How to increase storage in tight spaces

October 2, 2013

in Home

increase storage in tight spaces

Cozy, quaint homes attract many home buyers and renters. Be it a cottage-style house or a studio apartment, smaller living spaces often involve getting creative with storage.

People live in a smaller homes for a variety of reasons. Some choose to live in a smaller home so they can be right in the thicks of things in a city or urban center. Others scale back on living space in an effort to save money. But storage space in small quarters is often at a premium, and thinking creatively is a necessity to keep the home tidy and items out of view.

To begin, take inventory of what you have, going through your possessions and determining what can stay and what can go. Part with anything you haven’t used in quite some time.

The next step is to sort items and get organized. Then you can find a place for everything. For example, if you have a dozen bath towels but only one sauce pot, you will need to find more room for linens than kitchen cookware. You may need to borrow space from one area of the home to give to another area. The following are some additional tips to increase space in an otherwise cramped home.

* Add shelves. Increase cabinet and closet space by adding shelves into them. This may double or even triple the amount of usable space, especially if you customize the shelving to fit storage containers you use to store everything from shoes to craft items.


* Opt for dual-purpose furniture. Benches with lids that lift up and sofas that convert into guest beds are just a few of the many ways you can keep a small home neat and increase storage space. An ottoman is a great place to store extra blankets and linens, while a trunk or crate with a sturdy top can be used in lieu of a traditional coffee table to keep books or board games.


* Think vertically. When floor space is at a premium, you may need to look up for storage. Frequently used pots and pans can be hung from a decorative rack in your kitchen. Use magnets on jars to store a spice rack on the wall near the stove. Racks above cabinets or on doors can be used to store everything from shoes to jewelry to toiletries. Shelving in children’s rooms can store lesser used toys away from the floor. Empty walls are valuable real estate in a small home, and tall bookshelves can house a number of different things.

small spaces kitchen

* Take advantage of oddly shaped crevices. If you have space under a staircase or a spot by a dormer or in an attic eave, use the space to store items. You may need to get creative, such as adding a door and small closet into the staircase, but such spaces make practical storage areas and add character to a home.

shelving in small spaces

* Use see-through storage containers. Many people find that plastic storage bins are neater and more stackable than boxes. See-through bins enable you to quickly find items so that you are not searching around the house for lost items and creating a bigger mess along the way. Clear storage containers work in the refrigerator, too. You can more easily spot leftovers, and uniform stacking containers free up more room for bulkier items.

see through storage containers

* Make use of space beneath your bed. There likely is ample room to store more things than just dust bunnies beneath your bed. A bed frame with built-in drawers is the perfect place to keep bed linens and out-of-season clothes. Beds can be raised on blocks to create more space underneath for storing rolling plastic containers and even seldom-used suitcases.

under bed storage baskets

* Opt for an armoire. Armoires are not exclusive to bedrooms. Armoires can be used in dining spaces or in dens to store items out of sight. An armoire can be used when retrofitted with a pull-out shelf as a laptop desk, storing all office items behind closed doors when not needed.


* Improve storage in the bathroom. Try to choose a vanity that has under-the-sink storage so you will have a place to store some toiletries. Home improvement centers sell cabinets and etageres that can be placed above the toilet tank as a storage space for bathroom items. In the shower, hang a second tension-loaded shower curtain rod on the inside of the shower enclosure that can be used to hold bags of kids bath toys and other toiletries, keeping them off the tub ledges.


When you think creatively, you can maximize storage space even in a small home.

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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.


Lindsey @ October 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I love these ideas! I am emailing this to my sister who just moved into a studio in Brooklyn! Talk about close quarters! I have a little house too, but like it so I can keep track of my 3 sons very easily!
Lindsey @ recently posted..Trail Etiquette: WWEPD (What would Emily Post Do?)

Jerimi October 2, 2013 at 2:44 pm

OK, so I’m kiiiind of in love with your blog. From the design to the subject matter to the writing. LOVE. Where in the world would I find that kitchen table that converts to a laptop desk? We would make such good use of that bit of furniture. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!
Jerimi recently posted..Depression Lies: It’s Situational

Lindsey October 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Awww. Thanks! That table is Stella by Cecilia Olsson. It isn’t actually in production yet, but it will be! You can find out more at

Melisa Alvarado October 2, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Good post. This is the first time that I read your blog. I like it. Have a good day. ~Melissa

Holley October 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Wonderful entry. I need to do something with our desk area. Will definitely visit again. 🙂
Holley recently posted..NaBloPoMo: Favorite Autumn Flavor

Evelyn Kelly October 3, 2013 at 4:33 am

OMG…fantastic ideas!!! Earlier I was not like things hanging on walls but when I came across to your post and see those pans hanging on walls then I realized that its a good idea to save space and create more storage for other items. All your ideas sound awesome and you have totally changed my opinion that in a small home it is difficult to create storage. Thanks for making such informative post.
Evelyn Kelly recently posted..Our New Self Storage Site Opens in Canterbury

Tyler @ Monster Bins October 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Maximizing your storage space, whether inside your home, office or even garage is a fairly simple task, it just takes some time and effort. First step is just like you mentioned above, decide what is no longer needed and get rid of it (throw it out, donate it or do whatever you can, just get rid of it). People will have a much harder time organizing and maximizing their storage space if they are hoarders…

Next step would be to secure some shelves and use storage bins on them. The bins can hold multiple items and get neatly placed onto the shelves and out of your way. This is one of the most effective ways we’ve helped people organize their small spaces that contain lots of junk!

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