I know. You’re thinking no way. You think you’ve used every square inch of available space in your home. If you’re starved for extra storage space and think you’re already using every bit you have, I challenge you to read this blog and then walk through your home. With a keen eye and newfound knowledge, I’ll bet you can find some additional storage.

The importance of this should not be underestimated. Fail and you may have to move to a bigger place, and you know what that means—you’ll just buy more stuff to fill it. So read up, buckle down, and good luck!

Less is More:

Before you look for new storage, look for old things to get rid of. The secret is to have good organization and make tough decisions. Really take stock of what you have, whether you use it, and whether someone else would benefit more from having it.

Parting with things can be tough. Especially if you think like I sometimes do: “What if next week I finally find a way to use that swag lamp I bought at a garage sale in 1998.” Although I hate to admit it, over the years, thanks largely to my very German husband, I’ve learned how to let go. Well, at least I’m better at it!

What often motivates me is knowing that when I get rid of something, I have room to replace it with something new. Since I love to repurpose, reuse and recycle items, I believe my strategy helps me, my husband, others who get my reworked items, and the planet and its landfills. I urge you to be honest in your assessments and donate as much as you can. Remember the point of repurposing something is to make it useful again, not to shove it somewhere it collects dust.

Book Smarts:

Once you have assessed and purged, think about storage solutions for what you have left. Items like books create distinct challenges. They take up a lot of space, are heavy, and can get dusty and musty. If you’re a book lover and want to collect your favorites, after you “thin the herd,” invest in some good shelving solutions. One option is to display few books, keep more in long-term storage, and switch them out a few times a year. This makes dusting easier and helps preserve the books, assuming you use sealed containers. One great option is using plastic bins under your bed. If you want to display a lot of books, consider a corner shelfing unit. Many corners are wasted space. Walk through your home and perform a thorough corner check!

Bedtime Storage:

What’s at the foot of your bed? If you answered nothing, then a solution is right under your feet. In your master bedroom, child’s room or guest room, place a cubby unit at the foot, throw a cushion on top and you not only gain storage space but you have a cute little bench to sit on. Don’t want cubbies? A nice cedar chest, trunk or wicker chest may work perfectly for extra linens and complement your room’s style.

Bare in the Bathroom:

Do you have bare wall space in your bathroom? Above the towel bar or commode? Free-floating shelves make a great way to store cosmetics, colognes, or any other beauty items you may cluttering valuable counter space. Under the sink—is it organized? Be honest. Most people would benefit greatly by purchasing small containers to hold loose items like Q-tips, cotton balls, and similar items. Measure ahead and look for units that stack to maximize space. Your goal is to gain extra storage, but often the decluttering that’s involved helps your bath feel more like a spa.

Don’t forget the corners in your bath. You’ll find a wide selection of little corner shelves that can make a big difference. While you’re addressing corners, don’t forget about above-the-commode shelving units—great for storing extra towels, toilet paper, and other supplies.

Seeing Clearly:

A final often, ironically, overlooked spot—under the window. In any room you can build a or buy a hinged-top bench or a cubby unit for extra storage. Add a cushion or favorite blanket on top and you may a new favorite spot to curl up with a book and have your morning coffee!

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?

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