Storage Tips for When Space is Tight

*Collaborative Post*

Storage in any home can be such a problem. It all starts out fine, but over time the cupboards fill up and suddenly there’s nowhere to put anything.

Living in a cluttered environment isn’t good for mental health, as plenty of studies have shown.

Good storage can help solve the problem, so we’ve put together a few tips on how to turn your clutter back into collections of items you love.

Have a Clear Out

It doesn’t have to be ruthless, just a gentle culling of items you know you don’t want but never seem to get round to sorting.

Start with broken things, old stuff you’ve already bought replacements for or all the random cables we seem to collect. Gather them all up and throw them out. They really aren’t worth keeping.

If you’re wondering where to start, there’s a bedroom decluttering guide here, otherwise just pick a room, or even simply a drawer, and start there. Don’t try and blitz through the entire house all in one go as this can be counterproductive and lead to you giving up on the project.

Once you’ve cleared out all the broken things, move onto things you’re not using but still want to keep. These possessions tend to lurk in the back of cupboards and closets, taking up room so there’s nowhere to put stuff we do use.

You don’t have to throw those away. Everyone has items they don’t use but which have a special place in their heart. These things can be put into a self storage unit. Clean them up, pack them away in boxes, and store them somewhere out of the house but safe. Your precious items might include heirlooms or maybe you need storage for your collections.

Use all Your Space

There are often hidden or unusual places you can use for storage. Thinking outside the box, what about underneath kitchen cabinets? This sealed off area is long and flat, and can be used for all sorts of things, such as mops and brooms, or occasional bakeware and roasting tins, or piles or board games, racquets, bats, or skateboards. You get the idea.

More shelving is always handy. If you don’t want to run shelves all up the wall, think about a single shelf at picture rail height around the room. Put books up there, or precious ornaments, photos, or trophies.

Another idea is to fit narrow shelves around or over a doorway for your books. It creates an unusual, faux-recessed doorway like an old-fashioned library. Looks good in certain settings.

Or what about a narrow shelf behind the sofa. You won’t bang your head on it, but it’s very handy for accent or hobby lighting, attractive plants, or a small collection of photos.

Also, fit shelves in those awkward cupboards, such as under the stairs, so you can get better use out of them, or put a narrow shelf on the end of the kitchen cabinets as an alternative home for spice jars or recipe books.

Other ideas for kitchen storage include tiered racks or corner stacks in cabinets to help save rummaging through tins or packets. Plate racks are very handy for keeping different sizes separate from each other. Decanting packet goods into tubs or containers can also help with stacking and keeping food fresh for longer.

Keeping it Tidy

Having done the work, the new challenge is keeping clutter down in the future so you don’t have to fight it again.

Some people find it helpful to take a seasonal approach to which possessions they have at home.

You’ll need a self storage room to get the most out of the system. Storage units come in all sizes, so you don’t have to worry you’re paying for more storage space than you need. They’re normally easy to reach too, so there’s sure to be local self storage near you.

To work the system, you put all your summer stuff into storage over winter, then swap it out as the seasons change.

Everything is game, so include clothing, toys, garden furnishings and machinery, heavy tools or decorating equipment, bikes or sledges and sports kit. Even hobby stash that you’ve temporarily abandoned. It’s surprising how much space this makes around the house. In fact, it can practically double the amount of storage you have at home.

As a hidden benefit, you’ll find the items you retrieve from storage feel new and fresh again when you haven’t seen them for a while. It’s a bit like having your own treasure trove to explore every few months.

Hopefully these few tips will spark some ideas of your own, or at least give you a starting point for making your own place feel more spacious. Having everything tidied away is surprisingly refreshing for the mind and wellbeing.

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