The Secret Art of Home Storage (5 Tips for Parents from the Pros)

Posted on Oct 26 2016 - 12:34pm by Charlie

You’ll never hear anyone complain they have too much storage. No matter how big the house, it’s an unwritten law that our stuff expands to fill it. Keeping control demands innovative storage use, especially for busy, growing families.


1 – Discover Hidden Corners

In every home there are spaces, nooks and crannies that you’d never normally consider using for storage but which, if used cleverly, can restore order from chaos. Here are a few of them:

  • Beneath kitchen cupboards — why not use that hidden floor space for storage for all kinds of bits and bobs, from rarely used baking trays and tins to kid’s board games, hobby supplies or tool sets. Usually that space is locked away behind kick boards, but a couple of cleverly installed hinges will turn them into lift-up doors, revealing the storage space behind.
  • Over and between doors — open shelving is useful everywhere, whether for ornaments and collectibles or books and DVDs. Laddering shelves up beside doors and extending it over the tops of the doors creates extra space that can make all the difference. As a bonus, anything stored up high is automatically safe from curious little fingers.
  • Under the stairs — this space is often either ignored or used as a general dumping ground that soon becomes a muddle. Sort it out with shelves on the walls, or invest in one or two plastic drawer units. Kitted out, under the stairs is a handy space for shoes, cleaning materials, or pantry items like jars, bottles, and tins.

2 – Don’t Store What You Don’t Use

From season to season, life changes. In summer, we have lawn mowers, garden furniture, outdoor games, and lots of summer clothes. When winter rolls round these things are mostly put away, but why keep them at home where they’re taking up precious space. Self storage facilities are keenly priced, have a wide range of room sizes, and are perfect for safely storing seasonal valuables. Furniture and machinery stays in good condition, and frees space in the garage, shed or loft that would otherwise be cluttered with items that won’t be needed for months. Not many people realise storage terms often run from week to week, so there’s no long-term commitment, just added space when you need it.

3 – Invest in Storage Furniture

Staying on top of clutter is always a challenge, especially when there are children in the house. Choosing furniture that doubles in usage provides nifty storage for gadgets, cables and chargers that normally hang around on chair arms or table tops. Side tables and coffee tables with drawers, shelves or lift-up tops help keep living rooms tidy, while in bedrooms ottoman style beds with lifting mattresses provide cavernous spaces for kids games or spare bedding and pillows.

4 – Tailor Kid’s Bedroom Storage to Age and Height

Needs change as children grow, and so does the storage that’s most practical for them. Small children might like cabin beds with drawers beneath, while slightly older ones may prefer captain beds, so they’re sleeping up high and have desk space below for homework or hobbies and crafts. The added bonus with storage beds like these is that you also save floor space, creating bigger play areas for when kids want to bring friends home.

If you have very small children, take a leaf out of infant school books and fit coat hooks or shelves at their height. Encourage them to tidy away toys or books, and hang up coats and jackets on their own special hooks.

A cool way to encourage reading is to borrow ideas from the library. Here, you’ll often see colourful children’s books displayed in shelves with bars that run horizontally along the front. They hold the books in position facing out, so the covers are always visible. Not only is the display attractive, it becomes a decor feature.

5 –  Clever DIY Storage Solutions

  • Turn boxy shelving units on their sides, add a foam cushion top and install plastic or wicker tubs in the sections where books would normally go. Makes a neat seating and storage area for bedrooms, living rooms or playrooms.
  • Add castors (cheaply bought from DIY stores) to recycled drawers, to make rolling carts for underbed storage.
  • If you have a baby changing area, pegboards make handy wall storage areas where you can hang caddies for creams, talcs, lotions, and other necessary small accessories. They’re also good in teen girl’s rooms, displaying and storing a multitude of accessories and jewellery items.

Sometimes, creating effective storage means thinking outside the box. Don’t be scared to experiment, create alternative uses for space or furniture, or even look beyond your own four walls.

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