No matter how many closets and how much cabinet space you have, it might not seem like enough.
Ben Soreff of House to Home Organizing says that one of the biggest challenges his clients face is to simply acknowledge the situation. “I have homeowners with no garage, no basement, no attic and limited closets,” says Soreff. “I always advise my clients to lean into it.” Soreff says a lack of storage can be viewed “as a tax for living close to the beach or in a great apartment near Times Square.” Once they acknowledge their storage limitations, homeowners need to adapt to a pared-down lifestyle. “You can’t buy a 12-pack of paper towels or keep your skis in the living room,” he says, noting that the best way to live easily is to remove items you don’t use often. (Hint: Rent skis instead of owning them.) Keep only what you need and frequently use. That means holiday decorations and your bread maker (used once a year) shouldn’t be vying for cabinet or closet space in your main living areas.
From storing kitchen and bath items to streamlining your closets and organizing your bedrooms and living rooms, it can be difficult to find a place for everything. “Shelves and containers are cornerstones to organization, so if your home is not designed with enough cabinet or closet space just create your own,” says Jim Ireland, owner of White Glove Elite, a cleaning company, who recommends buying a portable wardrobe to store clothing and using a shoe rack to keep shoes off the floor.
Storage cubes, which are available in a variety of colors, patterns and materials, can be a quick and stylish storage option around the house. Canvas containers fold flat when not in use. Use them to store anything: seasonal clothes, toys, papers around your home office and more. Ireland suggests using fabric bins for under-the-bed storage, saying they provide “a softer, more elegant look.” Another option: consider building your own cube shelves, typically made of laminate or plastic. They can be used alone or stacked together to create a modular shelving unit. Those canvas foldable cubes can be stored inside these shelving units.
*Up and Down
Maximize your walls and other hidden storage spaces. “Vertical becomes the solution when space is an issue,” says Soreff. “Items that are used less often must go up.” He also tucks shoes and other similar items in boxes under the bed, even putting lifts on the legs of the bed to create more space. Another suggestion is to keep surplus items, such as paper towels, water bottles and party supplies, out of the main living areas. Instead, tuck them away in a garage or a basement.
Be smart about your storage options by investing in items that can do more than one thing. Benches, for example, can double as shoe racks.
“I don’t advise hanging too much, but behind-the-door shoe holders work better for jewelry and scarves than they do for shoes,” says Soreff, who also advises using one set of bins to store and swap seasonal items. “Take the sweaters out and replace with bathing suits.”
If you have more space outside your home than inside, it might make sense to install a storage shed. Designs have come a long way. Today’s stylish sheds look nothing like the aluminum-box structures you remember. Some modern sheds resemble mini-homes and are made with durable, weather-resistant materials. There’s even a trend for “she sheds,” a fashionable storage structure with windows that can double as a reading nook, a home office or an art or yoga studio.