To start, go through each room in your house and look for hollow items and spaces. Do you see potential for storage inside anything?
Here are a few examples:
1. Interior Wall Storage
The space between studs is often a perfect spot to add thin, built-in cabinets like a medicine chest. An inside partial wall, like those half-wall dividers often found between the toilet and the vanity, are perfect for a tall, pull-out or roll-out shelf. Of course, before you start sawing away, you’ll need to ensure that you’re not near any electrical wires. While your first clue may be an outlet, walls without outlets can still have electrical wires. To be safe, use a digital multi-scanner, which detects live wiring (as well as rebar, studs and steel/copper pipes).
2. Faux Drawers
Who says you can’t turn a fake drawer — you know, those decorative panels under your kitchen sink — into a real one? They don’t need to be deep, just enough to store spices, sponges, scouring pads and the like. All you’ll need is hinges and a tip-out tray, which you’ll attach to the inside panel.
3. Cabinet Door Interiors
Talk about wasted space! Load up on strong adhesive-strip hooks and hang measuring cups and spoons, large utensils and pot holders inside a cabinet door to de-clutter your kitchen, or just give your drawers some breathing room. Or, head to the bathroom and hang rectangular plastic baskets on cabinet door interiors to store makeup, toiletries, jewelry or lightweight cleaning supplies.
Now it’s time to make the most of all that free real estate we call “vertical space.” That’s right; we’re going up!
4. Barrel, Crate & Wine Rack Storage
If you can put something into it, you can mount it on a wall for storage. From wooden apple barrels and decorative planters to vintage soda crates and antique toolboxes, your options are only limited by your choice of container. And don’t feel compelled to mount anything in its upright position. Mount the bottom of a basket to a bathroom wall and fill it with rolled up towels, or mount the bottom of an antique milk bottle crate in your bedroom and fill it with paperbacks. Wine racks are also a great way to store rolled-up tablecloths, sheets and other linens. Just be sure to mount heavier containers on a stud to ensure the weight of the item — and its contents — is supported.
5. Magnetic Strip
Knives, paperclips, scissors—oh my! Magnetic strips are an inexpensive option to maximize wall space and keep your frequently used items within easy reach. If you’re hanging lighter items like tweezers and nail clippers, a peel-off back may be strong enough for a good hold. But if you intend to hang cutlery, metal measuring cups or large kitchen utensils, opt for the version with wall-mounting hardware.
6. Above the Door
The top casings of doorways aren’t just for hanging mistletoe— they’re also a perfect place to mount a shelf! And considering every door inside your dwelling has two sides, this storage solution is twice as nice!
If you prefer out-of-sight storage, you’ll love these ideas that go beneath sightline.
7. Stair Drawers
Perhaps one of the most Pinterest-worthy innovations to date, stair storage is a great way to maximize unused space that even the most lease-enforcing landlord can’t complain about.
8. Platform Bed
Everyone knows about those under-bed storage boxes, but why not expand that space exponentially by mounting your bed on an enclosed platform? Choose from drawers, cabinets or even a hinged-top lid if you’re up for moving your mattress. It’s the perfect storage space for seasonal items, like camping supplies, holiday decorations and bulky winter clothing and boots.
9. Bench Seating
Who doesn’t love a good breakfast nook? Besides fitting snuggly in a corner, L-shaped bench seating makes for some wonderful storage. Hinged bench lids are a favorite for many small-space dwellers because items are easily accessible and, unlike some drawers, the height of the bench can be fully utilized for taller items.
Why waste a perfectly good shelf by only storing items on top? Help the shelf live up to its true potential by screwing the lids of mason jars to the bottom of the board. You can fill the jars with buttons, candy, paperclips, craft supplies, cotton balls or chocolate chips—whatever is within sight and reach.
Remember, creating more storage doesn’t have to mean finding more floor space. Make the most of less by going inside, up and under!