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Make the Most of Small Spaces With Creative Storage Strategies

Make the Most of Small Spaces With Creative Storage Strategies

Whether you’re starting out in your first apartment, are downsizing, or have simply run out of storage space, you’ll be surprised at how a little creativity can go a long way to expanding your storage options. Older homes, small condos and studios are often short on roomy storage options, so keeping only what you really want or need is the best first step.

Step 1: Declutter

The first step is to get rid of stuff you don’t need or want. Take a good hard look at your home and decide what you want to keep, give away, donate, discard or sell.

Step 2: Plan and prioritize

Design your small space to suit your lifestyle, and what is most important for your living needs and activities. For example, if you work from home, you will need an efficient and comfortable work space. If you enjoy entertaining, you’ll want an efficient kitchen and area to relax with family and friends.

Step 3: Look at your current storage areas

Take an inventory of your storage areas to determine if you are using them to their full potential before buying anything.

Step 4: Take action!

Now you are ready to make decisions based on this critical review of your belongings, storage space and furniture.

The Entrance Way

  • If you don’t have a front hallway closet there are many ways to incorporate storage into your front entrance way.
  • Use the wall and install space-saving decorative hooks and coat racks or consider a hallway tree. Even more storage space can be created if you add a bench with storage to hold out-of-season
  • footwear. This also gives you a place to sit when putting on your boots or shoes.
  • Stand-alone coat racks and hall stands keep your hall neat, and make it easier to find your coats, dog leads and house keys.
  • A shoe rack will hold everyone’s footwear – add a basket on the shoe rack for your winter hats and mitts and backpacks.
  • A small dresser is a practical and attractive way to keep everything out of sight. Place a few decorative bowls on top for your keys and mail.

Living Room Storage Strategies – Think Vertical

  • Floor-to-ceiling cabinets, shelves, and built-in bookcases are attractive and efficient ways to create more room for everything from books to clothes and collectibles. Use baskets on shelves for
  • smaller items to avoid a cluttered look. There are many affordable shelf systems on the market or you can build your own.
  • A tower bookcase or Sapiens-style bookcase, is every book lover’s dream. You can safely stack your books in a small corner with this brilliant space saver.
  • A storage ottoman does more than its fair share by providing extra seating, storing shoes or whatever you like. Place a tray on top and it becomes a coffee table.
  • Nesting tables give you more surfaces when you need them and then conveniently tucked away.

Bedroom & Closets

  • Small closets in older homes can make it challenging to find enough room for all your clothes, accessories and shoes. You can gain more space by using a budget-friendly storage organization system that makes the best use of all closet space.
  • Vertical shoe bags not only can hold shoes but are also perfect for storing accessories and clothing.
  • Put your closet floor to good use with shoe shelves and storage bins, which come in attractive wicker and sturdy fabrics.
  • Storage beds with their roomy drawers are the preferred choice for many interior designers when space is at a premium. Classic Murphy beds and fold-out wall beds are always ready for you or your guests and quickly hide away again. The versatile roll-out futon doubles as a couch and a bed, ideal in a studio or bachelor apartment.

Have you tried folding your clothes into upright parcels, as popularized by Marie Kondo? This clever Japanese organizing technique helps you find the clothing item you want quickly without having to rummage through all your clothes, and frees up more space.

The Kitchen

  • When counter and storage space is limited, many cooks opt for a kitchen island, baking cart, or metal storage tower on casters that can be rolled away when not needed.
  • Place baskets above cabinets or on the refrigerator to keep kitchen gadgets and food supplies handy.
  • Suspend hanging baskets for your fruit and other items to preserve precious counter space.
  • Knives can be kept safely out of the way, but conveniently close at hand, on a wall-mounted magnetic strip.
  • The back of your kitchen door is a handy spot for an over-the-door rack for spices and oils.

Bathrooms

Finding storage space in a small bathroom can be tricky. Add cabinets, narrow shelving, baskets and hooks. Above-toilet and under-the-sink storage shelves are also a great solution for small bathrooms. Use stacked risers on shelves and under the sink to use up even more space. They come in a variety of sizes and can be used in almost every room of the house.

Home Office

If you or people you live with work from home, placing desks in different parts of the room will help to minimize distractions. Opt for lighter weight, streamlined desks to give a feeling of more space. Fold-down desks and consoles are also great space savers.

Wall-mounted organizers are the answer for keeping office supplies at hand. Some have document holders and a white or cork board to post important notes.

Kids Play Spaces

It’s easy for toys to take over an entire room in the most spacious of rooms, nevertheless cozy areas. Try placing shelves, crates or baskets along the wall on the floor. This child-level storage will make tidy-up time fast and easy, and will encourage your kids to help.

Use dressers and cabinets to help reduce that cluttered look and safely stow away smaller items such as art supplies that usually need adult supervision.

Still feeling a bit cramped?

Try these ideas to make your space feel lighter and airier.

  • Separate your sleeping and living areas with lightweight and portable Japanese Shoji folding screens. Constructed of Washi rice paper, they provide privacy with airy diffused light.
  • Consider choosing furnishings, flooring and cabinetry with lighter coloured wood tones such as bamboo or white oak. Refinish furniture in a lighter stain or white wash.
  • Paint your walls in lighter shades to make your rooms look brighter and feel larger.
  • Small and slim lamps and lighting fixtures suspended from the ceiling will save floor and table space.
  • Even in a small space, plants are a must-have as they create a peaceful atmosphere and relaxing connection to nature.

Living in smaller spaces can be challenging at times, but also very satisfying; we keep only what we need, consume less and make a smaller footprint on the environment.

Once you have taken some time to improve your storage areas, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to find what you need quickly, and you’ll have more time to enjoy doing the things you want to do at home!


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