Do you have limited space in the home, but too much stuff lying around creating clutter and making your spaces untidy? This is a familiar situation for many of us. Clever, inconspicuous; nearly invisible storage solutions can really help here.
Perhaps you have more utensils, consumables and kitchen appliances than you have proper cabinets for. Your kids could have all sorts of paraphernalia that seems to be spilling out of cupboards and drawers: books, toys, clothes, shoes, craft articles and so much more. Your own home appliances, clothing, linen, books, CDs and other stuff may be cluttering up your living spaces simply because you don’t have a proper place to store all this.
Here are tips and products that will help sort your storage woes:
1. Beds with storage and/or pullout bed: This one is a no-brainer. The space under your bed is generally wasted; however it can be resourcefully utilized in various ways. Firstly, pullout drawers or cabinets with lids opening upward can be most useful. You can store extra pillows, bed linen, warm clothing, quilts and blankets when not required in summer, and so many other things. If you have a small bedroom but need to be able to accommodate a third bed (for smaller children, when you have guests or for when a child is unwell) it is also possible to opt for a bed with a pullout bed (trundle beds as they are called) that stows away when not in use.
Newer, more innovative bed designs are such that the headboards are storage solutions in disguise. They could open from the top or slide out from the side to reveal shelves or drawers that could accommodate so much: appliances, extra chargers, books, toiletries and so on. If you already have a bed without storage and do not want to undergo the expense of changing your bed, you can get under-bed organizers (or make your own, using crates or cardboard boxes) to store shoes, books, extra linen and so on.
2. Nesting furniture: This has always been a great solution for small spaces. You have peg tables that stack up, chairs or stools that do the same. They could be the same size or may range from the small to the big. All the extra furniture is invisible and out of the way when you don’t need it; when you have need of extra seating or tables or because you have guests, you simply un-stack these items and spread them out!
3. Behind-the–door organizers: You can find all manners of big and small organizers online and in stores today. They simply hook up behind a door, out of sight to accommodate all sorts of things from baby clothing or diapers, to shoes, to stationery, craft supplies, toys, tools, hair accessories, costume jewelry or anything really! Depending upon the type, size and sturdiness of the organizer, it can go behind bedroom or bathroom doors, on your dressing table mirror or can add extra storage inside your closet.
4. Corner shelving: The corners of a room are typically underutilized. However corner cabinets or shelves can ensure that you utilize this space optimally. In the drawing room, you can display photos, curios, place potted plants or your music system. In the bedroom, corner shelves can come in handy for books, games, CDs, shoe boxes and any other items that need stowing away neatly. Cabinets may be preferable to open shelves; less dusting for you to do!
5. Utilize space under your basin/ sink: The space under your bathroom basin or your kitchen sink usually consists of some pretty ugly-looking drain pipes or an unsightly sink pedestal. But with a bit of imagination and a determined DIY person in the family (or a talented carpenter/handyman) you can transform this space into useful storage. Install cabinet doors and a shelf or two and there you have it: plenty of space for the Vim bars, the scrubbers, the mosquito sprays and coils, naphthalene balls, brooms and more under the kitchen sink. Under your bathroom sink you now have space for extra toiletries, handwash replacement bottles, sanitary items and even the extra bucket and mug!
6. The storage partition: If you have a large living room area which is divided into a dining area and a sitting area using a partition, or need to have a partition in some other part of the home, you can use cabinets or cupboards instead of the partition. It takes a bit of extra space, but you get storage and room partition in one!
7. Storage stools: These little stools fold up neatly and stow away when not in use. When you need to use them they are up in seconds flat with a neat little lid on top to transforms them into stools. The best thing about these stools is that they are hollow, with plenty of storage space. They are the ideal storage solution for kids’ rooms, accommodating toys, stationery, books, knickknacks, craft material and more. Ottomans with storage are another great solution. These don’t fold up, but ones matching with your sofa set can offer great seating space, and have removable lids with hollow insides for anything you need to put away.
8. The space above your bathroom/in your kitchen: Typically, bathrooms need lower ceilings and there may be significant amounts of space above them. A neat, unobtrusive loft space can be created here for storing suitcases, extra bits of furniture or bedding, boxes of old books or other paraphernalia that you don’t need now, but may at some later stage. Doors can be installed on the loft to keep the (maybe) untidy assortment of items out of sight and to protect it all from dust and dirt!
In our kitchens as well, we tend to have cabinets and shelving space below the platforms and others at eye level, often ignoring spaces above eye level. Your kitchen cabinets don’t have to be within easy reach all the time. By installing shelf space or small cupboards at higher levels in your kitchen, you’re creating extra space for the special crockery and larger utensils that you may be using only infrequently and kitchen appliances that you use only occasionally. Keep a small stool handy; climb up to reach what you need, when you need it.
9. The dining table with storage: Online furniture stores are now selling increasingly innovative furniture that dovetails with modern lifestyle requirements. Dining tables and sideboards can offer significant storage space. Neat drawers below the dining table surface can store cutlery, crockery, table linen, napkins and more. Ostensibly a surface for keeping an oven or microwave, toaster or air fryer, your sideboard can similarly hold glasses, chinaware and other items…more invisible storage. Another innovative feature to look for in dining tables is the dropleaf feature. Hinges provide for your table to be extended on either side when you have guests whereas on a regular day the extensions can be lowered and you have a space-saving dining table solution!
10. The collapsible wardrobe: Now all the extra odds and ends can be neatly stowed out of sight. Collapsible wardrobes are also useful for when you need a place to store winter woolies, need shelf space for toys or baby items, etc. These wardrobes are made from fabric, have internal shelves and can be set up quickly. They have zippered or rolldown ‘doors’, keeping all the stuff out of sight and letting you access it quickly when you need it.
There are plenty of benefits of invisible storage: they utilize unused space optimally, reduce clutter around the home, keep things neatly and within reach while at the same time also preventing items getting dirty and dusty.