Whether you’re looking to update a space or to simply organize the STUFF you already have, storage is a central part of living well in your home. From building your own mudroom cubbies to calling in the pros for custom closet systems, there are LOADS of storage possibilities that can leave you feeling great about any space.
Adding and properly MANAGING the storage in your home takes a little creativity and a little design know-how, but the difference makes it WELL worth it. No more stabbing yourself every time you reach into the overcrowded drawer of knives…no more shoving the piles of stuff you’re ashamed of into the closet every time someone visits…and NO more wondering where things are.
It’s pretty easy to find more space when you know where to look. Let’s go through some of my favorite storage design tricks, and you tell ME which will make the biggest difference in your home!
PRO TIP: There are also some specific, hard-to-store-items we’ve talked about before, so be sure to check those out, too!
Same space, more storage
First, let’s go over a basic design tenant for smart storage: whenever you’re tempted to build out, FIRST check where you can add storage under or over something in the existing space. You can find bonus space without changing the footprint of a single room if you look hard enough. Nooks can turn into shelves just as easily as trinkets or pots can get stored on the tops of cabinets!
Just keep looking, and as you go further up and up, you’ll find some more interesting storage potential…
It’s all up from here!
Specifically, I’m talking about the attic! This is a perfect space to store the last of the moving boxes or all your empty suitcases. That said, before you move ANYTHING to the attic, talk to a professional handyman to get it looked at and assessed. Only then will you know what storage potential it has…or doesn’t.
Specifically, a handyman will look at:
• The floor framing
• The roof framing
• The head clearance
• Possible leaks
• Safety of attic access
As a final word of caution, even if the temperature is pleasant in late April, your handyman will assess the insulation and other environmental factors to tell you just HOW hot or cold your attic could get…an attic in North Texas, for example, can reach 160 degrees during a 95-degree summer day!!
There’s more than just a boogey man under the bed…
A bedroom is, ironically, the room in your home needing more storage than just about any other, except maybe the kitchen. And yet, it usually LACKS the practical space to store overflowing clothes, shoes, and personal items.
In the bedroom, storage under the bed comes in particularly handy. It can happen in one of two ways:
• Acquire plastic storage bins to tuck discretely underneath and out of the way.
• Or, install a “storage bed,” which is really just a set of custom cabinet drawers built into the bottom of our bedframe…
PRO TIP: Before you go storage bin crazy at the store, be sure to measure the width and height of your space. Take the measurements with you to the store, because there are so many like sizes that it’s EASY to forget the exact measurements when you see all the storage options…
Install pull-outs in your kitchen cabinetry
The best way to make use of dead corners in the kitchen (or cabinets that simply DON’T have the shelving for what you store) is to look at cabinet storage systems.
Here, you have two options…
1: First, you can purchase easy-insert storage systems, like this one by Richelieu
2: Or you can install custom cabinetry storage systems, like the ones we do all the time in our remodels…
And how about THIS extraordinary custom cabinetry in this recent remodel!? What would you do for storage like that? I actually just wrote in detail about this full kitchen remodel project…be sure to check it out to see the video and the rest of the pictures!!
Store your stuff correctly
I can’t say this enough! Kitchens are the main space where stuff is NOT stored like it should be…and when certain kitchen items are stored wrong, they take up too much space and also invite accidents.
I can admit that the things we keep in the kitchen are the hardest to store…you have serving pieces, loads of utensils, cast iron skillets, all that cookware…and how about those knives and cookie sheets?!
These things are all made to be durable, and many of them you use just every day. Really, though, that’s all the more reason they should be stored correctly. You want to access them easily while ensuring you don’t waste precious kitchen space!
PRO TIP: Knives are the biggest culprit of those things stored incorrectly. Do not store them lying flat in a drawer or you’ll dull them faster AND risk stabbing yourself every time you look for the knife you’re after!! Magnet hangers are popular, and dedicated pull-out cabinets are an even safer and more discrete solution…
Put plugs in the right places
There are SO many decisions that need to be made in a remodel, it’s hard to feel all that jazzed about looking strategically at your outlets. This detail won’t seem so small, however, when you don’t have the plugs you need to cook, charge your devices, store things conveniently, or binge on your favorite show!
Work with your remodeling contractor to plan what outlets where will meet your needs. Your contractor will also be able to look at the electrical work in your home and determine if there are any risk factors to your desired electric load…
Pro Tip: To keep SUPER convenient outlets gracefully out of the way, think about a pop-up charging station in the kitchen!
I could go on…but to leave you with a few more quick tips for the best storage, just look at these ideas and tell me which you’d like to see more examples of!!
• Have double duty furniture
• Use the space under the stairs
• Recess a shelf into a wall cavity
• Go all the way to the ceiling with cabinets or shelving
• Set up an outside lounge
• Pack away out-of-season items in vacuum-sealed bags
• Get yourself a stylish coat rack
• Add a desk with cubbies to your home office
• Don’t forget over-the-toilet cabinets for the unmentionables!
Still need more space? I offer online edesign consultations now! Contact me and we’ll set up a time to discuss…