WRITER | PAM TOIGO
No matter the size of your home, there always seems to be a shortage of one thing: storage. But before you go KonMari all over the place and give away 90 percent of your belongings, take a good, hard look at your space. There could be creative storage solutions hiding right under your nose.
The first order of business is to take a look at your empty or dead space. All homes have dead space: a nook begging for a storage bench, a cranny behind a door that cries out for some shelves, an empty area under the stairs just waiting to be transformed into a tiny office. Whether your budget allows for full construction of drawers, shelves, and benches, or something less costly and simpler, such as hanging bins or a basic enclosed space with a door, finding that empty space and making good use of it can take your organization to the next level.
Look high and low. Often, we don’t use the space over our heads. If you have a home with taller ceilings, don’t be afraid to use the space going up. Many of the items we need storage for are not things we need to access daily. Go high with shelving in a pantry to store seldom-used small appliances, cookware, or holiday serving pieces. Go high in a closet, above your hanging racks, to store seasonal items like winter or summer clothes and shoes. Create a storage system over and behind a door in a bathroom. Just make sure that what you put up high is not something you use regularly, or it won’t be a practical solution. For those items, go low. Under your bed is a fantastic place for slider bins, or opt for a bed that already has drawers underneath.
Rethink your furniture and purchase pieces that can do double duty. An old refinished chest of drawers can be an interesting piece of furniture in any room. Just make sure that, if it’s being used in a living area, the piece has some pizzazz so that it doesn’t look like it should be housing your T-shirts and underwear. Use it to store kitchen towels, flat dishware, table linens, or anything else you need continual access to. Armoires, in particular, look stylish in any room, can be found in any style (modern to classic to antique), and provide lots of enclosed storage for bulkier items like blankets, linens, or clothing. Look for creative furniture pieces that open up to provide storage space, like an ottoman with a removable lid or a coffee table with a top that opens.
Another obvious place for storage with creative potential is bookshelves. They aren’t required to house just books and can become a great place to store things. Matching upscale bins or baskets all in a row provides great places for small items, like office supplies, printed photos, and small tools. Label the bins in a neat, creative, and stylish way so that items are easy to find and the storage remains aesthetically pleasing.
There are probably more spaces for potential storage in your current home than you might think. All you need to do is take a good look around with an open mind. Spend some time browsing websites like Pinterest for super creative storage ideas. Use the space you’ve got, then kick back and relax in your newly creatively organized home.