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Do you feel as though you’ve outgrown your Chicago home? Has the accumulation of stuff taken over your house or apartment? You may not need additional square footage or a separate storage unit across town – the key to a well-organized home is maximizing the space you have. Here are a few tips to give you more storage space while maintaining a well-designed home.
Is It Worth Storing?
Maximizing your storage space is the goal of this project but prior to doing so, you may want to take a long, hard look at your belongings and determine if you really need to keep everything that you’ve been storing for years. Do you need to hold on to your trophies from high school, your diary from when you were ten years old, or the box filled with fifty cooking magazines? Understandably, you’ll have items that hold sentimental value and that’s ok, just be sure that your storage items merit the space you are granting them. Take some time to go through your closets, pantry, and medicine cabinets and toss out any expired items, donate clothing that you no longer wear, and remove items that don’t belong there. Your storage space is golden real estate that should be reserved for items that you’ll use or that you love.
Storage areas aren’t limited to closets, basements, and attics – choosing multifunctional furniture can offer up loads of space to store items that you use on a regular basis. An old antique dresser can be used as a bar top in the dining area while also storing tablecloths, napkins, and placemats. A coffee table with a lower shelf or cabinet can store remotes, video games, coasters, and books. You may need to do a bit of rearranging to utilize the furniture you have, but there are no rules when it comes to the design of your home, aside from making it functional and comfortable for your lifestyle.
Utilize Your Dead Space
You may not realize how much storage space you actually have, so take a look around your home for any unused space. Typically, dead spaces are areas such as under the stairs, under the bed, or unused wall space. All of those nooks and crannies can be used for storage. For example, typically the space under a staircase is simply dry-walled off, so why not add some sliding shelves, or a small closet instead? This type of storage is perfect for aging wine, or storing your holiday decor or camping gear. If you have unused space under a window, why not add a bench with internal storage? You can adorn the top with a cushion and some pillows to create a reading space all while storing your blankets and linens underneath. Your under bed space is perfect for storing out of season clothing, wrapping paper, board games or luggage. There are endless possibilities, as long as you know where to look.
Wall space and ceiling space can sometimes be ignored when it comes to storage, but in all actuality, this is prime real estate for a storage system. As you may have noticed, kitchen items are rarely uniform in size and shape which makes organizing them in a cabinet a challenge. Why not store them vertically by installing a pot rack that hangs from the ceiling, or a towel bar with hooks that hangs from the wall? Are your kitchen and bathroom counters too crowded? Create storage by fastening mason jars to a painted piece of wood and hang on the wall to store utensils, makeup brushes, cotton balls, or spices. Need a space to put bulky items that you only use annually? Consider building a loft space to tuck away your holiday decorations and hockey gear.
The key to keeping your home organized is to have a place for everything and to keep everything in its place, storage items included. You don’t necessarily need a larger home, you simply need to utilize the space you currently have. What are your most challenging items to store?