Take control of clutter with these smart tricks and buys
You might have meticulously planned out your tiny rooms, but somehow, that clutter still manages to creep in. Rather than stack up boxes or use unsightly plastic trays, why not try some of our clever storage ideas to save space, even in the tiniest house?
Don’t think you have the space in your small living room, even for storage? Struggling to make your studio flat work? Make every inch of your home work hard with well-thought out and space-saving storage solutions. Every nook and cranny is crying out for your clutter, so take charge of your belongings and banish them to hidden or well-organised areas.
If you are renovating your house, think about building storage space into the walls: Cubbyholes in the bathroom wall will create space for all of your toiletries, without using up valuable room around your bath or shower.
Alcoves are the perfect space to build storage units and shelves that will fit seamlessly into your rooms, without taking up lots of space. Design a new kitchen with storage solutions in mind. Sliding cupboards that can hold hundreds of ingredients before slotting back in line with your units are a great storage idea for a contemporary scheme.
If you aren’t completely redecorating your home, invest in multi-purpose storage units that will only take up a single area in one room, but will store everything you need for the whole house.
1. Invest in a trolley
Image credit: Colin Poole
A trolley has a million uses. You can use it to organise anything from craft supplies to groceries to toys to cocktail paraphernalia. And because it’s on wheels, you can manoeuvre it so that it’s always out of the way, however small your space.
2. Make the most of space under windows
Image credit: Polly Eltes
From benches where you can take off your shoes and dump the detritus of the day, to built-in cubbies for toys and games, the space under a window can be a very handy storage spot.
3. Create a media storage system
Image credit: Dominic Blackmore
A TV can take up valuable space in your living room. Don’t allow it to. Instead, use it as a focal point to build storage around. Simple shelving and movable TV units, like this one on wheels, offer flexible solutions. Or, for something tailored to your needs, try fitting a bespoke design.
Want a swanky home office but don’t have room for one? Why not transform an alcove into a hideaway office? All you need are open shelves, perfect for storage boxes, which can sit above a desk consisting of a simple plank of wood.
You could choose to hide the area behind folding or sliding doors to keep all the clutter tucked out of sight. Wickes has a range of folding doors.
5. Use every inch of space in a kitchen
Image credit: Jonathan Jones
Where space is tight in a small kitchen, it is important not to waste even a millimetre of potential storage space. A thin pull-out cupboard, with multiple shelves or racks, offers the perfect solution and makes food supplies easy to view and reach.
You could also consider hanging rails and baskets between the base and wall units. Lakeland and Wilko have a range of ideas to help you reorganise your existing kitchen cupboards.
6. Keep everything in one place
Image credit: David Brittain
When there isn’t room for a lot of different furniture pieces in your home, choose one that will house everything. This multipurpose dresser includes drawers, cupboards and display space. Plus, it provides extra surface space for hot dishes ready for serving.
7. Use storage to divide spaces
Image credit: David Parmiter
If your living room is also your kitchen, dining room or even bedroom, use block furniture and handy storage to divide the space. Here, a freestanding island divides off a kitchen and dining area.
Placing units behind a sofa is another genius way to maximise your storage without taking up wall space, and helps to define the separate areas further.
8. Keep hallway clutter at bay
Image credit: Dominic Blackmore
A bench with storage beneath is an ideal way to contain hallway clutter. Baskets allow shoes, hats and other paraphernalia to be tucked away out of site. Add labels so everyone has an individual place for their things – this also makes missing items easy to find in a hurry. The hooks above use wasted wall space to order coats.
9. Use under-bed storage in a children’s room
Image credit: David Hiscock
Utilise space under your child’s bed by asking a carpenter to create one that incorporates storage space. These fun bunks have the ultimate storage for toys and clothes. Alternatively, you could look to buying a ready-made option with drawers or even a desk built in beneath. Argos is a good place to look for these.
Bathrooms can be especially cramped and storage space can be severely limited, but you still have options. Look up and add shelves above eye level, or look down and maximise the space under the basin or even behind a bath panel. Units like the above are great for rental spaces, as they just fit around an existing pedestal.