Here’s one thing I know for sure… no matter how big your house is, you need more storage! People have an uncanny knack for filling whatever space they have available. If you do live in a small house (mine is a little cottage by the water at a cozy 1000 square feet) you really need more storage! I’ve collected a group of ideas and links below that might offer you some glimpse of hope or a dose of inspiration!
Under the stairs – Apartment Therapy
I can’t count the number of houses I’ve worked on that had the traditional “under the stairs” storage closet. You know the ones, the ceiling slopes and slopes all the way until it hits the floor, making anything “back there” totally impossible to get to!
Well here’s a cure that is certainly effective, if not simple. If you’ve got cabinet making skills you can do it, if not, a cabinet-ey kind of guy is who you need, but it could pay big time to talk with some one-man handymen on this. Lots of guys have the skills and won’t charge anywhere near what a contractor would for this one-man job.
Hallway Storage – Digs Digs
If you’ve got a hallway that is more than 36″ wide, there could be an opportunity in it! About 3 feet is the accepted norm for a minimum hallway width but anything more than that could be considered “wasted space”. And hey, if you’re really cramped, you could probably get by dropping down a little further to maybe 32″ (check your local building codes if compliance is important to you)
Storage Divider – House to Home
I love this set-up! Open spaces are among my favorite things, but sometimes they can be hard to break-up and “delineate”. Looking at the back of a sofa is frustrating but building a wall is a bit overkill, right?
So try out this idea – Build some rolling boxes (or buy some premade furniture or wall unit components and add casters) and use those as a combo room-divider/storage/table! Win, win, win, win…
Under the Bed – Apartment Therapy
A classic space saving idea… make use of the room under the bed! If building fancy drawers is too far out of your wheelhouse, you can find freestanding units that have nice fronts already on them and just roll under the bed.
Kids Book Shelve – On the Banks of Squaw Creek
This is brilliant! Brilliant I say. You tell me I’m wrong… you know that the sides of your dressers are shamefully wasted space right now. Get it together!
Smart Bedroom Storage – Digs Digs
Here’s a perfect idea for the beginning DIY carpenter. Building plywood boxes is EASY! You need to remember four words: You can do it!
If you want to save yourself the trouble of finishing the edges of the plywood, try using MDF.
Raised Floor Storage – DIY Cozy Home
Massive space gains for the equally massive carpentry undertaking! But you know what they say, no pain no gain.
If you’ve got the ceiling height, this really is a great way to find storage and it’s reasonable easy for a DIY’er and no problem for a professional carpenter. There is no structural work involved so you probably don’t need a permit (maybe…).
In addition to the extra storage, raised platforms are just cool! Great place for a bed, a kid’s play area, a home theater-ish space, etc.
Bathroom Shelving – Home Decor Mags
Similar to the shelving on the edge of the dresser a few images above, this is just an inspiring reminder that shelves can be made in any size to make use of just about any nook or cranny you have.
The shelves attached to the cabinet are fastened through the cabinet itself from the inside, while the ones on the wall have little mounting boards underneath.
Canned Food Cabinet – Classy Clutter
Here’s what happens – Designers create a space for a wide fridge. Somewhere along the line, a less wide fridge is installed. Result: space beside the fridge. Wasted and usually ugly.
Enter creative brilliance gone chevron.
Baskets above Kitchen Cabinets – The Kitchn
My wife’s motto – When all else fails, use a basket. ’nuff said.
But we might as well talk a little about the other features that rock this kitchen…
- Full height bead board paneling
- Awesome wide plank wood flooring
- A nifty bit of carpentry on the toe-kick to spruce things up
- A fire waiting to happen with the bulletin board… oh wait, that’s probably just for the picture.
Under the Sink – The Kitchn
Unless you were raised at Downton, you’ve most certainly experienced the explosion of disorganization that frequently occurs under the kitchen sink.
While I for one think the forces of the universe take a personal interest in keeping that area one of mayhem and destruction, you could try to tame it with a pullout tray.
Make space on counter tops with Appliance Storage – Apartment Therapy
And for the coffee loving neat-freaks, there is the “coffee station” (if not station, maybe pantry, just not ‘cabinet’ for something so special). The pot filler is a cool touch I think.
Extra Cabinet Drawers – The Family Handyman
We’re grasping at straws at this point… but space is space! Personally, if I have to go way down there for it, I don’t need it!
Cabinet in the Wall – One Kind Design
Often, when designing a space, we feel limited by the pesky and somewhat fixed walls. But the truth is this: Walls are not fixed. That’s why God gave us sledge hammers.
Take a look at your space from a floorplan view and you might see some extra space in an adjacent room, or maybe a passageway that you really don’t need. You can steal that space without taking a thing from the room that needs it by creating custom storage that is flush with the wall surface. Try it… you might be amazed!
Pull out Cabinet Island – My Home Ideas
More brilliance. I can’t add to it. I can point out the awesome false doors.
Double Duty Kitchen Island – Better Homes and Gardens
One of the most frustrating issues with small spaces is clutter which is greatly exacerbated by all of our modern gadgets. Create a small space inside your cabinetry that has outlets so you can charge your gear out of site, making it much more believable when you say “Oh gosh, I didn’t here the phone ring… seven times you called, really, wow! Sorry.”
Window Storage – Digs Digs
Here’s one I wouldn’t have thought of in a million years. You never cover up a window, right? Wrong… it works! You still get light, it adds some privacy, and you get some storage. What could go wrong?
Laundry Room Storage – She Knows
Similar to the space next to the fridge, there is often extra space in the laundry area that can be made good use of with a little bit of wood (in this case, melamine), some glue, and a decent cordless nail gun.
Laundry Room Storage – Moby Tom
So I can see the creativity of it all. But I’m wondering… is the stuff on the shelves just “props” that are actually glued in place?
Because in my house of three big men and men-to-be, there ain’t no such thing as “open the laundry cabinet carefully”. But, hey, it’s an idea.
Go Vertical – Apartment Therapy
And, if all else fails or you’re just not wanting to get your toolbelt out, there are always creative shelves you can order on Amazon.