A home with a small footprint or square footage can be extremely “quaint” as they like to call it these days, but it can also be a total nightmare when it comes to finding enough storage space for all of your stuff. In an ideal world, we would all live that minimal lifestyle and really only keep the things that we use on a daily basis a la “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” but if you are anything like me – then you have a hard time letting go of things, whether that be clothing, magazine cutouts, playbills, shoes (ugh shoes), or anything else that seems to fill your space up.
I recently started working with a friend on his space that falls into one of these “small footprint” categories and although it’s such an adorable apartment and right off the beach it is SMALL and his needs for storage were obviously important so we had to think outside the box with almost every single piece of furniture to maximize the potential of most of them to do double duty. Desk/Bookshelf, Bed/Storage Unit, Side Table/Hidden Storage – you get the picture. So with all the googling, thinking, searching, and trying to come up with storage solutions I have done in the last week or so for him I figured that the lack of storage is a problem we all face – or maybe the bigger problem is that we all have too much stuff and are closet hoarders. So, in the spirit of hoarding and keeping far too many things that we don’t actually need here are a few of my tips to maximize your storage space without sacrificing style or a place to lay down and relax at the end of the night.
Reach the Ceiling
This isn’t an out of the box solution, nor is it new or revolutionary, but using ALL of your vertical storage space when it comes to walls can make a huge difference in creating more space for storage. I recently did this in my kitchen after one shelf and a few cabinets just wasn’t cutting it for me in terms of storage. Granted, I am no cook and definitely don’t have tons of stuff to store, but by installing three wall to wall shelves all the way up to the ceiling I added a lot of usable open storage for myself in the small space that I had to work with. So if you have room for vertical storage and need a place to put your stuff then installing some shelves is an easy and quick way to instantly add some storage space. Before you start hacking away at this and drilling holes in your wall keep in mind what you plan to store on said shelves and account that in when buying your shelves and measuring the distance you will install them from each other. For instance if you are planning to house dinner plates, large books, or folded clothing then you will want a shelf that is at least 12-14″ deep however if you are just throwing paperback books or smaller decorative items on them then a shelf that is 7-10″ would work for your needs. Whatever the depth that works for you, just remember to anchor your brackets/shelves to the wall so that it all holds up once everything is on there.
Hooks and small homes go hand in hand. You can install hooks on walls and on the back of doors in pretty much every room of the home, and they are extremely good for hanging clothes, towels, hats, bags and anything else that might otherwise end up in a heap on the floor. Also, hooks are a great styling hack as you don’t actually have to style what is on the hooks like you would say if you installed a towel bar or clothes rod. Just hang the stuff up and it is off the floor and looks good all on its own.
Under the Floorboards
I don’t really know if this is a feasible option for most, but when I was doing some research there were are a few articles that recommended it, so if it works for you then here you go. If the design of your home makes it possible, converting the space under your floorboards into additional storage with the help of an access door can create a lot of extra space. You will need to check the crawl space under your home and also make sure it is safe from the elements, but if you do have extra space down there and it makes sense to turn it into a storage area then grab yourself a hatch and toss all your clutter down into it to hide away your stuff without taking up any more of your already scare floor space.
In the Walls
Similar to the “hide it under your floors method” there is the “hide it in your walls method”. This really only works (in my opinion) in the bathroom where you can install a medicine cabinet to take advantage of those 4 extra inches in your walls and clear up a lot of counter space. But 4″ makes a big difference people!
Your home is going to be filled with furniture, so why not make the most of it by purchasing furniture that also doubles up as storage? NOW… don’t get me wrong, most, if not all, of this “storage furniture” is pretty bad when it comes to style but there are a few options out there that aren’t completely atrocious. You can buy beds that lift up to reveal lots of storage space under them, which is what I recently sourced for said “quaint space” friend. There is also the option of ottomans, accent tables, benches and even couches that have built in storage and will allow you to hide away more stuff than you thought possible. Yay for secret hoarding!
So if storage is something you lack maybe one of these methods can help you with the problem, if it deals with hoarding then you are on your own (but I do send my deepest sympathies) And if you live in a small home, what are your top tips for creating extra storage space?