13 Incredible storage ideas where you least expect to find them
If you're struggling to find space in your home, you might find more than you thought possible after reading this article—with storage solutions for the kitchen, living room, bedroom and for the kids!
Storage ideas for every room in the house
Make use of plinth space
The space behind the plinths of fitted kitchen units is completely wasted. Fit handles and magnetic catches to each plinth panel, then you can take them off to store or retrieve seldom-used things like trays or outsize roasting dishes.
Alternatively, fit shallow drawers in the space if your cupboards have solid sides rather than standing on adjustable legs. Mount the drawers on runners fixed to the sides of the unit and use the old plinth panels to form the fronts of the drawers.
Turn to obtain
Where kitchen base units run round a corner, the storage space inside is very awkward to get at. Fitting 180º or 270º revolving shelves—called carousels—in the corner units allows you to reach whatever is stored inside, with ease.
Double your hanging space
Since few items of everyday clothing are ankle length, full height hanging space in wardrobes is a waste. Convert most of the space you have available to twin-level hanging, with a low-level rail midway between the top rail and the floor.
Out of sight in the bathroom
If you have a homemade bath panel rather than a proprietary moulded plastic one, turn a section of it into a drop-down flap or a removable panel, and store things like bathroom cleaning materials and spare toilet rolls behind it.
Read more: 7 Amazing furniture hacks
No hiding place with baskets
Replace full-depth shelves in kitchen base units with sliding wire baskets of various sizes, which can be pulled out for easier loading and retrieving. They are ideal for storing dry goods, tins, jars, fruit and vegetables, and miscellaneous kitchen utensils. You can store more things in a basket than on a fixed shelf.
What’s more, with this type of storage nothing is ever pushed to the back of the shelf and lost for years.
Use a concealed corner
Create inexpensive bedroom storage by filling an alcove beside a chimney breast with an array of sliding wire baskets, or a set of shelves supported on battens or adjustable track. Then you can hang a roller blind at ceiling level to conceal what’s stored behind it.
Access from both sides
A double-sided room divider in a large living room can give you twice as much storage space as a unit of the same size standing against a wall, because each shelf and cupboard is used to its full depth. The same principle applies to breakfast bars and peninsula units in kitchens.
Read more: Smart mini-storage solutions
Under the stairs
Many of us have a cupboard under the stairs but there may be other ways to maximise this space—ensuring you use its full depth. One solution could be to replace the bottom two steps with draws and place things like shoes and umbrellas. If you're feeling particularly adventurous you could open up the entire underneath and fill it with a lovely shelving unit.
Beds take up a vast amount of valuable floor space. Slide shallow drawers—fitted with castors so they’re easy to move—underneath beds on legs. Build a raised platform for divan beds to create useful storage space beneath, accessible via sliding doors in the platform sides.
Alternatively, replace existing beds with drawer divans, which have large storage drawers in the bed base.
In a child’s room, the bed could be raised to the level of a top bunk, with clothes and toy storage space or a desk built underneath it.
In place of fire
Turn a disused fireplace into storage or display space. Have the flue capped to keep rain out, then close it off above the fireplace opening with a panel containing a ventilator.
Read more: How to open an old fireplace
Put the ball in the net
In children’s rooms, use homemade fabric sacks with drawstring tops or big net bags for storing soft toys, footballs and similar awkwardly shaped things that never seem to stay on shelves or in cupboards. You can hang the bags out of the way on wall hooks or on the backs of room or wardrobe doors.
Beneath your seat
Build a seat in a bay window to create some valuable longterm storage space. You can access it either by lifting the seat, or through hinged or sliding doors fitted along the front.
Preserving floor space
Sliding door wardrobes are one of the best bedroom storage solutions, since their doors need no floor clearance in front of them. In rooms with high ceilings, choose a door system with height reducers—adjustable brackets that suspend the track at standard ceiling height and are hidden by clip-on fascias.
Top image via Ikea