Storage space near top of any wish list
If you are buying a property, one of the must-haves on your checklist is sure to be good storage facilities. That’s because we all have more stuff than we need, despite periodic clear-outs. But having plenty of places in which to stash stuff does more than open up floor space and make rooms look bigger. It also help to sell a property, when the time comes to move on.
Storage issues aside, a small bedroom can be made to look bigger by using furniture that has more than one use.
For example, instead of trying squeeze a dressing table and a computer desk into the room, make do with only the desk. Part of this can be set aside for make-up, and can have a mirror hung above it.
If you don’t need a computer workstation, find a dressing table that has a shelf and/or drawers underneath it. You will then be able to store books, magazines and other items tidily.
Another way to free up floor space is to hang the television and stereo on the wall. Yet another is to use corner shelves, if there’s a spare corner that is standing empty and unemployed.
Plastic bins also come in handy. When placed under the bed, these keep toys, clothes and shoes out of sight and in a much better condition than those left to be kicked around by the kids.
If wardrobe space is limited, take out any coats and hang them in the laundry on hook racks. That will keep them and any other outdoors items, like hats and umbrellas, in one place.
In a living room, a fitted bookcase that runs from floor to ceiling is ideal.
Unlike other storage systems that don’t reach to the ceiling, it won’t leave you with a large amount of waste space – to collect dust, cobwebs, and the odd item that ends up being forgotten.
If there is a space underneath a window that is suitable for a window seat, you will find that one of these can double as a storage place. Just place a squab on it, to conceal the lid.
An ottoman can also include storage space, as can a coffee table with shelves underneath it for books, magazines and box games.
In the bathroom, use the space over the toilet cistern to store toilet rolls, soaps and other small items. A simple free-standing shelf will do the trick.
In the kitchen, which is often a dumping ground for keys, mail, homework, mobile phones and handbags, create a set of pigeon holes for each member of the family. Then no one will have to search for their keys or
Multi-purpose furniture can help in the quest for storage. essential papers in the morning.
You can also leave little notes for your children, such as ‘‘Tidy your room’’ or ‘‘Put the rubbish out’’.
The space under the stairs is often overlooked, but is perfect for bulky items like brooms and vacuum cleaners. Add some shelves to keep everything within view.
In many homes, the area above the ceiling is also an untapped resource. Use this for suitcases and papers that need to be kept for the taxman.
You will probably have install a roof ladder, and will have to span the rafters with sheets of plywood or boards to form a platform.
In the garage – another popular dumping place – install wall-length cupboards, or hang things such as ladders and bikes on the walls.
Now that you have everything in its proper place, make an effort to keep it there!