Blue & Grey shaker kitchen: modern Kitchen by Maple & Gray

​15 tricks to squeeze more out of your limited storage

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Wouldn’t it be grand if we could just conjure up an extra room whenever needed? Say the living room was getting cluttered, and we needed some extra legroom for those sofas and credenzas – what could be more exquisite than an entire new room magically appearing?

Sadly, life is no Disney movie, which means no extra space appearing out of thin air. But it’s not all doom and gloom, for today we bring you some smart tricks in which you can maximise your existing storage space by working with what you’ve got – no sledgehammer of fairy godmother required!

1. Add a rod underneath your shelves

modern Corridor, hallway & stairs by Möhring Architekten
Möhring Architekten

Galeriehaus im Dünenwald— Garderobe

Möhring Architekten

Whether it's in the entryway of your home or your bedroom, a hanging rod underneath those built-in shelves instantly conjures up extra hanging space for clothing.

2. Use unused floor space

Oakland 4ft 6 Double Bed: country Bedroom by The Cotswold Company
The Cotswold Company

Oakland 4ft 6 Double Bed

The Cotswold Company

Even though Feng Shui won’t approve, the extra space underneath your bed can be filled up with storage. Opt for some shallow bins with wheels that can easily be pulled out whenever you need to dig for something.

3. Section out those drawers

Bespoke tie drawer: minimalistic Bedroom by Lamco Design LTD
Lamco Design LTD

Bespoke tie drawer

Lamco Design LTD

All it takes is a few cardboard shoe boxes inserted into your drawer(s), et voilà: instant sectioned-off space for socks, underwear, jewellery, etc. 

This way you don’t end up with a jumbled mess.

4. Turn shelves into cubbies

Similar to our previous trick, adding bins or wood pieces as vertical dividers can help to keep your shelved belongings organised. Either buy dividers to create different cubbyholes, or trust a professional (i.e. a carpenter) to build some into your existing furniture. 

There is never a good excuse for living with a clumsy and unsupportive closet or pantry.

5. Switch up your food containers

After getting home from your grocery shopping, transfer dried goods like cereal, pasta, and flour to airtight containers. Old-fashioned glass jars are ideal. 

Those cereal boxes and other packages don’t hold nearly as much food as you think they do, seeing as a lot of air is included to keep the food from breaking. But your pantry, on the other hand, doesn’t need space for air, and you will find it much easier to make room for a little glass jar than a tall package of pasta and accompanying air!

6. Use the top of your fridge

What’s currently taking up space on top of your fridge?

If the answer is “nothing”, then make the most of it by using it as an intentional storage area, like for your wine racks or waffle maker.

7. Buy a lazy Susan

Modern meets Edwardian.: classic Kitchen by Rencraft
Rencraft

Modern meets Edwardian.

Rencraft

How will this make a difference? Well, whatever is stuck in the back of your kitchen cupboard is often overlooked, meaning the chances of you buying what you already have is pretty good.

A spinning shelf (one tiered or more) shows you what you have, and stops you from buying unnecessary spices and oils, saving you some cupboard space.

8. Zone out your fridge

Lifestyle and Product images: minimalistic Kitchen by Fisher & Paykel
Fisher & Paykel

Lifestyle and Product images

Fisher & Paykel

Stop burying things in the back of your fridge; zone out specific areas for veggies, fruits, meats, condiments, leftovers, etc. 

This will make it easy to remember how long everything has been there, allowing you to throw out whatever’s bad (and taking up space) before it’s covered in mould.

9. Start stacking

The Thatched Cottage, Suffolk | Modern Soft Grey Country Cottage Kitchen: country Kitchen by Humphrey Munson
Humphrey Munson

The Thatched Cottage, Suffolk | Modern Soft Grey Country Cottage Kitchen

Humphrey Munson

Certain food items, like cans, were made for stacking, so take advantage of this by using vertical space instead of horizontal. 

This works for your yoghurt containers in the fridge, as well as crockery like plates and saucers on those shelves as well.

10. When it comes to pots and pans…

Magic Corner Solution: modern Kitchen by Urban Myth
Urban Myth

Magic Corner Solution

Urban Myth

… we all know how much space these guys can take up. Rather invert that lid on top of the pot/pan, creating a flat surface on which you can stack the other items, or even a second pot/pan with its lid.

Ta-da! Another fine example of vertical space used instead of horizontal.

11. Get hooked

If there is space where you can install some hooks, like underneath a shelf, go for it. This can free up some extra legroom for other items, as your teacups, for instance, will be more than happy to be dangling from those hooks.

12. Build your closet around your clothes

This may take some effort, but will be worth it. Knowing what items you use more often can change the look of your closet considerably. 

For instance, someone with loads of shoes could benefit from adding cubbyholes, while a person with more blouses and shorter skirts might prefer two tiers of hanging space. 

In addition, shelves are much better fitted for lots of hoodies and gym clothes than hangers.

13. Rethink your folding

Chantilly White 3 over 4 Drawer Chest: country Bedroom by The Cotswold Company
The Cotswold Company

Chantilly White 3 over 4 Drawer Chest

The Cotswold Company

Don’t just stuff your clothing items into that drawer. Folding them properly is a good way to make more space – but how you fold it will depend on the depth of your particular drawers. 

Remember that you can usually free up more room for T-shirts by rolling them instead of folding.

14. Use double-duty furniture

Light and bright!: classic Living room by CC Construction
CC Construction

Light and bright!

CC Construction

Numerous furniture pieces like ottomans and coffee tables come with built-in storage compartments these days. Get yourself some! 

And why not use a trunk (with guest bedding or off-season clothing stacked inside) as a coffee table?

15. Add tubs under the sink

Chalet Gstaad: rustic Bathroom by Ardesia Design
Ardesia Design

Chalet Gstaad

Ardesia Design

No storage space in the bathroom? Add a simple floating shelf underneath the sink. Follow this up with some plastic tubs for those soaps, hand mirrors, razors, toothbrushes, etc. And what do you have? Some new surfaces in which to store those hoards of bathroom necessities, that’s what! 

Be sure to watch the ‘best before’ dates on those items (especially medication and makeup) to ensure you don’t waste storage space on unnecessary elements. 

Don’t miss out on these examples of: Genius Organisation Ideas To Save Your Small Bathroom.

So, which of our tips will you be trying out?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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