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We all know that you can never have enough storage and, with people living in smaller accommodation, purpose made storage facilities are often non-existent.  This makes it even more imperative that best use is made of any available space which often means being innovative.

The object of this article is to point out ways to increase the amount of storage available;  some of which maybe more obvious than others and, even if they are not practical for your particular situation they will, hopefully, provide food for thought.

Although all storage space is valuable and will always be filled whether you thought it was needed or not, it makes sense to evaluate the type of storage required in the room in question and then identify any unused space which can be used for this purpose.

flat topped wooden trunk Flat topped trunks, storage cases, boxes with lids, can double up as coffee tables and storage. 

If this is to be frequently used as a table it would be best used to store items that are not required too often otherwise it may be slightly inconvenient. 

It is also important to remember not to store any items that can harm children e.g. craft items, unless it can be locked.

Ottomans can also be useful both as storage and as extra seating as and when required.

Beds containing drawers within the base are very useful especially for storing extra blankets, duvets, pillows etc. but be careful not to place anything heavy in these compartments as, in my experience, they are not that strong.  If there is a space beneath your bed, purpose made storage boxes are available to utilise this space for storage.

Occasional, end, or small tables with drawers can provide additional storage;  if there are no drawers, tables can be covered with a cloth that reaches the ground and then the space underneath the table used for storage.

Shelves and Bookcases are always a safe bet to provide extra storage. Use the tallest possible as they take up the same floor space as a shorter model and the top shelves can be used to store items that are used less frequently. 

To prevent shelves looking cluttered and messy store items in decorative boxes and/or baskets.

Wall hung shelves are a good option as they take no floor space but these can be very heavy, especially when filled, so it is imperative the wall and fixings are able to support this weight. 

If in rented accommodation it is wise to check if you are allowed to hang such shelves.

lady dusting high bookshelf

If you are lucky enough to have a bay window you could install a window seat with a hinged lid thus creating valuable storage as well as additional seating.  If there is no bay window it maybe possible to create a suitable area by installing bookcases each side of the window and then a window seat can be fitted between the bookcases.

As mentioned above, boxes, bins and baskets can prove valuable for keeping odds and ends tidy as well as out of sight.  These can be placed on shelves or stacked neatly in a corner of the room or on top of a cupboard.

Shoe boxes are very useful for storing scarves, gloves, cosmetics, hair products etc.  These often fit nicely into the top of wardrobes.

Spare pillows,  blankets and duvets can be placed inside a large cushion cover and used as a floor cushion.

If you can lay your hands on some plastic milk crates these can be placed on their side and the cubicles used to house books, shoes, CDs etc.

Old suitcases, if decorative enough, can be stacked on topped of one another in a corner and used to store some items, however, if they are not suitable to have on display they can be filled and placed on top of wardrobes or cupboards.  In the same way, cases that are rarely used for travel can make useful storage containers in the meantime.

Large wicker baskets not only look good but make ideal homes for soft toys and other more bulky items. Baskets with handles can be hung on the wall or behind doors. 

Draw string bags are an ideal way to keep children's toys tidy and yet readily available.  These can be made in a variety of sizes, from colourful fabric oddments and the children can help decorate them so they know what is kept inside (hopefully).  Remember, if these are to be used by the children, they should be hung at their level.  Coat racks or hooks can be used for this purpose.

You can even make use of the space behind doors:  there are many different hooks, racks and hanging devices available which can be hooked over the top of the door or fitted to the door itself.  These can also be used on the back of a cupboard/closet door.

wardrobe/closet organiser

If there is some spare cash available you may like to consider investing in a good wardrobe/closet organiser as these maximise the space available by clever use of rods, shelves, compartments and drawers. 

As these are normally made up from individual modules, it is usually possible to create the best selection for your particular needs and space.

A good handyman could create this themselves especially if there is an alcove available; a curtain could be hung across the front to keep everything hidden.

More storage ideas




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