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Maximising your Storage Space

Updated on December 14, 2019
indubalar profile image

I am a home-maker and freelance writer. Finding stories that help others like me.

Space is at a Premium

Nowadays, most middle-class people can rent or buy only a small flat or house. In most big cities of the world, rented accommodation often has lesser storage space. A cupboard, a modular kitchen etc. may be given but sometimes this falls much short of the requirement.

However, many times, the house owner does not allow fixing any permanent storage structures, nor is there enough space to bring along portable cupboard. Even if such cabinets are brought along moving them from one rented accommodation to another is a major effort.

Luckily some smart solutions are available that can maximise the available space.

Storage Conundrum

Tenant's Dilemma

The house owner does not allow fixing any permanent storage structures, nor is there enough space to bring along a portable cupboard.

Problem Defined

Before getting into solutions I thought it is a good idea to define the problem. I have already established it, but let me define it a bit more for clarity sake.

  • The storage systems available do not understand our need. Feels like the manufacturers never know what the user wants.
  • Compartments are either too big or too small
  • Some cabinets / cupboards are so deep that they are not usable.
  • The size of an available cupboard may not ideal for my home.
  • The lowest compartment is not-reachable.
  • The material is too heavy for anyone to move and there are no tires.
  • The cabinets / cupboards are not created with aesthetics in mind, wrong colors, shapes and designs.

Innovative Designs to Rescue

Design revolution to understand consumer need is currently happening. Right search word can lead to your solution. Some customisable commodities are also available.

Few Tricks at the Outset

The following are some of the solutions I have tried which worked for me.

Dispose of unwanted stuff: I am putting this right on top because if there are lesser commodities to store, there is more space available. Obviously, this part is easier said than done. Some techniques on that:

  • If the stuff you have saved for future use is actually very low in cost, throw it away.
  • Dispose of stuff which you have not used in years.
  • Destroy unwanted documents.
  • Know the scrap dealers and recyclable shops.

Think before you purchase: Sounds good but again difficult to follow when you are on a buying spree. So go with a list to buy anything. Ask yourself where would I store this at my home. Try to imagine where it would be placed at home and if you cannot visualise it, don't buy it.

Categorise Home items: Now categorise your items for which you are looking for storage place and then plan your storage shelf/ cabinet or box needs on paper first. Such categorisation will help you in understanding what kind of storage you require.

Draw your empty spaces on paper: Before you say, I am not an architect or designer, let me tell you that I am not looking for a perfect design or size here. The process is meant for understanding your need. While doing this, don't let go off even small places such as under the sink, over the cupboard, under the bed etc.

Search for specific solutions: Amazon, IKEA or similar online sites can provide specific solutions. But even a general google search will give you a lot of options. Figure out what will work best for you.

Some Overlooked Places

Hidden Space
Solution Available
Bathroom, Kitchen
Under the Sink
Under the sink shelfs
Under the Bed
Storage Boxes, Bags
Bedroom / Drawing room
Over the Cupboard
Space for smart boxes
Drawing Room
Sitting Area
Seating cum storage Benches

Space out of thin air: Storage places tend to get overlooked in some obvious places.

Innovative Solutions

Spot Vacant Spaces

Usable space may be hiding right under the bed.

Solution 1: Smart Shelves

This is the first of the four products types I am going to recommend. All of us know of shelves that are available for storage, but finding shelves that can be hidden and yet serve the purpose do the job are now available. I am calling them the smart shelves.

One such type of shelf can go right under the sink. There are others which are tower like and can be used in small corners. To add to the comfort a few of them are also adjustable in nature, giving ample opportunity to adjust to various sizes.

Solution 2: Under Bed Storage

There are beds with storage provided for. This is the easiest and best option, but then there are other beds which have been left open underneath. They may look elegant, but leave a lot of space under-utilised. Luckily, one doesn't have to live with it. Smart options are available here as well.

One can go for the box or the bag type of storage that one can find online. Go for one which can be easily moved - pushed or pulled. Some are even available with wheels. Ensure that bag type ones are made of waterproof material.

Solution 3: Increase Bed Height

You can simply keep your luggage bags and boxes under the bed. Inside such luggage boxes you can store cloths and other material which are not needed frequently. This may sometime become problematic, especially if the height of your bed is low. This height can be increased by adding bed risers.

Stackable bed risers are available, which help in rising the bed height to two different levels. After the height of the bed is increased, simply store your cloths and other items in luggage bags and boxes and stow them under your bed.

Solutions that Work

Solution 4: Storage cum Benches

Many times it is the drawing room where one is unable to store anything worthwhile. At best one can have a book shelf - more of a show off than a real storage option and TV cabinet with some space. Yet, more space may be required. Here comes the real storage solution option.

A bench cum storage box or trunk is a good option. The Ottoman bench and storage options are a good idea under these circumstances. Multiple colours, sizes and shapes are available to make best use of space.


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