Do you feel like you’ve run out of storage space? For many, trying to fit belongings into existing space is a challenge. Of course, the first and best way to alleviate the storage burden is to declutter. I’ve got lots of tips on decluttering on this blog, so if you are looking for help here, just check out the “Decluttering” category in the blog menu. Nevertheless, even after we have shed we what can, we may still be feeling the need for some additional storage. Whether you live in a cramped urban studio, are working from a tiny office (or corner of the kitchen), or simply feel like your drawers and closets are bursting at the seams, here are some places you may have overlooked.
Behind The Door
If you have a hinged door, you have a storage space. A plethora of options are available for storing everything from shoes to cans to paperwork on the backs of doors. Most of these are very simple to install. Some hang on hooks over the top of the door. [Note: if you are thinking about one of these, make sure you have sufficient clearance between the top of your door and the door frame before ordering.] There are also options that install to the back of the door itself, either with adhesives or screws.
When considering which option is best, think about what you want to store in this location. Here are a few ideas.
A rigid wire rack to hold cans and small food items on a the back of a door near the kitchen.
An over-the-door rack for shoes, hats, gloves, and other mudroom items near the door you most commonly use.
A rack to hold wrapping supplies on a door near the laundry room or other space where you have a flat surface for wrapping.
A pocketed “shoe” rack to hold toiletries in a bathroom or toys in a playroom (clear pockets are best so children can see what is inside).
Hooks on the back of doors to hold robes, pajamas, and towels.
Not only do doors offer an instant bit of storage, they also have the added benefit of potentially “hiding” the contents by simply swinging the door open or closed.
On the Wall
Believe it or not, the wall is a great storage location. You need to be careful to ensure that anything you hang is well anchored and that you aren’t creating a cluttered look, but there are lots of great options, such as:
Decorative hooks or a shelf with hooks in a hallway for an instant mudroom.
A couple of narrow racks in the kitchen for spices and cookbooks.
A foldaway ironing board in the laundry room.
Wall pockets for paperwork and magazines.
Pegboard to store tools or craft supplies.
Need some more ideas for using your walls? Check out The Seana Method’s Pinterest page.
Dead Shelf Space
A common problem is shelving that is either too deep or too tall. As a result, we often fill the bottom of the shelf, but fail to successfully use the full height or depth of the space.
For shelves that are deep or dark, you can add “drawers” by using bins or baskets that can be pulled forward. This enables you to reach the items stored in the back. They can be free-standing or installed.
Another option is to use turntables or “lazy susans” to more easily see and access items that would otherwise get lost hiding behind other belongings.
If your shelves are spaced far apart vertically, either add more shelves or buy some affordable organizing products to use the space more efficiently. For example, you can get a shelf that hangs off of the shelf above it.
Another option is to use a shelf riser to graduate your storage for easy viewing.
Or a free-standing riser that creates a “mini shelf” on top of your larger one.
Not all storage needs to be at eye level. Walk through your space and look up to see where you could add some storage.
For example, consider adding a shelf over your bathroom door to hold extra towels. You can buy one that fits your space, or try this handy little DIY project.
A triangular net can be hung in a child’s room to hold stuffed animals.
Another idea is to use a hanging pot rack over a kitchen island or counter to hang needed items.
Garages often have high ceilings, where a ceiling mounted rack can provide a lot of storage, especially for out-of-season items.
Frequently we think we need to buy more storage containers and overlook the storage space on the side of furniture we already have.
For instance, a hook on the side of a desk can be the perfect place to hang a purse.
Or add some hooks to the back of the headrests in your car to keep items organized and off the floor.
Many racks now exist for hanging items such as towels, foil and supplies from the inside of cabinet doors.
Don’t like the mess of computer cables at your feet under the desk? How about an under-the-desk cable management basket that can hold your surge suppressor?
In a crowded bathroom, hang a shower curtain liner with storage alongside your existing shower curtain.
Between The Studs
Many homes have hollow space between the studs in unfinished basements, attics, and garages. If you need some extra storage, take advantage of this space! Some narrow shelves cut to fit can provide nice shelving for small containers, such as spray paint, jars of nails, or cans of tennis balls. Attach a bungee cord or strip of wood to each side of the space between the studs to store tall items, such as fishing poles, hockey sticks, and garden stakes.
Finding storage can often be as simple as giving a fresh and creative look around your space. Have you found a way for creating storage in a surprising space?