We’ve all been there: clutter piles up in the office, shoes in the closet lay in disarray, and there just aren’t enough kitchen cupboards to neatly store every dish and cleaning supply.
Before you blame a lack of home storage, think again — is it a lack of space, or is it how you’re utilizing the space you currently have?
Whether you live in a small apartment or a large family home, there are endless ways to create more space in what has been given to you.
1). Creative cupboards: Think outside (and inside) the box.
Throughout a hectic week, kitchens tend to be the designated place for stacks of mail, piles of work items and miscellaneous odds and ends. By rethinking your space, you can tackle clutter and avoid the dreaded weekly cleanup.
Open display. If you’re short on cupboards, open shelf displays creatively store your dishes while saving serious kitchen space.
Want to get creative? New York City prop stylist Erin Swift suggests displaying everyday dishes against a chalkboard wall. The dark backdrop allows you to clearly indicate a home for each item (and encourages others to restock once the dishwasher is finished).
Baskets and Boxes. For items you regularly need — but don’t want to see — baskets and boxes store your odds and ends in a decorative, organized fashion. Reclaim unused shelf and wall space instead of taking up valuable counter space.
Looking for extra space? Bookshelves in the kitchen provide extra storage for things like mail, laptops, fruit bowls and everyday items.
2). Design a better bedroom.
When it comes to bedrooms, it’s not always about how much space you have, but how well you use it.
Adrienne Breaux of Apartment Therapy suggests maximizing space under the bed with bed risers.
“It’s simply one of the smartest and easiest ways to add a whole area of storage to your sleep space,” she notes. “Raise your current bed and add storage containers, and consider a DIY project to make them appear less storage container-like.”
Double duty furniture can also serve as extra storage. Cabinets instead of end tables and floating drawers instead of shelves will help you manage your messes and create a peaceful sleeping space.
3). Have a vertical vision.
When organizing in your home, never forget that each room has eight corners (think about it). Lynda Felton, author and Style At Home expert, believes that to save space, we must think vertically.
“Whether you’re hanging art, shelves, or placing furniture, don’t let vertical space go to waste,” she advises. “Using it is practical and draws the eye up, making a space feel more expansive than it actually is.”
Over-the-door organizers and fan shelves can act as extra hidden storage — and are great for small spaces. Take advantage of unused space on walls to store books, household gadgets and decorations on floating shelves.
4). Remember self storage.
Despite your home’s new space-saving solutions, there may be some leftover items that tend to take up a large amount of real estate. Items like lawnmowers, snow-blowers, grills, seasonal decor and oversized furniture can find temporary homes in storage units near you.
If you’re storing furniture, fragile or seasonal items, climate-controlled storage will protect your belongings from humidity and extreme temperatures. Be sure to also check for any extra money-saving offers, like a free rental truck to help you haul your items.
Like these space-saving solutions? Download the full infographic here or share your thoughts with us on Twitter @LifeStorage.