Sleep expert, professional interior and luxury bedding designer Jennifer Adams is back to answer your questions and provide some helpful advice! Today we consider the topic of how to make the most of your home’s available storage space:
We’ve Run Out of Space … Can We Just Move?
Isn’t it funny how it seems like the amount of space we have inside our homes is never enough? Unlike hermit crabs, we don’t have the luxury of just being able to choose a bigger shell every time we run out of space. And since upsizing your whole house may not be a realistic option, one of the most proactive places to start is to see about downsizing your volume of “stuff.” It’s really pretty simple geometry – less stuff translates to more available space. Do you still have unpacked boxes from the last time you moved? Got any items lying around that you never use? It’s always best to go on a decluttering purge before you start trying to figure out new ways to organize your space.
After You’ve Decluttered, Now It’s Time to Make a Plan
If you don’t already have a closet organizing system, it’s time to put one in place. Make an organization plan for every closet and storage-oriented room in your home, including the pantry, laundry room, and garage. At a loss to know how to start? You can always start by Googling it or checking out Pinterest for ideas. You could also look for DIY solutions at a storage system shop or home improvement store, or just enlist the help of a custom closet professional to help you plan and design your own tailored organization systems. Depending on your budget, you can tackle all your designated storage spaces at once, or just take them one at a time.
Expand the Space You’ve Already Got
Let’s next look at ways to expand your existing storage space, starting with shelving. In the kitchen, add space in between your existing shelves with expandable wire shelves or risers. In the bathroom, order new glass shelves from the manufacturer of your medicine cabinet or have new ones cut to size at a glass shop specializing in custom shower doors and mirrors. If you go to a glass shop, be sure and take in one of your existing shelves and brackets so they will be sure to cut to the right size.
Organize with Purpose
Organize your items according to usage purpose, and store equipment and gear for related activities near each other. For example, any camping, hiking, and biking supplies should be convenient to each other, as should supplies for hobbies or crafting. Why waste time and effort running back and forth through your house and garage trying to find your backpacking tent when you need it? Some items like duffels, day packs, water bottles, outerwear, and shoes, probably get used for more than one sport or activity, so be sure to keep those in a more central location.
Add attractive baskets to bookcases and cabinets for messy items such as extension cords, chargers, extra matches, candles, coasters or whatever. Do the same for smaller items in your garage, like gardening supplies and tools. And as you’re going through your stuff, always be asking yourself, “Do I really need this?” Get rid of those oddball items like specialty light bulbs that you’ve moved around several times and have never found a way to use.
Some More Space-Maximizing Tips
Maximize the space behind doors (including cabinet doors) in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and closets. Hooks and over-the-door racks or narrow shelves keep shoes and clothing off the floor and keep jewelry, spices, and other small items handy. Try using cascading hangers in your closet for skirts, scarves, pants, blouses, shirts, ties, etc. Alternatively, you could try arranging your favorite outfit pairings together.
One other thing to focus in is ensuring that you’re making the best use of storage furniture. A decorative trunk in a living room or bedroom is perfect for hiding out-of-season clothing and extra throw blankets. Benches and ottomans with drawers make it easier to access storage space without having to move whatever is on top. Dressers make great accents in living rooms, entries and dining rooms. In the bedroom, try using nightstands that have their own built-in storage space. And underbed bins are perfect for keeping extra bedding, rolls of wrapping paper, various keepsakes, and more.
Make the Most of Your Space
I hope these space optimization tips are helpful! I’d love to hear from you and see some pictures once you’ve got your organization system in place. If you remain intentional about decluttering and making your space really work for you, you may eventually find that you never run out of space again!