Just about everyone could use more storage space, especially when you are trying to achieve a clean, organized home.
With boxes packed to the top with holiday decorations, toys, books, clothing, sporting equipment and more, most people pine for extra closets, cabinets and space, anywhere they can find it. Fortunately, there are some often overlooked storage opportunities in the garage, garden and throughout the home—you just need to know where and how to look for them.
Before you Begin
Before you begin to incorporate any storage solution in your home there are two things you should do.
Put together a space plan for the area available. Make a drawing or diagram of the space you are using for storage, to map out dimensions and locations of shelving, and ideally what items will go where.
Make a list of all the items you wish to store. Make a list of all the items you don't use on a daily basis, or that you know you only need access to a few times a year. Group these items by size, shape and amount so you can plan for the storage space and containers you will need.
Overhead storage is often overlooked because the preference is to keep everything at eye level or just within reach, for convenience. But, there are many items that only need to be accessed few times a year. Think seasonal sports equipment, decorations, party favors or extra linens for occassional visitors. So why do you want them taking up valuable space the rest of the time?
To store these items, look to your basement or garage, where you can add overhead storage. Many garages already feature storage options like built-in shelving and cabinets around the perimeter, few take advantage of the empty space above the vehicles. Many home improvement stores carry ceiling-mounted storage units that come ready for installation.
Whether it is your basement or your garage, adding storage space can be a weekend DIY project, and installing several 2x4's and plywood. Be sure to put a space plan together to make adequate use of the space available and also plan what you will be storing.
Or you can add storage that is a little more refined, with readily available plastic bins in all sizes, and shelving to accomodate them. This method allows for better organization and labeling if you are so inclined, and it keeps everything neater since nothing can fall out or off the shelves.
Add a Garden Shed
If your lawn mower, weed whacker and variety of gardening tools are threatening to take over your garage or patio, it might be time to build a nice shed in an unused part of the yard. A garden shed can not only help keep your equipment nicely organized, clean and rust-free, it can also provide you with a nice work space to tinker on projects or pot and maintain your plants.
An outdoor shed doesn't have to be elaborate, there are many companies that offer pre-fab outdoor sheds to save you time and money. All you need to do is the land and prep work before it arrives.
Multi-use, convertible and mobile furniture units are a great way to add more storage space to your home. Just imagine a mobile furniture cart that stores all the extra appliances you don't use on a regular basis, but that you can easily roll out of a closet or pantry, when you need it.
Storage ottomans are a great way to add space to your living room and hide away toys, books, and other items when not in use.
Install a Murphy Bed
A Murphy bed, which is also known as a wall bed, is a terrific way to create more space in a small guest room or regular bedroom. These versatile beds can be flipped up along the side or bottom, and stored vertically inside a closet or cabinet. To help keep everything secure, the mattress is usually attached to the bed frame, and the bed rests on a wire mesh rather than the typical bulky box spring.