtonian universe. Still, your storage needs outweigh your current storage capacity and you need to find some room. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can circumvent the impossibility of creating matter and space by simply getting creative and innovative with the space you already have.
The first thing you can do to improve upon your storage space is to make sure you’re using the space you already have most efficiently. This means organizing your closets, mud rooms, garages and crawl spaces to their maximum level of efficiency.
First, start by taking the least used items and placing them to the side, this will usually be your seasonal items such as winter clothing, tools or sporting equipment; this should also include seasonal decorations. With the seasonal items out of the way, go through your closets and maximize the space and utility.
You can likely maximize your space by inserting closet organizers, additional hangers and/or shelving to organize your space; being able to lie flat and stack clothing and such is one of the best ways to make your space more efficient. Of course, not everything can be folded and some items have to be hung, but if you can minimize the amount of items that have to be hung you’ll be able to save on precious space and possibly even find new areas to place hanging items, such as door hangers or getting wall-mounted or stand-alone coat racks.
It’s also helpful to arrange a section of your closet specifically for each seasons’ demands. For coats and hanging items you probably will use the same place all year round, rotating in the new garment; but for things like scarves, gloves, hats and boots you’ll likely need more space. When it comes time for those winter items you probably won’t need your summer visors, baseball caps, beach bags, etc. and can easily swap out the space.
For your crawl spaces, garages and utility/storage closets, arrange these spaces accordingly to use. Big boxes and such left over from appliances or moving in, are likely only going to be kept in the event of another move. Based on the amount of space you have you should consider what you afford to purchase again later (in terms of boxes) and what you need to keep. Once you find out what you can pitch and what you want to keep, arrange these spaces with the least used items in the back and work your way forward.
Now that your closets and conventional storage spaces are brought to their maximal efficiency you can start to get a little more creative with your spatial needs. Use areas you’ve never thought as storage spaces before. This means above your cabinetry, under your stairs, under or inside your furniture…there are so many places in each home where bigger items cover up precious space, such as under beds or behind couches. There are also plenty of opportunities to combine storage and functionality. Many benches, seats, stools and ottomans have begun emerging onto the market with hidden storage built into their designs. Wicker baskets are also great aesthetic ways of adding storage to your home when there are no more places to hide and work in every room: living room, bedroom bathroom, etc.
You can also get creative with your dressers, dividing them up to better organize your space, or inserting boxes and compartments to stack objects like jewelry, belts and other accessories. You can also re-appropriate dressers into storage areas for other parts of the house, like your entertainment center or pantry. Lastly, use your walls; an empty wall can be a great place to add shelving, makeshift closets or armoires. With the walls, you’ve been given a blank slab of space that can be converted into just about any kind of utility.
Shelves are a great way to get your items off the ground and create storage where none existed; similarly, adding armoires, portable wardrobes or hanging racks, all of which have their own storage maximization capabilities, can reformat those spaces into functional, and decorative, storage areas.
Finding new storage spaces for your home is all about maximizing what you already have on hand: keep your storage spaces clean and organized; get creative with new opportunities; and, in some cases, buy a couple organizational tools for added impact and utilization.
About the author: Marty Reardon writes about self storage and organizational topics for Next Door Self Storage. Marty enjoys hiking and day trip with his dog when he’s not writing or working.