In most homes, especially apartments, storage space is hard to come by. Homes are being built with smaller rooms and less closet space, so you’ll have to be creative when finding places to store your belongings. Here are ten ideas that will help you find innovative ways to store your items in the space you have.

  1. Just look up. Wall space is often sorely underused as a storage place. Adding shelves is the obvious solution, but there are plenty of other options. Vertical shelves go up the wall, and can reach as high as the ceiling. Home improvement stores sell shelving that attaches to the studs in your walls, and the shelf height can easily be adjusted. If you rent your home or you’re an apartment dweller, be sure to talk to your landlord or property manager to see what kind of interior modifications are permitted.
  2. Consider adding built-in shelves or cabinetry. If you have the money and the ability, cabinets with adjustable shelving are a great place to store smaller items like books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs. Use those adjustable shelves efficiently by matching their height to what you’re storing; if you need it to be a foot high, set it to that height so you’ll still have room for taller items on other shelves.
  3. Line your ceiling.  If you live in a smaller home and can’t put up lower shelves because your living room is filled with furniture, then place your shelves right below ceiling height. If you wish, you can wrap them around the entire room, adding a stylish decorative touch.
  4. Use the space over your windows. The small spaces above your windows are the perfect place to put shelves which will hold books and small collectibles.
  5. Look lower down. Do you have furniture with spaces underneath? If so, you’ve just gained some storage area. Most coffee tables and chairs have spaces beneath them, which can easily hold baskets for smaller items.  You can also use the spaces below your windows to hold a window seat or chest; the cushioned lid lifts to store items that aren’t used as often.
  6. Out of sight, out of mind. Many newer pieces of furniture have hidden storage, such as ottomans with hinged lids. These are perfect for storage of items like blankets, which aren’t used every day. In a pinch, you can use a chest with a lid as a coffee table, providing storage and function. Furniture pieces with drawers are another good way to store your belongings, and many end or coffee tables have them. Repurpose a dresser as an entertainment center; the flat top is perfect for a television, while the drawers offer plenty of storage space. Many stores also sell corner units with shelves for DVDs and electronics, and these are a good way to use space that would otherwise be ignored.
  7. Don’t forget closets, if you have them. Shoe caddies aren’t just for your bedroom- their small holes can easily store smaller items such as children’s toys. More sturdy shelves are geared toward the pantry, but they can also pull double duty in the living room.
  8. Get rid of some of your things. If you’ve tried the ideas above and still don’t have enough room, you probably have too much clutter. Consider ridding yourself of some of the items you no longer need, use or enjoy.
  9. Use an open floor plan to your advantage. If your floor plan is open and your sofa isn’t up against a wall, you can use the space behind it for storage. Most home goods stores sell modular cube units, which allow you to customize your storage area. These open cubes keep your things organized, but still easily accessible.
  10. You don’t always have to hide your stuff. Hiding or getting rid of items isn’t always a viable solution; if you have china, books, photos and the like, you should show them off. Look for sectional or modular shelves, and experiment with their arrangement until you’re satisfied.

These are just a few ideas to get you on your way; you can use just about anything to store your belongings, as long as it’s workable for you. The objective is to make your items easy to get to, and easy to store when you’re done using them. Once you’ve found a place for everything, your home will feel cleaner, larger, and be a much nicer place to live.

This guest post was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Bingham Self Storage; specialists in self storage Nottingham. Visit binghamselfstorage.co.uk to find out more.