What can I do for storage without any basement or attic space?
Real Mom Problem
“I really like our house, the only issue I have is storage. There is no basement and no garage. If anyone has any creative ideas, let me know.”
- 1. Make the most of unused closet space by adding more shelves
- 2. Use bins to store items under beds
- 3. Armoires, wardrobes, and other furniture can become extra storage spaces
- 4. Consider eliminating items from your home that you don't use or need
- 5. Utilize outdoor storage sheds for seldom-used items
- 6. Find hidden storage on top of cabinets or create your own with shelving units
Real Mom Solutions
Keeping on top of clutter is hard enough, but if you lack an attic or basement, it can be especially challenging. Get creative tips for keeping things tidy from the moms of CafeMom!
Our Expert Mom Says...
Many builders put in closets with a standard "one rod, one shelf" configuration, and you can often find hidden storage by simply adding more shelves above. You can also gain tremendously by completely redesigning your closets with repositionable closet systems. Closet redesign does not have to cost a fortune if you do it yourself at a home improvement center, and online tools are helpful to design the space. Other hidden storage is found under beds and on top of cabinets, and you can purchase sturdy shelving units with canvas covers.
Lorie Marrero is a Certified Professional Organizer® and the bestselling author of "The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life." She is also the creator of ClutterDiet.com, an innovative program allowing anyone to get expert help at an affordable price. Lorie is the spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International, and she is a sought-after expert for national media such as CNBC, "Family Circle," WGN News and "Woman's Day." She writes regularly as an organizing expert for "Good Housekeeping." She lives in Austin, TX with her husband, two human sons, and 30,000 bee daughters in her backyard beehives.
The Moms of CafeMom Say...
We live in a three bedroom house with NO storage. We have an open carport where hubby stores his tools, and we have a small laundry room where we store our Christmas decorations and such. Our motto is, if it's in storage it's not a necessity.
Check Craigslist for used armoires. People are selling them cheap as they convert from bulky TVs to flat screen. Many armoires have hanging rods in them. I also see wardrobes on Craigslist. I bought one years ago to use in my foyer as a coat closet and it works wonderfully. One side is for hanging coats, the other side has shelves for backpacks, and there's a drawer along the bottom for scarves, hats, gloves, etc. Oh, and shoes fit on a shelf under the coats!
Over-the-door shoe holders can be mounted on the wall. They hold all sorts of stuff. For all my shampoos and extra stuff, I have clear bins with lids. They stack, and it's easy to see what's in there. I only have out what I'm currently using. I have a large wicker basket where I put extra sheets. I only have one extra per bed and they are all rolled up together and all fit in this basket. I have some under-the-bed bags for blankets. They were cheap! I could get eight of those under my king size bed if I wanted.
The best way to double (or triple) your kitchen storage space is to use the "dead space" that's already there. In the kitchen, I've added cup hooks to the undersides of the cabinets and those handy, expandable shelves to give myself two surfaces instead of one. All of my dish and pantry storage is double-decker. Another kitchen space saver is to buy drinking glasses that stack; IKEA sells them very inexpensively! Drawer dividers organize utensils most efficiently. If you have a broom closet somewhere (even if it isn't in the kitchen), consider adding shelves to it to make pantry storage.
We don't keep stuff we don't use, so the storage area in our garage is more than enough.
For towels I'd suggest a hanging rack on the back of the bathroom door as well as a small closet in the bathroom or shelves. What about hanging racks on the back of bedrooms doors also for towels, coats, backpacks etc.? I'm also a huge fan of photo storage boxes to keep things organized, and usually they are decorative so you can hide them in the open.
I went to the dollar store for plastic containers for bulk dry goods. The containers stack and fit better than a bag of flour, or rice, or sugar, etc. Under-the-bed plastic tubs work great when you don't have a lot of storage space for holiday decorations and such. We also have a coffee table with storage for games, and puzzles, and such. I've also seen couches and other furniture with storage under the cushions for blankets, pillows, etc.
I've never had a problem finding storage space. I always get rid of anything I don't use so I don't have to store things.
We have most of our stuff outside in the storage shed in plastic storage bins.
Christmas ornaments are stored under the stairs in the coat closet, we have a laundry closet upstairs, our lawn equipment is stored in the garage, and we try to cut back on storing 'old' things we have no use for.
We have a small storage shed on our balcony. What doesn't fit in there is piled neatly in my bedroom.