We could all do with a little more space at home (or perhaps a little less stuff!) So, how can we make the most of the storage we have at home? There are a number of things you can do to help maximise storage space, starting with furniture.
Anything which can double up as a functional piece of furniture and provide storage is a good bet. Using an ottoman or low chest as a coffee table, beds which incorporate storage under the mattress, bench storage in the hallway or out in the garden can all help to keep things organised and clutter out of site. In a child’s bedroom, a toy chest which doubles up as a bench seat or a cabin style bed with space underneath for a chest of drawers or a desk can help to make a small space more functional.
Keep it flexible
When looking storage furniture, try to look for items which offer flexibility. If shelves can be altered to make sure space is not wasted, you will be able to use the storage more efficiently. Try to keep like items together in terms of size if possible. This will be more visually attractive as well as more space efficient.
Using storage baskets and tubs in conjunction with shelving can help to double up shelf space. In the kitchen, using clear plaster containers can help to keep things visible whilst making the best use of space.
Look for un-used space
Look for spaces which are underused at present. Think about hooks or organisers on the backs of doors, utilise the space above doors forshelving, even the area behind an open door can be used for storage – take a look at this clever idea for children’s book shelves using previously unclaimed space.
You can even add a cupboard door to claim the space under your bath – great for hiding cleaning products.
You don’t always need things to be in easy reach – especially if they are not items which you need access to all the time. If you have high ceilings, consider a high, narrow shelf at picture rail level for paperback books, or stuffed toy storage in a child’s room. Try hanging pots and pans from the ceiling or the walls in the kitchen to free up space in cupboards. Adding overhead storage in a garage or workshop canbring previously un-utilised space into service and is relatively inexpensive.
Your house will always look and feel more spacious if you can keep floors as clear as possible.
Sometimes it will be difficult to find furniture which will fit an awkward space, especially in places like loft spaces, under eaves or under the stairs – but there is still valuable space to be claimed here. Consider building bespoke storage units which will fit the space exactly to maximise available storage. Drawing out the shape and thinking in advance about shelves or cupboards which would fit will help to ensure that you make the best use of the space – thinking about what you will be storing in there before you start to make sure that any shelves etc. are set at the correct level will avoid costly errors.
If all else fails…
If you have done all you can to maximise space in your home, consider off site storage in a specialist storage facility. If you are planning to put some things into storage, it is, of course, best to store things which you will not require access to frequently – things like summer garden furniture and barbecues can safely be stored over winter, packing up seasonal clothing or sports equipment and storing out of season can also free up space.
If you are planning to store goods away from home, make sure you pack it well – see our blog for more information on this. Make an inventory of your stored items and work out the replacement cost of all those items for insurance purposes. Remember, it is unlikely that your current home insurance will cover your goods when they are stored away from your home so you will need to take out storage insurance from a specialist supplier like Store-Insure.
If the cost of insurance is included in the storage cost, ensure that it is adequate for your needs – in many cases this will not be at a sufficient level to meet the full replacement cost of your items. Ask the storage company for a breakdown of the costs and get an independent storage insurance quote for comparison. Also look carefully at things like policy excess to make sure it is not too high – Storage Insurance from Store Insure now comes zero excess on claims on standard policies. Visit our website for more information on storage insurance, or to get a comparative quote