One of the first things I asked our landlords was, "Is there a Laundromat nearby, or do we have to beat our clothes on a rock down by the nearest creek like the pioneers did?"
As an Interior Designer and a lover of organization, I’m forced to be creative with finding storage solutions. My clients come to me often to help them find a spot for all their things. Sometimes storage solutions are obvious, like cabinets, dressers, drawers, closets. Sometimes you have to be a bit more creative to “find” more ways to store your items.
I live in a small apartment, and lately I’ve been feeling cramped with so much stuff. So, I came up with 10 places to find more storage in your home that you probably haven’t thought about:
In your linen closet
Most linen closets are either too small or a bit too large. This closet is traditionally used to hold towels, cleaning supplies, and toiletries, but if you get rid of items that you don’t need and organize the space better, you may find more room for other items.
Try folding your towels a little tighter and stacking them a bit higher than you usually would. Do the same thing for your other linens. For cleaning supplies, stack them in shallow boxes that you can easily pull out and put back in the closet. Making these few changes can give you extra space to store your makeup, hair products, and other small items that you need to store together.
Shelves above your doors
This is a simple and effective solution when you need a little extra storage. Try a floating shelf above your door trim (any door in your home) to put books, decorative storage boxes, or anything else you need to. You can buy a ready-made shelf from your local hardware store (get one a few inches wider than your door) or choose to make your own with plywood, paint, and brackets.
Behind your sofa
I share a lot about space planning on my blog, but one of the tips that I mention quite often is that you should move your living room furniture at least a foot off the wall to make a room feel more cozy and connected to the furniture around it. A sofa moved at least 18” from the wall allows for a console table to be placed behind it with storage both atop and underneath the table. Or, you can skip the table and stack boxes behind your sofa that can store clothes, office supplies, paperwork, books, or virtually anything else.
Under your coffee table
If you have a coffee table with a shelf underneath, you’re probable already making use of that space. But if you don’t have a shelf, don’t be afraid to add decorative baskets or boxes on the floor underneath your coffee table. You can also use that space to stack books or magazines directly on your floor. Just remember to keep these stacks neat, so it doesn’t look cluttered. I use my lower shelf to store some of my extensive collection of magazines.
In your kitchen cabinets
Obviously, you already know that your kitchen cabinets are used for storage. But if you are lucky enough to have an empty cabinet or two, you can use them for storing office supplies, craft supplies, or anything else you need space for. If you don’t feel like you have cabinets to spare, try rethinking how you store your kitchen items and reorganize your cabinets. If you squeeze more in each cabinet, you’re bound to get extra storage for unconventional items.
I’ve seen kitchen cabinets used to store work files, holiday decorations, and seasonal gear. If you eat out most often and don’t cook, then you probably have more than enough cabinets to store your shoes, collectables, books, and more.
Under your bed
This is another one that isn’t actually a new storage solution, but more and more bed frames are designed lower to the floor without enough room to slide anything under. Still, you can store your least used items by lifting up your mattress and hiding items that way.
Try hiding slim, plastic storage boxes that can be used to store scarves, hats, bags, and anything else that you may need to store away for a while. You can also use the space under your bed to hide your extra blankets and other linens.
Under your oven
Well, technically, it’s sort of -- in your oven. You know that drawer at the bottom of your kitchen range? If it’s a warming drawer, don’t store anything there. But, if it’s just a storage drawer (which is the case for most stoves in small apartments), use that space to store your pots, pans, and cookie sheets. Then, you’ll have more space in your kitchen cabinets for storing other things.
On your bookshelf
Sure, we’ve all seen the beautifully styled bookcases all over Pinterest, but are they truly functional? Mostly, no. And, as an advocate for beautiful homes, I’m all for a purely aesthetic bookcase. If you’re in need of extra storage, but also like a well styled bookcase, try decorative boxes (or baskets) that can be used to hide and organize small items. You can stagger the boxes along the shelves and mix in books and cute accessories.
On your windowsill
I love to put plants on a windowsill, but you can also use this space to stack your favorite books. You may only be able to put your smaller collection here, but your window will look great from both the inside and outside of your home. Also, consider putting cute decorative accessories or your favorite collectibles on your windowsill. You can choose to have them facing the inside or outside of your home – or a combination of both.
On your wall
If you’re low on storage, put some shelves on your walls. Or, if you really need more storage, do like I did and create an entire new storage system. This FreedomRail system is usually seen in closets and pantries, but I utilized it in my dining room to create an organized home office. It’s extremely easy to install and completely customizable. I can move the shelves and drawers whenever I want without having to put any more screws in the wall. It’s also quite affordable.
I hope these ideas help you get more organized and create more space in your own home. If you can think of more storage ideas or even more unconventional ways to store your items, I’d love to hear about it!