If you have ever thought to yourself, “How did I ever get so much stuff?” then it’s probably time to reorganize. We all have spaces, sheds, and closets that are overstuffed with things we don’t use regularly, seasonal items, and often things we can’t even find when we need them, especially if you move regularly. Here are some tips to save a little space for yourself in your home.
This is the most cost-effective way to gain storage space in your home—all it costs you is a couple of hours, some elbow grease, and some willpower. Haven’t used an item in over a year? Toss it. Try the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hangar Experiment to weed out the clothes you don’t wear. Many people also recommend the “Four Box Method,” which suggests using boxes labeled “Put away,” “Give away/sell,” “Storage” and “Trash” to attack specific rooms that need to be cleared up.
2. Think Harry Potter
What did J.K. Rowling’s horrible Dursley family do with their unwanted, unloved wizard nephew? Stick him under the stairs, of course. We’re not suggesting you keep any loved ones under the steps, but most new homes and many old homes have enclosed staircases that hide valuable storage space. Opened, they can be used as closets, storage niches, or even shelf space. Some enterprising homeowners even construct a wheeled, wedge-shaped container that is designed to fit into the area that is farthest under the steps.
3. Hack Your Hallway
You may not think of your hallway or other little-used spaces as storage, but they can be. Lining the walls of hallways with bookshelves or tasteful cabinets can create a kind of “invisible storage” that is useful for keeping treasured items available but not obvious to residents or visitors.
4. Add a Loft
A loft can be created just about anywhere where there are high ceilings, giving you anywhere from a small storage nook to an entire room. Crafty homeowners have created lofts above their kitchens, children’s bedrooms, and bathrooms to maximize storage space and create new opportunities.
5. Use Vertical Space
Whether it’s your garage, a shed, a closet or a storage locker, there’s just no getting around the fact that square footage is limited. When you start to run out of space in these types of storage solutions, look to the walls and ceiling. Working vertically is the fastest way to magnify and capitalize on your available space. Take bookshelves to the ceiling. Hang tools and workshop items on the walls of your garage. Sites like Pinterest are full of interesting and illustrative solutions to maximize the vertical space in your storage areas.
6. Take Tips from Tiny Houses
Tiny homes can be a marvelous source of ideas to help maximize the available space in your home because these minimalist spaces force their owners to use every available centimeter in the most efficient manner. Pop by an Ikea store sometime to peruse their small home designs and maybe pick up some ideas.
7. Mirror, Mirror
Apartment dwellers in dense urban areas swear by the trick of simply putting up a few good-sized mirrors around the house. Spaces that may look dense, such as a sunken living room or a kitchenette, can appear to have twice the space with a well-placed mirror.