9 Hidden Storage Spots You Didn’t Know Your Home Had
When the unavoidable clutter of a family, pets, and a job starts to pile up, you may long for a few more rooms in your home just to contain it all. But if a move or an addition isn’t on the horizon anytime soon, the next best bet is to maximize the storage space your home already has. By reconsidering areas you’ve overlooked as potential storage spots—the backs of cabinet doors or that empty space under the stairs—you may find that your home can hold much more than you thought. Rather than simply piling belongings in a closet, these creative storage spots are strategically placed so items are close at hand and easy to find. A playset that slides under the bed in your kid’s room will end the daily hunt for lost toys, while a shelf under your kitchen cabinets frees up counter space, yet leaves cookbooks and spices within reach. When you put all of these hidden storage spots to use, it may suddenly feel as though your home gained an extra room or two.
On the Backs of Cabinet Doors
If you’re a baker, you likely have a kitchen drawer filled with a jumble of mixer attachments, measuring cups, and rubber spatulas. To avoid rummaging through this drawer while your hands are covered in cookie dough, take a cue from Jenny Steffens Hobick of Everyday Occasions and make use of the backs of your kitchen cabinet doors. To adopt the idea in your own kitchen, screw cup hooks into the back of the door, spacing them so that the hanging items won’t interfere with the shelves when the door is closed. Another storage tip to steal: Let painted pieces of molding stand in for shelf risers so you can see all of the contents at a glance and save time searching for the allspice.
Under Your Child’s Bed
Turns out there’s a lot more than monsters hiding under your kid’s bed—there’s also plenty of unused storage space. Spotted in a tour of a beautiful 1950s home on Wit & Delight, a shallow wooden tray with wheels turns an ordinary train set into a trundle playset. To make your own, attach small casters to the bottom of a large wooden tray or bin. During playtime, your little ones can wheel it into the center of the room. When bedtime rolls around, they can simply stash it under the bed for easy cleanup. To make building a wheeled storage bin even easier, check out The Heathered Nest’s tutorial for adding casters to an IKEA basket.
Beneath Your Kitchen Cabinets
If you wish you could free up counter space in your kitchen, but every square inch of cabinet space is occupied, consider installing some bracketed shelves just below the cabinets, as Nicole Lamac of The House Diaries did. “When I renovated this house, I built in storage areas wherever possible,” she explains, including adding bracketed shelves for holding the overflow of dishes and cookbooks from the cabinets above. When deciding where to place the shelves, measure the height of the dishes or canisters you plan to store. Make sure there is enough clearance between the shelf and the bottom of the cabinets, but that the shelves don’t sit so low that they block the work surface.
On Small Blank Walls
Many homes have unused walls and unoccupied corners—so why not put those underutilized areas to work? In this California nursery featured on Inspired By This, shallow wooden shelves hold a row of picture books, giving a formerly blank wall a new purpose and leaving reading materials within arm’s reach of a cozy chair. To get the look, buy several shallow picture ledges (or even these $4 IKEA spice racks), and attach them in a column on an open wall. Alternatively, if your home has empty corners, look for triangular floating shelves that fit snuggly into the corners of your home.
Above the Toilet
Between linens, toiletries, and hair styling tools, it’s easy to feel short on storage in even the most spacious of bathrooms. To maximize storage in this room, consider overlooked areas, including the space above the toilet. When Jenna Sue Design participated in a room makeover challenge, they crafted a storage ladder that fits around the toilet using just $10 worth of supplies. To ensure a custom fit, you can build your own ladder following their tutorial, or you can measure the height of the toilet and search for a storage ladder that’s the right size. Once in place, let the piece hold the overflow from your linen closet.
At the End of the Bed
Adding a storage bench or stylish baskets at the end of your bed is not only a smart way to stash the extra blankets your overstuffed closet can’t hold, but it can also help the room feel polished. When redecorating the master bedroom, the blog Hello Allison punctuated the end of the bed with a chic bench and hid woven storage baskets below. The bins can corral a large shoe collection, while the bench provides a seat for putting them on. If you prefer to keep your storage out of sight, look for a storage bench with built-in compartments. Otherwise, choose a bench that’s slightly lower than the end of the bed, and select short baskets than can slide underneath.
Under the Stairs
In most homes, the area under the stairs is a big blank wall of possibilities, making it an ideal spot to fit in extra storage. Specializing in interiors that pair style with function, the Chicago-based design firm Foster Hill Design took advantage of this area in a client’s playroom, adding built-in shelves for toys and art supplies. Metal wire baskets that offer a look inside help kids find their favorite toys quickly, while woven baskets contain dress-up clothes. For a quicker fix, install a couple floating shelves along the wall for holding books, small bins, and even a few framed pieces of your child’s artwork.
Up Near the Ceiling
If you think you’ve used up every last square foot of storage in your home, it may be time to set your sights a little higher—as in, up near the ceiling. In this orderly living room from Little House on the Corner, two high shelves set above eye level hold magazines, art, and a collection of knick-knacks. While this out-of-the-way storage isn’t meant for things you reach for every day, it does provide a perch for displaying items you love, without sacrificing space that should be used for more practical belongings. Go ahead, store your prized collection where it can be admired.
On the Side of Cabinets
When it comes to optimizing storage space, it’s important to think outside the cabinet. Katie and Erin Nathey, the couple behind Mountain Modern Life, a blog that documents their life inside a renovated RV, know a thing or two about taking advantage of storage in small spaces and, fortunately, their smart tricks can fit in any size home. In their tiny kitchen, hooks on the sides of the cabinets hold aprons and dish towels, while cup hooks secured under the cabinet suspend potholders. And rather than waste the space below a floating microwave, the couple attached a magnetic strip for spice jars. By incorporating these ideas into a larger kitchen, you can declutter your cabinets and keep essentials out in the open.