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How to turn unused nooks and crannies into storage spaces

By Jordyn Cox

While it’s true that most of us have more stuff than we really need, it’s also true that most homes that were built years ago were built when people didn’t have a need for as much storage as we do now.

If you feel like your home doesn’t have enough storage space, this for you.

One of the first things I do when I work with a client is assess the storage space situation. Many people have areas of their homes that can be used for more efficient storage. They just don’t know how to access it or where it is.

Here are some of my favourite ways to turn unused areas of a home into places of storage.

1. Look behind the looking glass
What’s behind your mirror? Using the same idea that a medicine cabinet mirror uses in a bathroom, full-length mirrors in bedrooms or wardrobes can be good places for storage.

Don’t forget to consider the storage spaces that are hiding behind things like bathroom mirrors. Picture: Ben Adams

With a hinge on its side, the mirror can open up to shelving or a small hanging area that can be installed with relative ease between wall studs. This can be a great place for storing jewellery, scarves, purses, belts or any other kind of accessory.

2. There could be magic under the stairs
Harry Potter isn’t the only one to create magic in the cupboard under the stairs … by exploring what’s under your staircase you could create storage space from nothing!

Sometimes when staircases are built, they are simply walled in and there can be some pretty valuable space sitting unused there if that’s the case in your home.

The space underneath a staircase is very good for out-of-season storage or for items that are rarely used. If you are going to use this area, you may want to invest in a couple of good see-through storage tubs so your items are better protected.

Storage can be found in some pretty creative places. Picture: Getty

Bins on wheels are also great for this area, as is good lighting, as under-stair areas can easily become the black hole of clutter if not well organised and monitored.

3. Go vertical in your bathroom
If you’re really pressed for space in your bathroom, consider the area above your toilet.

Wall shelving (preferably with doors to ensure nothing falls out and straight into the toilet!) is easy to install there. If you share the bathroom with a housemate or family member, it’s easy to assign shelves to different people.

It’s also a great area for extra towels or supplies you need to keep somewhere nearby. Open shelving with decorative baskets will also work well in this area, providing extra storage space while complementing the design of your bathroom.

4. Monsters out from under the bed, storage in
What’s under your bed? Even though this is a classic idea, it’s the one that usually solves the most problems in a home that is lacking good storage space.

Invest in some bed risers (they’re inexpensive – but make sure they’re sturdy) and some good storage containers.

Under-bed storage is great for out-of-season clothes, suitcases, or anything that you’re not using on a regular basis.

You might be surprised at how many storage spaces you can find if you know where to look. Picture:

If you do decide to put clear storage tubs underneath, consider attaching a string to the outside of the box so that you can easily pull the tub to you. Also, even with clear tubs, clearly label bins so there is no confusion about what you’re storing and remember to regularly clean under your bed to avoid a buildup of dust and fluff.

5. Go vertical …. and go high
If you have a garage, of course, the first place you might add storage space would be by adding shelving units on the walls.

But the most overlooked area of a garage is the ceiling. Consider building shelving that drops down from the ceiling.

This is a great space for items you rarely use or won’t need for some time. Many DIY stores sell systems that raise and lower these shelves with pulleys or on simple hydraulic systems.

If the area is easy to get to, it’s also a great storage space for bulk warehouse buys, seasonal decorations, camping gear and larger items like suitcases.

6. Make your furniture work for you
And, finally, I can’t write an article like this without talking about my favourite idea …. multi-purpose furniture.

If you feel like you need more storage space in your home, rethink your seating, ottomans, coffee tables, benches, etc.

So many of these items today are designed to serve more than one function and come complete with storage components built in.

By incorporating storage into your furniture you’ll maximise your living space. Picture: Getty

Why buy a piece of furniture that serves one function when, for the same price, it can do double duty?

There are so many ways to add storage space to most homes. Use a keen eye and think about where there’s empty space and how best to get to it!


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