Over the years we collect an unbelievable amount of clutter. Some things we hang on to for sentimental reasons, others we keep hold of – 'just in case', and sometimes it's simply a matter of family growth. But how do we contain it all, especially now, minimalism is the new trend? New houses never seem to offer enough storage space, while older properties offer space that is awkward and hard to utilize.
So, what can be done?
Start by looking around your home to consider the amount of storage space you realistically need. Identify your problem areas and be honest; would a clear-out help to free up storage space or is it definitely a matter of having to accommodate more? If it's about accommodating more, look at updating single-functioning pieces of furniture with multi-functional ones to provide quick fix solutions. If updating furniture is not an option then simply decide what items need to be hidden away in order to generate more room. Identify any 'dead' space around your home – obvious places like walls and corners and not so obvious places like half-filled cupboards, single rail wardrobes, space under beds etc. Then search the internet or go down to your local DIY store to obtain some inspiration and possible solutions.
Hallways are notorious as dumping grounds. No matter how small your space you should find a way to accommodate visitors coats and shoes. Designs for coat and shoe racks can range from multi-functioninging free standing ones, to slim line ones that attach to the wall – choose ones that work with your space as these need to aid the situation, not add to it. If you have no carpet on the stairs, considering getting the bottom steps made into pull out drawers and if you have available space underneath your stairs, consider converting it. Pull out storage works great if your hallway is wide enough, if not; add shelves or use it to store household items such as the vacuum cleaner and ironing board.
Think about how you can utilize the space more effectively. Do you really need all those gadgets on show? Think about a drop down TV, or a pull out / drop-leaf table that will help to maximize minimal space. Stacking storage systems are available for internal cupboard areas that really help to maximize them to the full. Add more storage space by simply adding wire baskets to the inside of the doors. Keep utensil and cutlery drawers in order by investing in drawer dividers and organize the space under the sink by collating all cleaning materials together. If you are big on recycling then stay on top of it by having designated areas for each of the materials you recycle. Add shelves or wire baskets to your store fresh fruit and vegetables and if your kitchen can accommodate a kitchen trolley, opt for one that offers a butcher block and some storage facilities.
Consider installing a bath panel that pulls down as these are great for shining bathroom items like shower gel, soaps, shampoos etc. Purchase a hammock with suckers, or invest in some string bags with hooks – these are terrific for storing kids' toys or individual bits and pieces. If space allows, opt for a mirrored cabinet – these come in various shapes and sizes and provide excellent storage areas. Add over the door coat hooks to house spare towels, laundry bags, or individual wash bags.
If you have not got floor to ceiling wardrobes, consider investing in some. Alternately, think about internal fitments. Most wardrobes can accommodate two hanging rails. Install a pull-out trouser rail and you may even find you have enough space to install some shoe racks underneath. Purchase some hanging pockets that hook over the top of a door for housing shoes, scarves and belts and if you have not got a bed with drawers, make full use of the space underneath by investing in durable storage boxes or vacuum bags for seasonal storage ideas.
As the main room of the house, this can get a little messy if items do not have a defined space. Kid's toys can be stored in blank boxes, wicker boxes and storage pouffes or hidden behind multi-functional screens. Large multi-storage units are available that will house all game consoles, gaming equipment, audio equipment, CD's and DVD's that you have.
Whatever storage problems you have, do not be afraid to think outside the box, you may think space is an issue but there are lots of different storage ideas available and with a little imagination you will be surprised at what you can achieve.