Whether we live in an urban studio, a renovated Airstream or a modest-size home filled with people, space in our homes can be hard to come by. Even without a lot of stuff, keeping everything organized presents a challenge, and disorganized spaces lead to unnecessary stress. To make the most of the space you have, incorporate these clever ideas that help quell clutter.
1. Double up. Think multipurpose for every piece of furniture. Buying a coffee table? Get one with storage drawers beneath, or use a large basket topped with a pretty serving tray instead. If you need a bench, choose one that includes under-seat storage. Rather than a regular bedside table, try an antique filing cabinet, or use a small bookshelf as a console table.
2. Sink a basket. Baskets and storage bins can help organize every area of your home, allowing you to store more stuff in less space and with less clutter. You can toss a stack of magazines, all the kids’ toys or several pairs of sandals in large bins on shelves. Stick small containers in kitchen drawers to keep pens, rubber bands and paper clips organized. Display pretty vessels—natural fiber baskets, vintage hatboxes or antique suitcases—on open shelving for storage that acts as lovely décor.
3. Top drawer. Drawers help make good use of tucked-away spaces. You can retrofit old drawers from a junky dresser with casters for easy, roll-out storage underneath the bed. A set of drawers beneath stairs can make use of otherwise-wasted floor space. DIY Life offers instructions for adding under-stair storage three ways. Get their instructions at naturalhomeandgarden.com/smart-storage.
4. Get high. Always consider vertical space when thinking about storage. Shelves high on walls can store books, photo albums or holiday decorations, freeing up garage and closet space. Hanging hooks for pots and pans can give you back whole kitchen cabinets, and hooks on walls provide a spot for jackets, belts or keys. Shadow boxes on bathroom walls can house pretty perfume bottles, lotions and toiletries.
5. Mobile device. If you have too few closets, scour Craigslist or antique stores for old armoires. Sturdy and attractive, armoires can store much more than clothing. Office supplies, crafts, linens and just about anything else can find an organized home inside. If you have a less-attractive storage area with industrial bins or shelves, consider disguising the area with a beautiful folding screen or curtain panels hung on sturdy rope or string.