If the bookshelves are bursting, the linen closet is overflowing, and the closets won’t close, it’s time to find some extra storage space around the house. Here are some ideas to help you discover – and create – more space within your home.
Dual Purpose Furniture
Purchase multi-purpose furniture that can be used for extra storage; for example, a foot stool or ottoman with a removable or hinged top is a great place to stow CDs, remote controls, or even an extra blanket. A sleek bench with hidden storage can be placed in an empty entryway or along a bare wall, where it will easily hold winter boots, mittens, hats, and scarves. Alternately, place an enclosed bench at the foot of the bed to store extra bed linens, sports equipment, or shoes that will not fit in the closet.
Coffee tables with built-in drawers and cupboards are perfect for magazines, books, and other items that you would like to be accessible, but not visible. If you have a guest room, consider purchasing a couch that folds out into a bed, rather than a regular-sized mattress. When the bed’s not in use, the couch will be a good place for reading or relaxing – or stacking the clean laundry that needs to be folded and put away.
Under the Bed Storage
Look for clear, under-the-bed storage containers that are specifically made for narrow areas. Use in a child’s room to hold out-of-season clothing, extra toys and games, or coloring books and craft supplies. The size and shape of these containers make them perfect for storing gift wrapping paper, bows, tape, and scissors to create a “gift wrap station” that you can easily access when someone’s birthday rolls around. For even more space, use risers to prop the bed up several more inches, allowing you to stack the containers one upon another.
Corners Shelves and Furniture
Handy corner shelves add a few square inches of space fitting for a small book collection, several knickknacks, or a decorative element like a trio of candles. You can also find corner-oriented armoires that fold out to reveal a hidden workstation. Some entertainment centers fit perfectly in the corner, made to maximize space in small places, like a rented apartment. To keep stuffed animals from overrunning a child’s room, purchase a corner net that is made specifically for the purpose of containing them.
Other Space Solutions
In the examples above, space is not being created; it is being distributed. To truly add space, you must build upon the existing structure (by building upward or outward). Due to the complexities of working with electricity and plumbing, this is surely not a job for a novice: get a bid from three different, reputable contractors and hire one of them for the job. It will be a pricey endeavor, so consider all options before you begin.
If you can’t add on to your home, perhaps you can construct a shed or other free-standing storage unit on your property. Laws governing the building of additional structures are very specific. Contact your city or county government for information.
If you have used these space-saving and space adding ideas and still need more room, it may be time to have a yard sale or donate extra items to a local charity.
Kenneth McCall is an avid ski, boater and bicyclist. When he is not engaged in outdoor activities he directs the IT operations at storage.com, building websites and tools for homeowners and businesses needing storage, including self storage in Chicago and around the area.