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How to Maximize Storage Space in a Small House

How to Maximize Storage Space in a Small House

Many British people live busy lives in very small buildings. Compared to those of our European and American counterparts, homes in the UK are certainly compact – an average of 76 square meters of living space here, compared to 115 square meters in similarly-crowded Holland. The result can be messy, cluttered homes and inadequate, overflowing storage spaces.

But with the specter of even smaller homes on the horizon, we have to adapt to growing pressures on our living space. This is a condensed set of ideas on how to expand your storage at home without it encroaching on valuable living space.

Hallway

The hallway is the first space people see when they enter your property. It’s also the first space you’ll encounter when you get home, so it needs to be friendly, calm and welcoming – rather than chaotic and messy.

Hooks are your friend in hall spaces. One per person isn’t enough – each member of the household has more than one coat. At ground level, you need to provide enough storage for shoes to be kept without spilling out onto the floor – variations on the shoe storage pod are available.

If you have a cupboard under the stairs, consider relying on this space for more than just storage of tat. Opening it out will breathe fresh space into the hallway (often quite a crowded part of a home) and enable you to capitalize on space. If you have the cash, innovative under-stairs storage solutions such as this quirky set of drawers or this staircase-bookshelf hybrid can be extremely practical.

Sitting room

Replace your coffee table with a small, low chest of drawers. This will be far more useful than even a table with a shelf, and will be less of a clutter-magnet. By providing items with their designated space – for example, a TV cabinet for your home entertainment system and DVDs – you minimize pressure on the rest of the room’s space. Bookshelves are a brilliant use of wall area, even if you don’t have enough books to fill them.

Kitchen

An open island unit will bring unparalleled space and storage to an otherwise-crowded kitchen. If you don’t have an island unit and are in a two-up-two-down style house, consider replacing the partition wall with a storage segment – a shelving unit provides enough division between the two living spaces and is far more practical than a plain wall.

Maximize cupboard space by using internal compartments. Hang a spice rack beneath existing shelves or cupboards, and mount a magnet on the wall for storage of knives. If your kitchen is tall, consider hanging larger utensils – pots, pans and ladles – from ceiling-mounted hooks.

Bedroom

Everybody’s stayed in a bedroom only slightly larger than the bed itself. It’s claustrophobic and hard to navigate in the dark – not to mention chaotic and untidy.

Buy a bed which has storage drawers underneath the mattress. If you have built-in wardrobes, make sure you’re making full use of the space – if clothes only take up half the height, install a couple of shelves below to accommodate shoes in an orderly fashion.

Bathroom

Be sensible about what you need in a bathroom – clutter will cause the space to feel messy and make it more difficult to clean. Mount sturdy hooks on the back of the door and, if possible, fit a full-height towel rail rather than one with only a couple of bars.

If there is unused space beneath the sink, convert the area into a storage cupboard. As bathrooms are usually home to all manner of creams, soaps and ointments, proper shelving will help you avoid knocking everything over when you open the shower curtain. The edge of the bath is not wide enough for shampoo bottles!

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