If you’re anything like us, you’ll have plenty of stuff that needs storage space - luckily enough, we’ve written a guide just to help.
Storage can be roughly divided into two categories - storage furniture, like cabinets and shelving units - and accessories, such as shelves, boxes and hooks. It can be one of the hardest things to get right and can undo a room instantly - we’ve all bought storage because it looked nice and then realised we might not have anything to put in it, or on the other side, had lots of items floating around we didn’t realise we needed things to keep them in.
We’ll help inspire you with ideas to keep clutter levels firmly in control, as well as innovative ways to use storage pieces in every room of the house that you might not have ever thought about.
FIND YOUR PERFECT STORAGE
You could practically write an essay on all the storage types around (or at least put up a shelf in the same amount of time!). The quick guide below gives an overview of some of the most popular types:
The main storage items you’ll need for a living room are usually longer, lower cabinets/sideboards, TV stands/media unit (which cabinets can, funnily enough, do the job of) and shelving.
Living room storage can be tricky, as it’s worth asking yourself if it’s worth sacrificing the space for the items in the first place - bedrooms, hallways and spare storage rooms might have a lot more unused storage space. Out of sight, out of mind.
Almost every bedroom has (or at least should have) a large piece of storage furniture, such as a chest of drawers or wardrobe. Though it’s worth considering if you might need a second chest of drawers - if you share a room with your significant other, it’s can save a fair amount of hassle by giving them a separate chest of drawers for all their clothes!
Or if hanging space is limited, you could use a slim, tall chest for one set of clothes, and a wider one for bulkier items like jackets and jumpers.
Storage crates work particularly well as under-bed storage, or to break up storage space in a cupboard or at the bottom of a wardrobe.
And ottomans and blanket boxes can provide invaluable space for bulkier items from hoovers to electronics - not just extra bedding.
Shelves can be useful in a bathroom if you’ve not got much on-the-floor space. It’s worth noting that the exposure to water and steam can cause metal shelves to rust over time and make wooden shelves mouldy, so it’s important you’ve got the right ventilation.
Much the same as adult rooms, chests of drawers and shelves are a must when it comes to trying to control the tornado of toys, books, games and clothes that kids can accumulate.
Storage height is an important consideration, as is seeking out multi-purpose pieces that you can convert from baby to toddler rooms, onto to bigger kids and teens.
EVEN SMARTER STORAGE IDEAS
Using otherwise wasted under-bed space is one of the smartest strategies when it comes to maximising the storage in your room.
Wooden boxes or crates will slip under easily - add castors to the base to make them even more functional.
Shelves are welcome in any part of a bedroom, but we like the idea of using shelving above and either side of a bed to create a sort of alcove effect - just make sure it’s high enough that you won’t bump your head on it. Add shelves above your wardrobe or clothes rails for perfect shoe and accessory storage, too.
Try swapping your bedside table for a storage cabinets or small ottoman to squeeze some extra holding space out of your bedroom, and add hangers to the inside of your wardrobe door, the back of your door and awkward alcoves to hang more items.
Storage really comes into its own in the kitchen. Wooden packing crates have no end of uses, bringing with them an industrial, rustic feel - stack them up for vegetable storage, add them to your inside cupboards to create levels, or slide them into lower cupboards to keep utensils, mugs and gadgets under control.
Coat hangers don’t have to be confined to the hallway - they can bring that expensive wall-hanging look to your kitchen and provide space for hanging pots and pans, utensils and other kitchen gear. They can also work everywhere from a desk or craft space to your bedroom, as a towel hanger.
Try using shelves to create open shelving throughout your kitchen - above the sink, shelves can look really stylish as a space to store glasses, and even below cabinets if you’ve got a large gap that’s just asking for some extra storing space.
...Which leads us nicely onto your home office. Shelves are an office perennial - but why not try using crates, stuck bottom-side to the wall, as floating storage? It’s an idea that will look even better in more industrial spaces or against plain white walls. If you’re a DIY fan, crates can be stacked sideways-up and drilled together to create a bespoke storage unit.
You can also use shelves to create an instant, ‘hidden’ office inside of a nook or cupboard. Install the shelves above head height and then add a fold-out desk underneath. Slats or folding doors cover up the office nicely when not in use.
Even if you don’t think you’ve got space for shelving, it can fit into the most unexpected parts of a room. Shelves over the top (and sides) of a door have become a popular option, and can look really stylish if filled with books for a library-like effect. This effect can look fantastic in a kitchen too, for storing cookbooks over and around the door.