"A place for everything and everything in its place." Wouldn't that be ideal? In the perfect home you'd have a place to put everything where it would either look beautiful or be out of sight until you needed it.
If you have more "things" than you have space you'll find some great storage ideas here. You'll get suggestions for making the most of the space you have and find ways to create storage areas where you might not have thought.
Instead of opening a cupboard and finding a pile of things that do not go there, you can be so organized in your home that you could open a cupboard or door and find exactly what you're looking for. When you're finished using the item, you would be able to open the door again and put the item back. Case closed! Storage should be easy. Is it easy in your home?
Or are you just waiting to move into the more perfect home that will have more closets, a bigger garage or attic, or perfect built-in storage?
Don't wait for a day that may never come. Use some of our storage tips and strategies right now to get your things in order.
You should start your storage project by deciding what you really need in each room.
Everything that you don't need should be moved out of the room. Either throw it away, give it away, or move it into the garage or basement, out of sight.
Once you've decided what you really want and need in each room, look around the room for areas of storage. Is there any open, empty space? Don't just look on tables or closets. Look up, look down, under, and next to - your furniture, your bed, your closets, your cupboards. Any open space can be potential storage space for you.
For example, do you see an open space in a china cabinet, under a sofa table, or under an entry table? Use this space to stack wooden chests, beautifully covered cardboard boxes, or lidded baskets to store memorabilia, magazines, family photos, games, videos or computer disks.
Read on to find more ideas for finding storage space in your living space.
There is probably nothing higher than 5 feet in your room, but there's lots of space above. Install shelves 12" to 18" below the ceiling to display collectibles, plants, hats, or photos. (Note: You can buy ready-made shelves and mounting brackets at any building supply store. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, be sure to use a sticky wax product to hold your collectibles in place.)
Over the Window
Mount a shelf above the windows of the room for displaying things you don't use but love to look at.
Find standard open wall shelves of any size at a home improvement center for an inexpensive storage solution for books and decorative objects. A structured wall unit or entertainment center can house books and electronic equipment and provides space for decorative displays. If you're going to stay in your home for a while, you might want to invest in custom-made shelves or cabinets. Any of these solutions gives lots of storage space without protruding too much into the living area.
Behind Closed Doors
It's ideal not to have to look at the things you're storing, unless they're decorative. Increase available storage space by enclosing shelves and cupboards behind doors. Instead of using an open one, choose a bookcase with doors. A 12" deep shelving unit gives great storage without taking up much floor space. Choose a table for the end of a sofa or beside a bed that has a closed base with drawers or shelves rather than spindly open legs. Find a knee-hole desk with drawers for files and office items rather than an open writing desk.
Do you tend to put something anywhere there is room? Do you continue to buy until you fill up any space you have? If your home is overflowing with "things", you might want to use some of our organizing strategies to find the right place for everything.
A skirted table can hide a myriad of things in almost any room of your house. You'll need a tablecloth that goes to the floor. (It can be something as simple as a large sheet that coordinates with your decor.) For a really fashionable look, layer 2 or 3 different length cloths and trim one or all with decorative tassles, fringe, or beads.
Use any table you have, or put a plywood top over a base. You can buy a pre-cut round or rectangular plywood top at most home improvement centers.
Place your table top over a pre-cut base, small bookcase, low filing cabinet, or even trash can turned upside down. Camoflage your base of choice with a floor-length tablecloth.
The space hidden below the top can be used to store almost anything. Stack books or boxes, bedside clutter, or craft supplies underneath. Hide a television underneath and just lift the skirt to watch your favorite shows. (Hint: Use a layer of felt or flannel to create a softer base under the tablecloth.
When you're shopping for furniture, think ahead to how you'll use the piece. An armoire offers lots of shelves, yet looks wonderful in almost any room of the house.
A chest of drawers doesn't have to be large, but can provide more storage than a side table. A coffee table with drawers can hide things that a beautiful glass-topped table could.
Choose a bench with a hinged lid for the end of a bed or under a window. Use the space inside to store blankets, sheets, extra towels, out-of-season clothes, or toys.
Do you know anyone who has exactly the amount of storage space for all the things they need to store? You can find extra space to put things by maximizing what you already have. You'll have "found space" in every room of your home.
Under Bed Storage
There's a lot of floor space under a bed, even if it's just a twin. Think of all the room under a queen- or king-sized bed!
Measure the height from the floor to the bottom of your bedframe, looking for support legs. Find long, flat storage boxes to slide under. They're great for shoes, out-of-season clothes, sports equipment, holiday decorations, or wrapping paper. Place a label on the end of the box, listing the contents.
Raise your bed even higher by "building" taller legs using plumbing pipes (a threaded base piece to sit on the floor and short threaded pipes that will hold the caster pin on the bed frame). Or you can buy a ready-made product such as BedRizer.
Remember that if you raise your bed, you'll need a deeper, longer skirt to cover the frame and riser hardware.
Maximize Your Shelf Space
If your bookcases or cabinets have adjustable shelves, make sure they're space to house what you have. If all the shelves are arranged at 15" but your books are 8" high, you're missing out on about 6" of space. Take the time to reorganize this existing storage space. Add shelf supports and new shelves where they can serve you best. (Measure the items you need to store to determine the most useful shelf heights for your particular situation.)
Use Your Closet Space to Maximum Advantage
If you have 15" of extra closet space, consider alternatives to simple hanging. A filing cabinet fits easily into most closets. A 2-drawer filing cabinet can help to keep loads of papers organized and the space above it can hold short clothing or shelves of books.
If you're really determined to get organized with what you have, look around your own home to find some unique storage solutions.