Smart Storage Ideas for Your Home

by Rachel Lyon, The House Designers’ Assistant Editorial Director

There’s no better time to get organized than when you’re starting anew—whether it be from moving or adopting a simpler lifestyle. Your home might look a little cluttered after the busy holiday season, but chances are you have plenty of unutilized storage space just waiting to help tidy up your belongings and make your rooms feel larger and more comfortable. Here are some ideas to get you on your way to organizational success.

This reach-in closet system from California Closets® keeps shoes and handbags neatly on shelves to keep them off the floor and from taking up precious hanger space. The side racks turned 90 degrees to the opening help ensure you can see outfits more easily, too.

California Closets Reach-In Closet System

Maximize Closet Space

A well-designed closet is an amazing asset that will hold more belongings than you think is possible. If you have a lot of smaller items that are awkward to organize—shoes, purses, trinkets that end up covering the floor or tables—make sure to install a number of shelves. You can place things in baskets to easily slide in and out of place, so you can reach anything no matter how far in the back it is. Don’t waste vertical space if you can help it; it’s better to put in more shelves that hold less so you can actually access everything and fill up your closet in a neater way. In lieu of shelves, you can achieve the same sort of organization with drawers if a more subdued aesthetic is your goal.

You can also make use of the inside of swinging doors, which make it easy to install hooks for scarves and other accessories. Anything you can do to pack your closet to the fullest—in the tidiest way, of course—leaves the rest of your home more open, like it should be.

This bathroom cabinetry design from KraftMaid® keeps counters clear by providing plenty of storage space around the room. The combination of small drawers and cupboards offers a fitting place for every kind of item that needs to be stored.

KraftMaid Bathroom

Clear the Bathroom Counters

With so many products and beauty appliances liable to crowd your bathroom, it is a prime location to makeover. A mirror medicine cabinet just doesn’t cut it for most of us anymore, and adding more cabinetry is the solution. Most bathrooms typically have a cabinet under the sink and along the lower part of walls, but that doesn’t mean you can’t install overhead ones as well. Overhead cupboards in the kitchen are a storage staple, and they are much easier for most people to use, so there really isn’t any reason to avoid them in the bathroom. The wall space behind the toilet is utterly wasted in most cases, so place a wall cabinet there to give increased storage options in even the smallest bathrooms.

The Storage Solutions from KraftMaid® offer some of the most organized cabinets you can get. With deep drawer dividers, tiered drawer dividers, and a place for all your knives, the Base Cooking Center addresses many of your kitchen organizational challenges.

KraftMaid Base Cooking Center

Get Precise in the Kitchen

You’re getting organized, and making sure everything is in its perfect place can be difficult when you’re working with items that don’t agree with the usual storage solutions. That’s why you need to check out the highly sophisticated designs that make those concerns a thing of the past.

Divide your drawers to get the most out of them—there are adjustable inserts that will make keeping things in order a breeze. Your kitchen can be outfitted with all sorts of specialty cabinets that keep every kind of pot and dishware safely in place. You can even get flat storage for oven mitts and dish towels that otherwise would end up in a pile by the stove. When everything has somewhere to go, it will be easier to find exactly what you need, and it will also be handier to use.

A home library from California Closets® allows you to show off numerous books and art pieces in a space-conscious arrangement that looks chic and structured.

California Closets Home Library

Use the Walls

Rather than crowding horizontal surfaces, why not display your favorite pieces in a vertical arrangement that is much more mindful of space and aesthetics? Use shelving to create a library in your living space—whether you fill it with books or focus on art, it will keep the rest of your room that much more open while creating a focal point.

The Stackable Storage products from ClosetMaid® give you the opportunity to set up your own storage solution with pieces that you can put together to fit the space and need you have.

ClosetMaid Stackable Storage

Build Your Own Systems

Make it easy on yourself and only buy what you know you need by making use of build-it-yourself storage systems. With cubbies, shelves, and cabinet-type organizers, you can choose which pieces will make your life more organized. Try to do this in tighter areas, or places that you clean often, as you can move the organizers for sweeping and whatnot. It’s as simple as placing down shelves in your laundry room and sticking a cubby system for shoes by the front entry. With individual pieces, you can build exactly what you need.

This children’s playroom is a picture of organization. Designed by ClosetMaid®, the use of low, full-surround cabinets and racks gives kids a good start so they can clean up after themselves.

ClosetMaid Playroom

Personalized Solutions

The best way to stay organized is to make it easy, and that means something different for different people. Set your family up for success by taking the time to specially plan for personal spaces like offices, play rooms, and bedrooms. Put things within reach for the intended user first of all, but also figure out if he or she would prefer a display—think open shelves—or hidden away—think drawers—set-up for belongings. Chances are a mix of different kinds of storage types will be the best solution.

Once you’re driven to organize and unclutter your home, go with it! It’s easy to lose motivation, but keeping things orderly is a small investment for much greater rewards. Keeping floors and tables clear immediately opens rooms up visually and makes them much more comfortable to be in. With smarter storage options, it’ll be a snap.

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