Clutter gets in the way of enjoying your home life. It clouds your thinking, and psychologists believe it could have an effect on your mental health. Clutter also makes cleaning a lot harder and more time-consuming.
But too many homes just aren’t set up for good storage. If you can give everything its own, permanent home, clutter could quickly become a thing of the past.
You don’t need to spend large sums on renovations and new furniture to improve the storage capacity in your home. In fact, there are a few solutions you can implement without expert help or a big budget.
1. Hang kitchen utensils
A lot of homes suffer from a lack of storage space in the kitchen. This is perhaps the room that’s expected to house more items than any other. But you can free up cupboard space relatively easily by hanging your more attractive pots, pans and utensils on walls and from the ceiling. Hooks and rails allow you to create decorative features and simple storage solutions at the same time.
2. Store cleaning supplies on a door
If cupboard space is at a premium in your home, you may not have somewhere to store brushes, mops and cleaning agents. Don’t forget about the space on cupboard doors, however. Use hooks and racking as storage options on the inside of doors. You won’t be sacrificing existing space, and you can get these ugly items out of view.
3. Use old jars and containers for laundry supplies
How often do you throw out old containers? Use your old jars and boxes to store laundry supplies. Detergent, tablets, fabric softener and dryer sheets all look better when they’re stored in dedicated jars and boxes. And they’re often easier to access.
4. Repurpose filing cabinets
Thousands of businesses and offices are getting rid of their old filing cabinets. Why? Because more and more files are being stored digitally. This means you can find them for next to nothing. Use your creative flair to make a seemingly ugly item of office furniture into something that adds a touch of retro flair to a rustic kitchen.
5. Use old wooden crates
People and companies are often throwing away old wooden crates at local refuse centres. But in many cases, the items in question have many more years of faithful service to give. With a little bit of sandpaper and a coat of paint, you can create a stylish storage solution for any room in the house.
6. Divide drawers into compartments
Most people have one or two drawers in their home that serve as a dumping ground for just about everything. But this is such a waste of space.
Start by going through everything in the drawer. Keep what you need, and recycle, repurpose or give away what you don’t. Buy a few plastic boxes, and use them to split the drawer into clearly defined sections. Alternative, you can create several compartments with old cardboard. Paint it first to make it look a little more attractive.
7. Hide it away under the bed
Every type of bed has the potential to offer storage. If you’re pushed for space at home, not utilising this space is a big mistake. If you buy a divan, choose one with storage drawers or a cavity with sliding doors.
If you have a bed frame, you can get a little creative with your storage solutions. For example, some reclaimed crates can serve as interesting storage containers that can be slid under your bed. Paint them to fit in with your existing decor. You can even put castors on them to make getting them out from under the bed easier.
8. Window seats
A window seat serves three purposes: storage, decor and seating. If space is at a premium in your home, building a simple window seat with reclaimed wood is a fantastic way to maximise the space you do have.
Tip: Windows seats make excellent storage areas for children’s toys.
9. Fit a shelf above a door
One of the potential storage areas a lot of people forget about is the area above a door. In most houses, this is dead space. But fit a shelf there, and you can use it to store items you don’t need every day. This is, for example, a great place to store old books, DVDs and CDs.
10. Repurpose cans
Most of us are now used to recycling plastic. But cans don’t get anywhere near the same press coverage, so they’re often forgotten. Yes, you can recycle aluminium, but you have to wash out each can before it goes into the recycling bin. Why not wash it out and use it for storage instead?
Take the classic design of Campbell’s soup, for example. This is an instantly recognisable brand that offers a touch of retro chic to any kitchen. Use an old can to store everyday items — or even to grow herbs, cress and small plants.
11. Reclaim an old ladder
It’s amazing what you can find in local refuse centres, recycling depots and skips. Even a quick tour of a housing estate might conjure up a range of items that are suitable for repurposing in your home. And a trip to the local car boot sale might result in a fantastic bargain.
One of the things to look out for is a ladder — and wooden ladder, to be more precise. An old-fashioned step ladder might look like it’s on its last legs, but a lick of paint might be all that’s required to create something beautiful for your bedroom.
Paint the ladder, and rest it against a wall. If it has flat steps, you can use it to store everyday items or display your favourite keepsakes. If the rungs are round, hang clothes and towels on them.
12. Install a sliding larder
A lot of people waste space in their home because it’s seemingly impractical. Take the gap between a fridge and a wall, for example. While this space might only be a few inches across, it might be suitable for hosting a sliding larder. This is basically a very thin bookshelf on wheels. Store all your dry goods in the sliding larder, and roll it away out of sight when it’s not needed.
If you get creative and inventive, you can maximise every storage opportunity in your home without the help of professionals.