Creating More Storage Space
How To Find More Storage Space at Home
If you’re constantly complaining that you have no storage space in your house or apartment, you might just not be looking hard enough. Yes, some spaces are tiny, and there just isn’t much room.
In some larger homes, valuable space is simply wasted. In either situation, there are tricks that you can use to better use the space you have.
Sometimes you can use gadgets designed to give you more space. You might be able to double your space simply by rearranging your items.
Other times it’s a matter of letting go of items you don’t use and no longer need. Read some of our tips from getting more storage room from the space you currently have.
Tips for Creating Additional Storage Space
You’ve probably seen a number of products at stores and on TV that promise to save space and help you become more organized.
Some of the products work well. Others will just add to your clutter. Just because something is a good idea doesn’t mean that you have to have it.
Before buying a gadget, you should determine your actual need for it. If it helps you correct a problem you have and it’s inexpensive, it’s worth a shot. If you can’t really think of how it can help you save time, money, or space, don’t bother.
It’s understandable to want to try clever new products, but it’s just as good to recommend the item to a friend or family member who can actually use it. You still get to see if it really works, but you aren’t wasting money or the thing you want most – space.
Here are a few gadgets and descriptions of the type of people they will help:
- The spinning plastic container caddy – You’ve probably seen the nifty storage unit that stores different sized Tupperware-style plastic containers that all use the same sized lid. This is for people who can never find a lid that fits or where all the plastic containers and lids fall out of the cupboard when you open the door. It costs around $15-$20 and gives you cupboard space. Toss the old bowls and lids.
- Vacuum storage bags – These are the bags that you can suck the air out and store 85 king-sized comforters in 1-inch-square spaces. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea. This is for people who have a lot of blankets, comforters, and sweaters that take up space during spring and summer. It’s also good for people who have basements, outdoor sheds, and garages where they would never usually store blankets or clothing. The bags are waterproof and air tight. They’re also a good idea if you have holiday clothing, bedding, or towels that you store most of the year. Bags are great for under-bed storage. If you insist on keeping all of your child’s stuffed animals from 10 years ago, you need these bags. Cost: about $25 for a combo pack of 5 bags.
- Storage behind doors – You can get a number of products that allow you to store things on the inside of doors. There are over-the-door wire paperback book shelves, storage pouches for shoes or bathroom items, and even pegs that extend out straight and allow you to hang several hangers with bulky items like suits or coats. Make sure that you can still close the door. If your door is not set with enough room, these products can damage the door frame. You can also get pant or towel hangers that replace your door hinges. If closet space is a problem, all of these items are helpful. Cost varies.
- Closet gadgets – There are three types of closet hangers that provide more space. One is a pants hanger that allows you to hang multiple pairs of pants on one hanger. This one is helpful for people with a lot of slacks. There is also a pants hanger that stands on the carpet floor and has swinging rods that allow you to hang several pairs of pants. This is handy if you have closet space on the floor left by hanging short items like blazers and shirts. The third item is a plastic unit that has several holes for hangers. While it gives you more space, it becomes very heavy, it isn’t well-balanced, and it’s difficult sometimes to get your clothes. It’s very inexpensive, but not very helpful.
Using Your Garage, Basement, and Shed For Additional Storage Space
If you have a garage, basement, or shed, you might be misusing this valuable storage space.
Garden and work tools should be placed on a pegboard. Long-handled tools like rakes and brooms should be placed handle side down in a divided box or a stand in a corner.
If your garage, shed, or basement isn’t finished, take advantage of the space between studs. They are excellent for storing very tall items like brooms, weed-eaters, and fishing rods. It also makes putting up shelves simple.
Measure the space in between the studs (probably 16 or 24 inches), go to the local home improvement store, and have them cut boards to fit between the studs. You can simply nail them in place from the sides.
Take advantage of overhead storage as well. Metal storage units that hang from the ceiling are convenient for bulky items like camping gear, leftover building supplies like lattice or plywood, and even large storage containers like Christmas tree boxes.
Some people even build storage lofts in garages and sheds for extra storage.
Cut Down on Your Clutter Before Trying To Store Things
Of course, the best way to get more space in your current home is to get rid of stuff. We all have too much stuff, and we tend to hold onto it for much longer than we should.
If you have boxes in storage areas that you can’t identify, you probably haven’t used those items in a long time. Go through items you currently have stored and de-clutter.
If you haven’t used it and don’t absolutely love it to the point where getting rid of it might make you shed a tear, then you should sell, donate, or trash it. Closets and pantries are often neglected.
Sort through them and get rid of things you don’t use or need. Holding onto an item might make you feel better, but getting rid of unworn clothing will help keep your other clothes (that you actually wear.) from getting crushed and wrinkled. Is it worth getting rid of some old clothes to save you the work of extra ironing? The answer is yes.
The next time you find yourself fed up with your lack of space is the perfect day to be ruthless and clean out your storage spaces. The less you have to store, the more space you have to put the things that really need the space. Try some of our suggestions this weekend and see if you can live more comfortably in the space you have.