We buy houses to store our possessions. However, there are only so many cabinets, shelves, and closets in a house. The solution is to maximize the storage space available to us. Grab your tape measure, because we’re going to tell you how.
A Word About Possessions
Storage is essentially about things we don’t use every day, forget we had, or things with which we can’t bear to part. We shove these into the back of whatever space is available until the space is full. We then search for more space.
The most important thing to do is to get rid of what isn’t necessary to your life. Have a yard sale, donate it to Goodwill, gift it to friends and family, or sell it on eBay. If there are items you simply can’t part with but take up space in your home, consider renting storage space. While a storage unit can be a pricey option, there are alternatives that allow you to rent extra-space storage from nearby residents for considerably less money than traditional storage methods.
Once you’ve sorted out what to sell, store, or keep, then you can move on to maximizing your storage areas.
If you don’t presently have coffee and end tables with cabinets or shelves, then sell yours and buy some. Other storage options are:
- Built-ins with window seat
- Who says you need a fireplace to have a mantel? Hang sconces or decorative mirrors on either side of it, and it’s a focal point
- Who says you need a fireplace to have a mantel? Place shelves inside the frame of the piece, or you could hang family pictures around the frame
- Ottomans with storage.
Kitchen And Bath
Existing storage can be enhanced by adding Lazy Susans, slide out bins, and hanging racks or hooks on the doors. Mounting a frame on the wall with hooks for hanging pots and pans adds space as does adding shelves between cabinets.
In the bathroom, cut the legs off a ladder-back chair. Mount the chair seat up on a wall. Hang towels from the ladder-back, and place personal grooming products on the chair bottom. You can also create built-ins between studs or add a second medicine cabinet. Shower caddies give you extra storage as well.
Bedrooms are notorious for having little storage space. Many homeowners use the area beneath the bed to store totes. They also use closet organizers in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes this isn’t enough, though, so consider this:
- Buy a bed frame with storage drawers for bed and bath linens
- Many homeowners use cedar chests for storing linens and other possessions
- Use your bedroom walls for storage. Recess a space for a chest of drawers. Now you have plenty of floor space, yet you have your chest of drawers as well
- Build a headboard for the bed complete with shelves and nooks for lamps, books, extra pillows, a glass of water, and more.
Health Benefits of Proper Storage
The National Institutes of Health tells us that poorly designed houses or houses with inadequate storage can cause physical and mental illness as well as falls and injuries, especially to seniors. Psychology Today goes further in telling us why mess and stress go hand in hand:
- Clutter gives us feelings of guilt (I shouldn’t be so messy)
- So many possessions overwhelms us
- They also give us the impression that our work is never done, and we’ll never get to the bottom of it all
- Thus we can’t relax, create or produce, or even think straight
- We remain constantly frustrated.
This mental stimulation ends up giving us high blood pressure and other signs of stress. In order to prevent this, clean up, get organized, and maximize your storage. Get plenty of natural light, and you should be good to go.