Living in a small house or apartment can present you with some challenging storage problems. If you’ve moved out of a larger home or simply have too much stuff and are struggling to clear the clutter, you can follow some simple tips to turn your home into a more manageable space.
The space underneath a staircase needn’t be wasted or left to gather dust and clutter. Instead consider adding compartmentalized drawers, shelves or cupboards and using the space to store anything from clothes and shoes to books, linen, tools or craft supplies. One enterprising home-owner even incorporated a fridge for storing wine in this often neglected space.
Hanging Pots ‘n Pans
Nothing is quite as counter-productive as a cluttered kitchen. It can make it difficult and frustrating to cook and clean, as well as simply making the kitchen a less pleasant environment to be in. One simple way you can cut down on the clutter is to hang pots and pans wherever there’s some free horizontal space in the kitchen. This can free existing cupboard space for other uses, as well as making it easy to get to the right pot or pan when you need it.
Owning a bicycle, especially in a small apartment without a garage, can pose a real storage problem. Leave it in the entrance area and you or your guests are bound to bump into it at some point, hurting yourselves and possibly the bike in the process. To make life easier, consider using a simple setup of pulleys and rope to suspend your bicycle. Then it takes up no space at all, and can look really neat too.
Image by Architect Your Home
If you’re able to do some light renovations in your home, adding under-floor storage is a great space saver. Simply take out some floorboards in your bedroom, living room or wherever space is needed, dig out some room, and use the newly created space for anything you might need to stow away. In the example shown here, under-floor space is used not only to store a rowing machine but to use it too.
Compartmentalised Linen Closet
A messy linen closet can be infuriating to deal with. A simple solution is to store each separate linen item in its own, labelled box. That way, everything is kept separate and dust free, and you’re saved the hassle of having to dig through reams of fabric whenever you need to find something.
Add Shelves to Furniture
Many different types of furniture can be modified to incorporate a bookshelf. Take a chest of drawers, a bed-side table or an old chair and fit some brackets and a shelf – voila! The really enterprising DIY fans might like to build a frame for a seat like the one pictured above; it looks great and means you don’t have to get up from your easy-chair to pick up your favourite book.
For those who live in cold, wet parts of the world, smelly, damp boots can add to the clutter in an entry hall. By simply installing a suspended rack in a covered area outside of your house, you can keep all those winter boots out of sight and out of mind until you need them. This will also help the boots to dry quicker, and keep them neatly arranged and easy to find.
If you simply don’t have enough space in your home for all your belongings, or if you don’t have the time to take on DIY projects at home, why not consider self-storage? You pay a monthly rate for a storage unit that only you will have access to, and you can use it to store just about any item you can think of, from winter coats you’re not using during the summer to water-sports equipment in the winter. Self-storage is a safe and simple solution to space issues, and companies like XtraSpace.co.za offer these storage solutions in all major cities around South Africa.