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Make the Most of What Space You Have with Smart Storage Solutions

Paul Deniken, Guest Writer –

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Are you running out of room for all your “stuff?” Maybe you are just ready to do some organizing and your home doesn’t offer enough storage. Try these smart ideas for making the most of whatever space you have.

Cut the Clutter

The first step in maximizing your home’s storage space is to purge it of excess items you no longer need or want. Start by choosing one small room of your home and doing an inventory of its items. From there, separate each belonging into one of three categories: keep, donate or discard. Give away or toss items you decide aren’t worth keeping, and put anything that made the cut in its rightful, designated space — and then keep it there! This could mean moving non-essentials to a storage facility if you don’t have room for them at home. In this case, look online for a local storage unit and its rates. In Austin, a 5’x5’ storage unit can be rented for under $40 per month. Downsizing your belongings and knowing where everything you’re keeping belongs will help you make the most use of your home’s available space.

Multifunctional Furniture

Selecting furniture that serves dual purposes can mean making the most of your square footage and staying more organized. As This Old House points out, a bed with integrated storage compartments or a chest that also provides seating means opportunities for keeping your belongings under wraps and under control. Another idea is to install a Murphy bed (lower-priced models are available for under $400), which are beds you can hide by folding them into the wall. Love the bed you have? Add underbed boxes to make use of otherwise wasted space. You can apply the same concept throughout your home by using multifunctional furniture, and take it outdoors as well. Deck boxes and weather-resistant storage benches can stow outdoor items such as furniture cushions, pool supplies, and your kids’ toys. 

Baskets, Boxes, and Shelves

Getting your belongings sorted and stored can be tricky without appropriate containment, so if you lack closet and cupboard space, you need to create it. The easiest way to accomplish this is with shelving. One idea is to install wall-to-wall bookshelves and paint them all one color so they look like built-in units. To keep shelving from becoming cluttered and to optimize storage on those horizontal surfaces, add baskets and boxes to the mix. If you aren’t into shelves, making your walls more functional in other ways can be a boon. Try pegboard (smaller boards can be purchased for around $10) in your kitchen painted the same color as your walls for a seamless appearance. A bulletin board can house small, hangable items, or a wall-mounted cabinet offers closet-like storage. 

Pantry Power

The kitchen is called the heart of the home for good reason; as families and friends come and go, they talk, laugh, and eat in this space together. However, if the area is cramped, it can make it no fun to hang out with your loved ones there. If you’re out of elbow room, adding a pantry can improve functionality as well as socialization opportunities. Many kitchens adjoin a garage, laundry, or mudroom, so think about knocking out a portion of the wall to create a pantry area. You won’t lose any square footage, and you’ll gain important storage space. 

Inside Scoop

Making hidden storage more functional is another way to maximize your existing space. Some great storage ideas include using hanging shoe racks to hold and organize knick knacks, and adding hooks to the insides of kitchen cabinets to hang items like mugs, which will save you surface space. Have a little one or expecting one more? You can save space in the nursery with a changing table that mounts to the wall and folds away when not in use. Along those same lines, if your TV is obtrusive or clumsy, mount a cabinet to the wall to hold it safely out of the way. It’s a great way to free up floor space and still get to take in your favorite shows.

Pet Projects

When making your adjustments, don’t forget to ensure Fifi and Fido have appropriate accommodations! HGTV suggests taking smart storage cues from tiny house inhabitants. You can add a pet bed to the space under an ottoman or house it in the compartment below a coffee table. Pet toys can be stored in an open box out of the way of feet, yet still organized and accessible to your furry friend. You can maximize floor space while keeping your pet’s belongings organized, which works out well for everyone!

There is no place like home, but it’s not fun feeling like your abode is bursting at the seams. Look for ways to make the most of your existing square footage. With a few smart storage solutions, you can organize and maximize the space you already have.