Storage Sunday: 50 Top Storage Ideas
by Natalie Heather
Before reading this article, please take a minute out of your busy schedule to remember what happened this day 10 years ago.
1. A purpose-built bookcase is ideal for a whole length of wall and will use all the space from floor to ceiling.
2. Create storage spaces with built in window seats – conceal the storage below a padded lid.
3. Build in low storage made of drawers along one wall in a bedroom if wardrobe space is limited. Store not just clothes but books, cassettes, CDs and videos, label-side up of course!
4. If the cavity for your fridge is bigger than the fridge itself, install pigeon-holes and house wine bottles.
5. Hooks for hanging coats and umbrellas work well at the front and back entrances of a home. Mount them on a backing board to minimise holes.
6. Need extra bookshelves? Large variety and hardware stores sell pre-drilled kits ready to finish and hang on the wall, using no floor space at all. Try Mitre 10 on 13 63 10
7. Maximise wardrobe space and choose from the array of storage drawers, trolleys, crates and stackable boxes from Howards Storage and other variety stores.
8. Don’t forget the area running beside a flight of stairs. Shelves which extend the treads look especially pleasing and optimise unused side space.
9. Instead of having a mish-mash of boxes under the bed, use plastic bins with wheels for easy access in and out. Be sure they have lids to keep the dust out.
10. Add lighting to wardrobes, alcoves 10 and other spaces that disappear into shadow. This will also help you unearth those forgotten things at the back.
11. Hatboxes are great for storage and they’re available in different sizes from SA Art and Craft Supplies, ph (08) 8391 5057.
12. Mount TV sets on the wall with a special wall bracket. This is especially useful in a bedroom where the floor area may be limited.
13. Wardrobe companies sell collapsible fabric shelves – terrific for storing shoes, jumpers, towels and more. They’re great solutions for wardrobes, bathrooms or laundries.
14. In larger families, not having enough towel racks is often a problem. An inexpensive and effective solution is to make a simple ladder of rails with dowel rungs glued in place. Prop the ladder against the wall so the towels fall away from each other.
15. Cabinets don’t have to be large to be useful, even a narrow wallmounted cabinet can be a help. Kitchen suppliers can tailor cabinetry to fit any space you have available.
16. In the bathroom, space above the toilet cistern can be fitted with slim shelves to hold soaps, candles and other small items. Try bargain shops for sets of small freestanding shelves.
17. We all know how convenient a lazy susan can be in the corner cabinet of the kitchen. Well, the same idea works well in the bathroom.
18. Storage space can be found inside cavity construction walls. You may need a handy person to do the job, but these spaces are a bonus in small bathrooms or kitchens as they’re the right depth for bottles, tins and soaps.
19. Pigeonholes are both interesting to look at and a great way to display belongings. They bring a sense of order to displaying and storing items in a variety of shapes and sizes.
20. Have a look at any area under your stairs. Step the storage shelves or cupboards to take up the whole space. Use modular furniture units or have a specialist wardrobe company come up with a design just for you.
21. Add a length of dowel to sliding ledges along the outer edge are the ultimate in functionality giving each shelf an easy lip to grip, and have the added advantage that the dowels prevent the clothes from slipping out.
22. Design your open-plan kitchen to run into the adjoining family room or space beyond, with the same cabinet style. The additional storage unit will integrate seamlessly with kitchen cabinetry.
23. If you love to read in bed you’ll need a headboard that incorporates shelves, drawers and concealed lighting.
24. Goods that need to be stored long term can go in unused spaces such as the roof cavity. You’ll need to install a roof ladder and span rafters inside the roof with sheets of plywood or boards to form a platform.
25. Attach hooks and racks for belts and ties to the interiors of wardrobe doors or behind the bedroom door. This will free up the space they would have used inside the wardrobe.
26. Plan a wardrobe makeover based on your current needs. Measure the hanging length and divide into long, medium and shirt-hanging lengths and the volume of other areas used to store jumpers and folded clothes.
27. Ladders and long items in the garage can be hung from the ceiling with a block, tackle and pulley system, easy to lower and raise out of the way when you’re finished with them.
28. Jewellery often lives in a series of mismatched boxes. For a lasting solution, insert an acetate section into the lids of papier-mache boxes (use a sharp cutter and steel rule). This will partition the drawer and show what’s inside.
29. Sports equipment is awkward to store so why not allocate a special cupboard for it.
30. Consider building window seats and shelves all around one wall of windows to supply a room with abundant storage. In a bedroom use it for hiding blankets, pillows and winter quilts.
31. A basic little open box is useful popped on a wall anywhere. Arrange more than one in an interesting combination. Paint them in different colours for added effect.
32. Store awkward items such as a sewing machine or computer inside a cupboard with a pull-out shelf. You’ll find the hardware to convert existing cupboard space available from hardware, office or kitchen suppliers.
33. Make the best of many worlds with pigeonhole shelves which allow you to display photographs, figurines and other precious keepsakes in the open holes, and use baskets to hide those fiddly knick-knacks you don’t want people to see. Try Carina Sherlock Enterprises (03) 9826 2444 for their Postman’s Box, baskets sold separately.
34. Save on floor space by having your TV and hi-fi units mounted on shelves on the wall rather than n free-standing entertainment cabinets.
35. A low otoman or footstool can introduce a bright touch of colour and provide practical storage to hide away spare cushions. Try Ikea.
36. If your house is cluttered with odds and ends or you’re tired of tripping over discarded toys, a collection of ordinary baskets could be just the thing to help you clean up your act. OR for something more, try the soft canvas sort available at Stack & Store.
37. Consider a large cupboard or armoire in the sitting room – it will allow you to clear away junk in a jiffy.
38. Keep your magazines in order with a coffee table that has room for storage underneath.
39. Consider beginning with modular units which can grow to match your storage needs.
40. Check out the array of CD stacks on offer and present your music collection in style.
41. You can’t have too many husk storage baskets – they are all the rage. Available at Freedom and many other decorating stores.
42. Mix your finishes – chrome, timber and plastics all work well together so there’s no excuse to turn down a useful storage item.
43. If you want a home office but don’t have the room consider a self-contained piece of furniture to house your computer, files and papers – your room will instantly look neat and tidy with the door shut.
44. Funky newspaper racks (the sort you normally see in cafes) look great in a breakfast or family room. Check out Ikea for one.
45. Put a little childish fun back in your life – stacked school cases and lunch boxes will hold those mountains of odds and ends.
46. Give yourself more desk space by adding a hutch.
47. Turn your office desk into a computer table with a keyboard ledge.
48. Why do you think hairdressers have mobile trolleys? You’ll find a use for one in the laundry, the bathroom or the kids’ bedroom.
49. No need to throw out ice-cream containers – they make great holders for an assortment of messy bottles like oil in the pantry.
50. Roll up hand towels and add a few nice soaps to a spare fruit bowl for the bathroom.