Have you ever met anyone whose house has enough storage space? We didn’t think so. And, even if a house did have enough space when you first moved in, most of us wind up accumulating more things over time. When you run out of room to keep things, you have to start rationalising. While you might not want to get rid of everything, you probably don’t want to rent a storage container either.
Ifyou’re looking for some extra places to store things but you don’t want to have a garage sale, rent a storage container or break the bank, keep on reading.
1. Reclaim hidden spaces
The first fix is looking at spaces in your house that are currently ‘hidden’ but still empty. The most obvious example is underneath beds, but it’s possible that you have some room behind or under furniture as well. Another often missed opportunity is behind mirrors. This can go from installing cabinets with mirrored fronts in your bathroom through to purchasing full-length freestanding mirrors with storage space inside (yes they exist!). The latter are relatively inexpensive and are a great way of storing things like fashion accessories and fashion jewellery together.
If you don’t need immediate access to the things that you’re storing, you can put them in less accessible areas. This means using hard-to-reach shelving in hallway cupboards that might be bad for the towels but fine for old letters or photos.
2. What’s old can be new again
Older houses have often undergone some renovations in their lifetime. Sometimes, particularly in older kitchens, old spaces are just covered up or panelled over. They’re still taking up room but without providing the functionality of a cupboard. If this sounds like your house, then now might be the time to crack out the old DIY skills (or hire a professional) to reclaim that space. The same goes for other spaces in your house that have been renovated. Often laundries have spare panelling and cupboards that can be converted to storage, as do flights of stairs.
These spaces can seem a little funky sometimes, and not in the good way. You might be worried about damp, dust or worse. If this is the case, consider the size of your space and look into storage options like plastic tubs that will help you maximise the use while avoiding the pitfalls.
3. The other kind of shedding
If you have a shed or a garage, you might not have considered it as a viable storage space. It might be open to the elements, or it might already be full of junk. If this is the case, it’s time to be brave and seriously consider your options. Clearing out actual rubbish to store things you want to keep is a great idea. Putting items in plastic garbage bags and in large plastic storage tubs can keep things safe from the elements for short to medium-term storage. They may need a little more weatherproofing but it will help reclaim some space.
Also, consider things that you’re storing long-term. It might be worth moving those things out to the shed, especially if they’re hardier, to open up some more accessible storage space within the house.
4. Don’t be afraid to look up
It’s easy to look at a room and think it’s full and there’s no space for anything else. If this sounds like you, try looking up. Shelving can be easily installed for storage or displaying ornaments. It might not be a huge amount, but it might be enough to free up a shelf on a bookcase.
While you may not want to add more furniture to bathrooms and kitchens, there might still be some opportunities to add hanging storage or corner shelving. And speaking of bathrooms, don’t be afraid to look really hard at the space and consider some wire stands for towels. This will keep the room looking open and help reclaim some linen cupboard space, while the wire stand will let the towels breathe so they don’t get damp.
5. Get creative
Not all of these solutions will work for everyone, and if that’s the case, it’s time to get creative. If your place has built-in robes, consider getting door hangers for the inside so that you can sneak some things away in the cupboard without impacting anything else.
Something else to consider is upgrading your current furniture so that it works a little better for you. If you have a coffee table, for example, you could exchange it for a storage chest. The floor space it takes up will be the same but now there will be extra room for blankets or bedding.
While storage woes are a never-ending problem (unless you Mari Kondo everything), you might be able to go further than you thought. Hitting a soft limit might be one way of rationalising what you have (and what you’re buying), but you haven’t truly run out of space until you explore all of the options in this article (and any others that you might have heard of!). If you adopt all of these strategies and still have too much stuff, it might be time to consider a garage sale (or if you can’t possibly part with it, a bigger place!).