If there’s one thing that every house needs, it’s storage. From large country plots to compact, tiny living, having practical, versatile storage is integral to a well designed, thought out home. But time and time again, the same, frequent mistakes are made which inevitably lead to frustration: ‘why do I never have enough storage?!’
The first question to ask yourself is this: do you need more storage, or do you simply need less stuff?
This can be confronting for those living in smaller spaces, because realistically, who wants to get rid of their much loved stuff? Yet sometimes, you have to work with the cards you’re holding. Homes with smaller footprints can’t house as many things, so what you really need to do is have a great big declutter and to not bring in any more new things until this is done.
If this isn’t the problem for you, however, it might be that you simply haven’t found the right kind of storage for you.
Storage ideas for small homes often revolve around versatility, and for good reason: when you have less space to work with, your storage needs to work harder. You need to be able to move it around when needed, and, ideally, for it to perform more than one function. Something being aesthetically beautiful alone won’t cut it - it has to be long-wearing and ultra-practical, too.
With that in mind, we’ve collated your most popular small space storage questions, covering everything from storage for small hallways to that one does-it-all unit when you only have the room and budget for one item.
I want storage ideas for my small bedroom - what would work?
Bedrooms are high-traffic areas which can easily become messy, especially when they’re smaller. Incorporating storage wherever possible without overwhelming the room is key, but you don’t have to make everything specifically a storage item (i.e. don’t feel compelled to fill a room with only cupboards). Clever options like floating bedsides with built-in drawers or freestanding lockers help to keep things clutter-free and under control while still performing a function outside of storage.
Features to look out for:
- Versatile furniture which incorporates storage into its primary purpose - think mini bookcases as bedsides or wall-hung options with built-in drawers
- Unfussy, minimalist designs which don’t overcomplicate a room; when you’re short on space, flashy accessories can overwhelm the eye
- Wall-hung dressing tables with plenty of space beneath for baskets or alternative storage options
What storage can I use in a small hallway?
If your hallway offers little to no floor space or you live in an apartment with a small entryway instead, finding furniture to fit might seem like an impossible task. And rightly so - most hallway units require at least a chunk of floorspace or some sort of nook or corner to work with. But this isn’t always the case. Even if you only have room to comfortably fit in a few shelves, having somewhere to neatly stash your keys and other essential knick-knacks makes any home feel more inviting.
Features to look for:
- A shallow surface space - you don’t want it jutting out awkwardly in a narrow hallway
- Drawers, hooks, pegs - anything which offers clever storage
- Wall-hung options which don’t take up valuable floorspace
I only have space for one storage unit, which should I choose?
You can still find larger storage options which have been designed for smaller spaces, so if you only have room for one item which needs to do it all, opt for something slightly taller & shallower which boasts lots of internal storage but doesn’t look blocky. This is why visible legs are important; they trick the eye into perceiving more space when all you’ve actually done is lift the unit slightly off the floor. Typically in smaller homes, storage units might be home to all manner of things from office supplies to kids’ toys, shoes to books, so if the budget allows, we recommend investing in some affordable in-drawer organisation like dividers or small boxes to keep things tidy.
Features to look out for:
- Sliding doors which don’t require extra room to open out
- Minimalist unfussy features like sleek, simple handles which prevent an area from looking too visually busy
- Taller legs with space beneath the unit
Help! I have no floor space to work with but I need storage. What should I do?
Look up! Vertical space is much-neglected but is an absolute gift when it comes to smaller homes. Shelving can seem an obvious solution yet it’s often devalued as an accessory or decoration when it’s anything but.
If you don’t have room for a standing bookcase, create a floating bookcase with shelving instead. If you don’t have space for a hallway unit, try a box shelf for keys and mail. If you’re looking to extend your kitchen storage without breaking the bank, try a sliding door cupboard. Wall-mounted storage can provide both much-needed stashing space and something beautiful too.
Features to look out for:
- If it’s a wall-mounted cupboard, look for sliding doors over doors which open out
- Minimal styles which can be mix and matched for vertical displays
- Less-than-chunky styles which don't overwhelm the eye