I’m lucky enough to live in Surrey, where I can easily commute into the capital, yet I’m also only an hour’s drive from the beautiful south coast.
Unfortunately, this area is also one of the most expensive places to live outside of London. Two-bedroom apartments typically cost more than £300,000. Needless to say, space in this region comes at a premium.
For myself and many others, moving to a larger property just isn’t financially possible at the moment.
This guide is all about storage options and how to maximise the space you have in your home.
As a bonus, we also have some nifty solutions for those of you concerned about securing valuable items away from prying eyes.
Front Room Storage Ideas
1 – Sofa Storage
Perhaps one of the best purchases I’ve made for my home recently is a sofa with a storage unit underneath it.
This “L” shape sofa has a section that lifts up to reveal a huge area that’s capable of holding several dozen large files or many cushions, covers or pillows.
I use this space to hide unsightly paperwork and folders that I need to access easily and frequently but wish to keep out of view:
2 – Make Use of Shelves
Shelves are a perfect for maximising floor space while gaining extra storage capacity.
If you’re concerned about the room looking cluttered, use large mirrors, intuitive lighting and bright colours on the walls to give the illusion of the room being larger than it is.
A carefully planned shelf could also be a feature of the room:
3 – Freestanding Units and Cabinets
To declutter your home and free up valuable space, try free-standing shelf units like this:
If you have lots of smaller items such as DVDs, cables or other unsightly items that you would like to keep close by, try a cabinet such as this:
Both of the items above are currently on sale at Argos as part of the “Matrix” range.
In the Bedroom
The key areas in a bedroom for maximising storage are under the bed, in and above the wardrobe and via shelving.
4 – Under Bed Boxes and Bags
The space under most beds is underutilised and is a perfect place for sealed boxes and zippable bags.
The 80-litre bag shown below fits bedding such as duvets and pillows and sits neatly underneath most beds:
5 – Hanging Wardrobe Shelves
These collapsible hanging shelves are great for maximising the space available in a wardrobe. Perfect for socks, underwear and small clothing items, this product is cheap and easy to install:
6 – Shelving and/or Storage Boxes Close to the Ceiling
The ceiling is another place where extra storage space can be found.
Check this simple but effective solution that anyone with basic DIY skills could create:
In the Bathroom
7 – Skinny Storage Shelf With Drawers
If space in your bathroom or toilet room is limited, this is a great product worth checking out.
You can easily store away cleaning equipment such as bottles and cloths as well as loo rolls and toiletries:
8 – “Over Door” Shelf
If floor space in your bathroom is limited, shelves that hang on the back of the door could be the answer.
These are also perfect for tenants who cannot get permission from the landlord to screw traditional shelves into the wall:
9 – Shower Caddy
These items are cheap and easy to install, you won’t need to drill into the wall as they’re secured in place via a suction cup.
You can secure these on any tiled wall, providing you with plenty of scope for customisation.
Secure them in the shower, next to the bath or sink or even adjacent to the toilet.
Hallway Storage Suggestions
A hallway is a place where items tend to get dumped in a hurry, usually shoes, bags and coats.
If space is limited in your hallway, try some of these intuitive products:
10 – Shoe Storage
To maximise space in your hallway, you can utilize a simple product such as this:
You’ll be able to store twice as many shoes compared to the traditional method of placing them side-by-side.
You can buy this and similar shoe storage items here.
11 – Coat storage
If you don’t have the space for a unit, perhaps clothes pegs, or in this case doorknobs, secured directly to the wall are the answer:
Loft Storage Ideas
The loft is an ideal place for securing items that you don’t use frequently.
However, as the loft is also where insulation is located, it’s vital that your possessions don’t block or compress the insulating material.
12 – Loft Boarding
The easiest way to board out a loft for storing items is to fit legs onto the timbers and then secure a timber board above the insulation.
The photo below explains how it works:
If you don’t want to board out the entire loft, you could fit shelves between the rafters:
13 – Shelves
The loft ledge is easy to install and can be purchased from Amazon. Installing your own product would require only basic DIY skills and some cheap timber.
On this page, we take a look at loft storage and boarding prices.
The best way to protect your valuables is to hide them so they can’t be easily found.
(tip: check out our guide to home security while on a tight budget on our blog)
Below you’ll find a few suggestions for hidden storage:
14 – Behind the Mirror
By placing a hinge on one side of almost any mirror, you can convert it into a door. A few strategically placed magnets on the opposite end and the mirror will lock shut.
You could store many different items behind the mirror, watches, jewellery or hair accessories. Not only is it unlikely that a burglar will look behind a mirror but they’ll be close to hand exactly when you need them.
Images above from dykast.us
You can also use mirrors and photo frames to hide keys that are often targeted by burglars:
15 – Dummy Switches and Sockets
I think this is a great idea.
These are perfect for storing watches, jewellery and other small items.
They’re cheap and easy to install, requiring only basic DIY skills.
You can read reviews of this socket over on Amazon.
16 – Secure Tool Storage
If you own expensive tools and don’t have anywhere safe outside of the home to store them, consider buying a secure box specially designed for tools and other expensive items.
These are normally bolted onto the rear flatbed of pickup trucks but can also be secured to patios, concrete and tarmac in your garden. They’re more secure than a shed and are ideal for small homes where the occupants want to maximise space:
Reviews of this secure toolbox can be found on Amazon but the item can be purchased from a wide variety of outlets including tool shops and trade-specific stores.
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