If each new place you move into seems like a tighter squeeze than the last, you’re not imagining things. In fact, over the past ten years, the size of a new one-bedroom apartment has shrunk 8 percent, while freshly-built studios are, on average, 18 percent smaller than they were a decade ago. Unfortunately, just because our homes are getting smaller doesn’t mean our stuff is, and for many people, downsizing to fit the needs of a place you’ll only call home for a few years doesn’t make much sense, either.
But here’s some good news: smart storage—and a little ingenuity—can go a long way when it comes to making your space seem bigger, cleaner, and better organized. We’ve rounded up 30 genius home storage hacks that will leave you wondering what to do with all that extra space. And for more great ways to spruce up your space, start with these 20 Genius House-Cleaning Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind.
Opt for a Box Spring With Drawers
If the clutter in your bedroom has reached untenable levels, try swapping out your existing box spring for one with drawers, or a similarly-designed platform bed. Doing so will help you clear out clutter while maintaining the precious storage space under your bed, as well.
Store Your Shoes in Clear Boxes
Want to make your closet easier to manage in an instant? Instead of using a bulky rack or unattractive over-the-door shoe organizer, store your shoes in clear boxes. This will keep your shoes neatly organized and make it easy to find your favorite pair in a hurry. And when you’re ready to refresh your own space, start with these 20 Products That Make Cleaning So Much Easier.
Use a Magnetic Rack to Hold Kitchen Utensils
Even if you’re living in a massive home, counter space always seems to be at a premium. One easy solution is to take those utensils that would otherwise clutter up your counter or drawers (we’re looking at you, spatulas), and hang them from a magnetic rack adhered to your wall.
Hang Your Hamper on the Back of a Door
Face it: a hamper is little more than a socially-acceptable means of keeping a pile of dirty laundry on display in your room. Considering that your average hamper also takes up about as much space as a side table, it’s well worth it to find alternate solutions to your laundry issues. Instead of cluttering up your room, try hanging your hamper bags from a hook on the back of your closet door and you’ll instantly have extra feet of usable space. And for more ways to keep your space looking spotless, try these 20 Genius House-Cleaning Tricks That Will Blow Your Mind.
Store a Trash Can or Recycling Bin Under Your Kitchen Cabinets
There are few things less attractive than an oversized garbage can taking up space in your kitchen. To effectively hide it, mount some tracks inside a kitchen cabinet and opt for a rolling bin instead.
Use a Pegboard for Wall Storage
Want to make some extra room in your small space? Affix a pegboard to your wall. This inexpensive addition to your room has a low profile, but is an easy way to keep everything from purses to scarves from cluttering up your coat rack, or—worse yet—ending up on your floor.
Hang Fruits and Vegetables in Baskets
Clear off some space on your counter or in your fridge by installing a hanging basket in your kitchen instead. Not only will this give you plenty of space that can be put to better use, it may actually save some of your produce: bananas, avocados, and citrus fruits don’t hold up as well in the fridge, anyway.
Create a Cork Jewelry Board
Ditch that jewelry box that’s been cluttering up your closet shelf in favor of a cork board. This low-profile storage solution can help you keep all those earrings in one place, those necklaces untangled, and actually looks pretty cute with a painted frame around it. And when you want to improve your own accessories collection, start with these 15 Killer Style Accessories You Never Knew You Needed.
Hang Towel Bars to Organize Scarves and Belts
If you’re constantly digging through the same tangled pile of belts and scarves, you’re not alone. The good news? Using an inexpensive towel bar can help you keep those accessories organized while clearing up a ton of space in your closet or drawer.
Mount a Mail Drawer to Your Wall
We all have that one piece of furniture in our house that ends up being a receptacle for all those non-important pieces of mail we keep meaning to toss or shred. To keep your mail collection more organized, affix a mail drawer to your wall and you’ll instantly have the top of that table or ottoman available for its intended purpose again.
Create a Storage Bench Using a Cube Organizer
Kill two birds with one stone and make storage space and enjoy a comfortable place to take off your shoes with some cube storage. Put a cushion on top and use the drawers underneath to keep your hats, gloves, and other outdoor accessories contained.
Use Mason Jars to Contain Your Sewing Kit
Sticking your hand into a messy oversized sewing bag is about as fun as, well, sticking your hand into a bag of needles. Fortunately, you can quickly make space by storing your sewing essentials in a Mason jar instead—bonus points for attaching a pin cushion to the top to store those pins and needles that would otherwise jab you.
Hang Your Mugs from Hooks
It happens to the best of us: you start out with one mug and suddenly, your collection has exploded, occupying massive amounts of much-needed cabinet space. To reclaim the room your mugs once occupied, add some hooks to the bottom of your cabinets and you’ll have tons more room in an instant.
Store Towels in a Hanging Shoe Rack
Those unwieldy towels in your linen closet probably take up a lot more room than you want them to. The solution? Use a hanging shoe rack and roll your towels, sticking one into each compartment.
Put Shelves Above Your Doorframe
One of the most underused spaces in a home is the area between doorframe and the ceiling. Add some storage shelves to this part of your rooms and you’ll instantly be enjoying less clutter and more overall space.
Hang Double Bars in Your Closet
Make your closet perform double duty by increasing the number of bars you use. Mount one bar up high for items you only use once in a while and mount the other at waist height for clothes you wear on a regular basis.
Use S-hooks to Hang Items from Wire Shelving
If you have wire closet shelving, make the most of it and clear up some shelf or drawer space by hanging S-hooks from its bars. These inexpensive additions to your shelving are perfect for hanging belts, ties, scarves, and purses without cluttering your space.
Hide Remotes in a Storage Ottoman
That array of remotes littering your coffee table takes up a surprising amount of space. To nip this clutter in the bud, invest in a storage ottoman, where you can hide them—and anything else that tends to clutter your living room surfaces.
Use Floating Shelves
Bookshelves are a useful design feature, but they also take up a significant amount of room—a major concern for anyone dealing with a small space. The good news? Floating shelves can provide a stylish solution to your space problem, leaving your books on display without taking up precious floor space.
Hang Shelves on the Underside of Joists
If your basement is cluttered from top to bottom, make use of its joists to create more storage space. Attaching storage, whether in the form of baskets or racks, to the underside of your joists can help clear up tons of room in no time.
Use Letter Holders to Store Your Cutting Boards
That pile of cutting boards cluttering up your cabinet can be organized in a snap with one item: a magazine holder. Simply store your cutting boards in one and they’ll be far easier to find—and less likely to rain down on you—when you open your cabinet.
Hang Your Bicycle On Your Wall
Biking is a great way to get exercise on your commute, but there’s no denying that bikes take up a shocking amount of room in your average home or apartment. Instead, use a wall-mounted rack and you’ll instantly afford yourself a significant amount of extra floor space.
Maximize Storage Space Under Your Couch
One of the most useful storage spaces in your home is also one of the most-often overlooked: the space under your couch. If your couch has legs, you can likely fit some storage boxes for items you don’t use frequently, like electronics manuals, extra cables, or tools, underneath, and better yet, will clear up a ton of visible space in the process.
Organize Your Cables With Zip Ties
That jumble of electronics cables at your desk is as space-inefficient as it is unsightly. To keep them effectively organized and out of sight, use zip ties to bundle them and attach them with cord clips to the side of your desk so they’re not occupying precious desk space.
Use a Magnetic Spice Rack
You probably use spices for virtually every meal, but many of us keep them ineffectively stored in a cabinet, where they take up tons of space and are difficult to find. Instead, use a wall-mounted magnetic rack and all your favorite spices will be easy to spot without cluttering up otherwise usable space.
Opt for Radiator Covers With Storage
Radiator covers are a great idea to begin with, helping every member of the family stay safe and avoid burns. However, they also serve another surprising purpose: storage. When having a radiator cover made, you can have shelves added to the sides for little cost, giving you a useful piece of storage furniture in the process. If you’re the DIY type, you can always cut some plywood and use L-brackets to affix some shelving yourself.
Hang Your Shoes Using Tension Rods
Is your shoe collection collecting dust on the floor of your closest and creating a mess? Hang up some tension rods and hang your shoes on them by the heel to clear up a huge amount of space.
Organize Your Toiletries With a Spice Rack
If your toiletries are cluttering every inch of countertop space in your bathroom, there’s a simple solution. Repurpose a vertical spice rack and affix it to the wall in your bathroom for a ton of extra room.
Lift Your Bed to Make Space for Storage Drawers
Create a huge amount of storage space in your bedroom in an instant with one simple trick: lifting your bed. While you can always use bed risers to do this, you can also attach higher legs to your bed frame to achieve the same result. Pop some clear storage drawers under the bed and you’re good to go.
Clear Counter Space With a Hanging Pot Rack
While essential for any home cook, pots and pans tend to take up a huge amount of space in the kitchen. To reclaim some of those drawers and cabinets, install an overhead rack instead. Not only will this clear up a huge amount of space, it will make it way easier to find your preferred pot or pan when you’re ready to get cooking. Looking to up your culinary game even further? Get your hands on these 25 Kitchen Gadgets Every Man Needs.
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