Create More Storage Space in Your House

Everyone dreams of an organized home where everything is in its place and easy to find. But even in newer homes where builders have included walk-in closets, kitchen pantries and bathroom linen closets, many families still find themselves surrounded by clutter. Growing families especially seem to find keeping their living space clutter-free a major challenge. Without enough storage space to put things in or on, cluttered surroundings can make life uncomfortable and even dangerous.

Fortunately, most homeowners actually have space they can organize in a more practical or useable way. Closets, for instance. With a little planning and the right kind of closet organizer, you can easily double your closet space at no great cost. It's really not how much space you have that counts; it's how you use it. Sometimes all it takes is an extra road and some shelving to sort out a messy closet. Visit some storage experts to get ideas. Many will custom design and install organizers and units to fit your closet space perfectly.

Homeowners who lack closet space can look at installing free-standing or built-in closets and wall units. These units can be custom-made or bought as a unit, often at reasonable prices.

In the bathroom

There are plenty of ways to find more space in your bathroom. The easiest is to install a wall-mounted cabinet, some storage gadgets like shower caddies, a shelf or two and some wall-mounted hardware such as toothbrush and soap holders, towel bars and hooks and so on.

You may have to sacrifice that flower arrangement you have hanging on the wall above the toilet. That is the perfect space for the wall-mounted cabinet to store toiletries, cosmetics and whatever else is strewn around the sink and counter. Just be sure to leave enough space above the tank to take the lid off. Also ensure the cabinet is no more than six to eight inches deep.

Use the window sill, if you have one, for toiletries and decorative items. Use trays and boxes to store cosmetics and other small items. These storage items will make it easier to find your things and keep the room looking more orderly.

Around the kitchen

If yours is an older kitchen without all the sliding drawers, pull-out shelving and fancy gadgets of the new models, there are still ways to solve your storage problems. Begin by eliminating anything stored in a cabinet or drawer that you rarely use. These items can be placed in a cupboard in the basement or some other easily-accessible space away from the kitchen.

If you have any corner cupboards, consider installing a revolving shelf unit inside. For easy access to the back of deep cupboards, try adding slide-out shelves. These are convenient and easy to install yourself. Mount a rack on the ceiling to store or hang pots and pans. If your refrigerator is not build-in, . use the space on top for shelves or store trays and platters.

Throughout your home

The same storage strategies used to unclutter bathrooms and kitchens will work throughout your home. Most homes are filled with overlooked storage spaces. All you need is a sharp eye to see them.

A closet, for example, can be built in a free corner of any room. Other, less obvious spaces include window wells, the area behind attic knee wells, the backs of doors, under beds, along walls, over the car in the garage, under stairs and in wall alcoves.

To avoid piling things up, use many small shelves and compartments. They look neater and make it easier to put things back in place. Try to store objects where you use them the most. Keep frequently-used items between knee-level and no more than 10 inches above your head.

For safety and convenience, store heavier items below waist level. To gain more space for the things you use every day, put rarely-needed and out-of-season items in clearly labeled boxes or bags and keep them in your home's less accessible storage areas.

Make the most of mirrors

Sometimes it's the illusion of space you are after; this is where mirrors are handy. Wall-size mirrors, for example, can make a room look twice its size. On a closet door, a large mirror can stretch the length of the room. Mirrors can also lighten up and add atmosphere to any room.



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