Whether you live in a classic Chicago bungalow or a sprawling suburban home, the reality is that everyone could do with a little more storage around the house.
Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways to add space-saving storage solutions to your Chicagoland home — from trying a creative DIY hack to rethinking the layout of some of your most-familiar rooms.
Looking for some clever ideas? Here are seven impactful ways to upgrade your home’s storage — and make sure you’re getting the most out of your space:
1.) Make Use of Your Wall Space
When in doubt, look up. While many of us use our walls for color and decor, they can also be used as highly functional and chic storage areas with a few simple additions, such as floating shelves, pegs, hanging baskets, or magnets.
With a little ingenuity, you can free up plenty of storage space by hanging all sorts of everyday items on your walls — including pots and pans, your ironing board, sports equipment and gear, and even clothes and shoes.
2.) Use Up All Those Awkward Areas
Every home has those little features that make it unique — including odd or irregular spaces. If you feel like you’ve used up every inch of your home’s storage space, it’s time to look into those nooks and crannies to see how you can put them to work. There are all sorts of ways to make use of the spaces you have — such as adding floating shelves above your doors or around your ceiling; filling up the extra space under the stairs with shelves or storage bins; building a desk or shelving into awkward corners; designing a functional, storage-ready radiator cover; and making use of the bonus area above your kitchen cabinets.
3.) Straighten Up Your Bookshelves, Built-Ins, and Mantelpieces
A bookshelf or mantelpiece can be the highlight of a room, providing a focal point for guests and giving you a space to show off your most prized treasures. However, when these areas start to look cluttered or messy, they can make an entire room feel untidy or busy.
To streamline these storage spaces, add small decorative bowls, trays, or baskets, which can help give you space to store papers, knick knacks, or personal items. Be creative, and think about how you can use spacers and dividers to break up the surface. Finally, consider making these visible spaces a prime spot for seasonal decor, and rotate out decorative pieces throughout the year while keeping other items stashed away to free up space.
4.) Organize Your Drawers, Shelves, and Cabinets
Are you making the most out of your closet space? What about your dresser drawers, medicine cabinets, or vanities? If you feel like you’ve overloaded your home’s most functional storage spaces, then it may be time to look for ways to organize and streamline. There are all sorts of practical solutions, including store-bought drawer and desk organizers. You can also look at adding some functional and fun DIY finishes — like creating an over-the-door-organizer; building a rotating lazy susan; making use of fish hooks and clothes hangers; balancing items with tension rods; or bundling wires and cables using building blocks, twist-ties, or other household materials.
5.) Use Dual-Purpose Furnishings for Storage and Style
Adding dual-purpose furnishings can be a great way to add hidden storage to any room in a house. Consider classic examples like ottomans, banquet seating, or window perches with hidden storage compartments, or go new-school by adding pull-out drawers to your bed frame, your staircases, or even behind mirrors and picture frames.
6.) Free Up Extra Space Where You Can
One way to create additional room for storage is to free up space wherever and however you can. Often, some of the same flourishes you might use to make a room feel bigger can add a few extra spots for storage. For example, hanging sconces and bedside lamps can free up storage space on a bedside table. Replacing conventional doors with sliding doors can give you a few extra feet of floor space. Swapping out a traditional bed for a Murphy bed in a guest room may even give you enough space to start using the area as an office.
7.) Max Out Your Garage and Mudroom
For many of us, our mudrooms, coat closets, attics, and garages become holding stations for clutter that we don’t want to get rid of. Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways to maximize storage and space in these important areas, from building in cubbies for coats and pet supplies; to maximizing garage space with ceiling racks or peg boards. Above all, think about how you use these spaces, as this can give you an eye for organization. For instance, you may find your garage to be more functional when you sort things based on how much you actually use them, so you don’t have to go digging each time you need to pull an item out of storage.
Making the Most Your Space
Whether it’s now serving as a school, office, playground, or simply a safe space, home has never been more important. We know this is as well as anyone. At Baird & Warner, Chicagoland has been our home since 1855.
Looking for new ideas to make the most of your space? Curious about what steps you can take to get your home ready to sell in the months ahead? Whatever your real estate goals may be, we get you — and we’re here to help make things easier, at every step of the way.