Having a small home does not mean that you have to forego all your possessions and make do with less. Living in a tiny space just forces you to be more creative with how you organize your stuff. A small space can house just as much as a larger home once you’ve mastered the art of clever storage.
Of course, I still advocate that you purge your belongings first. You probably own a lot of items that rarely see the light of day or are so dusty, you can’t even remember what colour they’re supposed to be. In other words, if you don’t regularly use something, just get rid of it. What’s the point of holding on to it and trying to organize it? After you’ve done that, then you can worry about where you’ll store the rest of your stuff.
Here are ten brilliant ideas to add extra storage space to your humble abode.
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10 Extra Storage Ideas For Small Homes
1. Storage Bench
A storage bench is an attractive way to hide your clutter, not like plastic bins that we tuck away in shame. They make great additions to entryways to corral all of those shoes and bags that tend to pile up by the door. You can even place one at the foot of the bed for extra storage in that room.
From solid colours to patterns, upholstery to wood, there are tons of design choices that you can select from to complement your decor. They also come outfitted with shelves, drawers or cubbies for you to keep your stuff or simply a hinged lid you can remove to place items inside.
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2. Storage Ottoman
Similar to the storage bench, a storage ottoman is a fantastic way to conceal clutter in plain sight. It’s the adult version of a toy chest. You can hide all sorts of goodies inside and then put your feet up on it after a long day.
Some models have bonus features, as if just being able to store things in them wasn’t enough. Some can be folded up and stowed away which is great if it’s empty and you need a little extra floor space. Others have trays underneath the lid that can be used as a lap tray. You can also sit on them so when you have guests over and need extra seating, there’s your solution.
I currently have two of these in my living room and I love them. By the way, when unexpected visitors turn up, you can throw everything off the couch and into the ottoman. But of course, I wouldn’t know anything about that!
3. The Bed
Beds take up a lot of real estate and, in a small home, that’s just wasted space. So, utilize the room under your bed.
If you have a bed that’s raised up off the ground, add under-the-bed storage. You can find breathable fabric or durable vinyl bags or you can get sturdy storage containers. I personally have both but I prefer the containers as they don’t collapse when semi-full and they are easier to move around.
The other alternative is to purchase a bed with drawers. This is my favourite option simply because I find the drawers easier to access than under-the-bed storage.
You can also combine a storage headboard and a storage bed to maximize your space or add one to a regular bed you already own. The headboard is a great place to stash books, your alarm clock, phone and other items you might want while lying down.
4. Go Vertical
In every home, no matter how small, there’s an abundance of wall space, so use it! Hang shelves, wall-mounted TV cabinets, coat racks and even shower caddies. Wherever you need extra storage, there’s sure to be a solution that can be placed on a wall. You may want to call a professional if you’ll be hanging heavy items.
Don’t limit yourself to just using the walls either. Doors are also wonderful storage spaces. Any door will do, really—closet doors, bedroom or bathroom doors, even the inside of kitchen cabinet doors. Hang over-the-door hooks or door shoe organizers and you’re all set.
Door shoe organizers can be used for so much more than shoes. Use them to house medication, toys, cleaning supplies. You’re only limited by your imagination but if you need a little more help with ideas, click here.
5. Toy Organizer
Is it just me or do toys seem to multiply like rabbits? Where do they all come from?
If you left it up to your children, every part of the floor in your house would be covered in toys. When you’re fighting a lack of storage space, you need somewhere to organize all of them.
A toy organizer is a great solution. I particularly like vertical ones as they take up less floor space. We’re trying to add extra storage in a small house, remember?
My nephew had a toy storage organizer just like this one. The open cubbies were great because he could access what he wanted and better yet, it was easy for him to put the toys away once he was done playing. The hard part of that usually was getting him to clean up. It always ended in a battle…
Having a proper place for your children’s toys helps teach them responsibility. Make it one of their chores to pick up after themselves every time they play.
Let’s not forget the classic way to gain extra storage—baskets.
Baskets are awesome because they hide all of your unsightly clutter and look chic while doing it. They help you to maximize tiny spaces. You can pile all sorts of things in them that would just fall over and look a hot mess if you tried to place those items on a shelf.
When outfitting a fixed space like closets, make sure to measure the width, depth and height between each shelf. It would be a pity to purchase new baskets only to find they can’t fit.
There’s no shortage of ways in which you can use baskets. In addition to the usual placements in closets, on shelves and in the pantry, you can even use them in the refrigerator. Really and truly, any of your clutter hotspots will fare better with these storage solutions.
7. Home Office Desk
You do a lot of work on your desk but it should also work for you. Sure you could go all sleek and fancy with a modern minimalist piece of furniture but you need extra storage, right? So, get a desk with tons of storage space—drawers, shelves, the works! Make sure you have plenty of room to organize all the items you’ll need to use like stationery, books and electronics e.g. printer and scanner. You’ll also need a place to organize bills and important documents.
Even if you don’t have an entire room to dedicate to a home office, you can still have a functional space. Floating wall-mounted desks are a clever option or tuck a desk away in a closet and place extra shelves above it.
8. Dog Feeder
If you’re a pet lover, you need to find extra storage for their stuff as well. Food, toys, leashes, medications, brushes, clothing, your pet’s possessions can command a lot of space.
One simple way to eek out a little storage for your dog in particular is by using an elevated dog feeder with storage underneath. I thought this was such an ingenious solution when I first stumbled across it! This allows you to hide the extra food, treats, anything you want in the bottom of the feeder. Fido will be eating in style standing up instead of lying down like some dogs do.
When you need extra storage, there’s nothing better than an empty garage. Well technically, it’s not empty because your car is in it but there’s all this potential that you’re not taking advantage of.
You can find organization solutions to suit any size garage. From free-standing cabinets to ceiling storage racks, garage storage options are plentiful. You just need to think about your needs and find a solution to match.
10. Find Extra Storage Outdoors
Okay, what if you don’t have a garage at all? There are still ways you can utilize space outside your house for extra storage.
If you have the room for it, consider a storage shed. These are good for storing more that just tools if you’re an avid gardener, but can also be the resting place for anything you don’t frequently need e.g. Christmas decorations.
Alternatively outdoor benches with built-in seating are a great place to tuck away outdoor cushions, blankets and lanterns. Plus you can sit on them and enjoy fresh air outdoors. (It’s seems like a novelty sometimes to be able to do that.)
Bottom line is there are no shortage of ways to magically add extra storage to your small home. Think outside the storage box (see what I did there?) and utilize every wall niche, space under the stairs and corner of your home. Once you get started, it will suddenly seem like there’s space everywhere. Hopefully, these ideas will jump-start your journey to becoming a space-savvy genius.