Last week when we talked about undoing the mess and putting things away, one topic we discussed in the comments was how hard it is to put things away when your home has little to no storage space.
It’s not only a problem with apartments, many houses lack good closets, and everything ends up out in the open.
When most people think about adding storage, they often think of containers like baskets, boxes, and jars, but you still need a place for the containers to go. You want to avoid having too many small containers. Like Zoanna mentioned, a lot of storage containers can make any house look cluttered, even when stuff is stored neatly in them. Before you think about containers, let’s think about space.
Assuming that you’ve sorted through your stuff and given away what you don’t need, let’s brainstorm how to add more storage space to your home.
1. Shelves. For the square footage, shelves make the biggest difference. We have restaurant-style metal shelves in our closet. They are well-suited for apartment living because they’re adjustable and can be taken apart when we move. The best part is they don’t need to be mounted to the wall.
I got ours used from a local grocer and it held hundreds of pounds of food, so it’s strong. I found it on Craigslist (listed for sale in the business equipment category).
2. Dressers. Drawers can hold more than clothes. Spruce up old dressers and buffets found on Craigslist with a bit of paint, and use them anywhere in the house.
3. Under the bed. The college dorm trick is to raise your bed on cinderblocks and add an extra-long bed skirt. It’s so much easier to put boxes underneath the bed this way. Some people don’t like having anything under the bed, but I’d rather store something under the bed than not have another place for it to go. What do you think?
4. Hooks. Whether it’s a decorative hook, a plain nail in the wall, or a peg rail, hanging stuff on the wall helps. Most of our hooks are low on the wall so kids can reach them.
5. Hanging tote bags. Almost every room in our apartment has a tote bag hanging on the wall. I keep one hanging by my desk to hide loose papers in when my desk gets messy.
6. Behind the door. I’m not really a fan of hanging organizers on doors. They make the door difficult to swing open and close, but they work.
7. Maximum closet use. What do you need to add to make extra stuff fit in your closet? A double rod? Another shelf? Make full use of all three areas in a closet: the upper shelves, the space for hanging clothes, and the floor space.