Saturday, October 4, 2008

Stealth Storage - Finding Extra Storage Space

Finding extra space for your storage is similar to prospecting for gold; you do a lot of looking for it but often don’t find very much space or gold. One of the best ways to find extra space in this case is to think “inside the box”. The box I’m referring to is your closet and the extra space that is hiding in there!

Most closets have a fairly uniform depth of about 24 inches. This of course can vary among houses (if you have a big McMansion with HUGE walk-in closets this tip probably won’t be of help) but is fairly close to approximate closet depth. Closet widths vary widely so I will try to keep things simple. If you can cut anything resembling a straight edge on a piece of board and manage to drive a few nails or put in a couple of screws, you can add extra storage space for whatever you need to store.

The majority of closets have a lot of wasted space above the clothes pole. While most closets are fairly deep overall, the upper shelves are usually only 10 to 12 inches wide. To increase the upper shelf storage area all you need to do in most cases is put an extra board in place next to the already existing shelf. In many of my closets, all I’ve had to do is cut an identical board to the existing one and stick it in place. This effectively doubles my storage space above the clothes pole. The bracing that holds the clothes pole runs completely across both ends of my closets and has made the installation of extra shelves quite easy. This may not be the case for everyone and you will need to check your individual closets for proper bracing.

You will also need to make sure that the total width of all shelves above the clothes pole are several inches narrower that the total width of your closet. This will you give you adequate access to your new storage area. If you’re not sure about your carpentry abilities or how wide your extra shelves can be just check with a friend or relative that has some experience to help you with this should you decide it may work for your needs.

I’ve found over the years the best place to store things is usually in “empty” spaces that are hiding in plain sight.


seth said...

Another place in under your bed. They make lifts that you can put under the legs and wheels of your bed frame to raise it. There are different heights available too.
Just a thought.

riverwalker said...

To: seth

Lots of places to store stuff in the home. Just need to put your thinking cap on! Great tip seth!


Mayberry said...

Current American homes and furnishings are a tremendous waste of space. Fully utilizing your closets is a great tip RW. Seth, that's a good one too. I've got drawers under my bed for increased storage. Here's another idea, how 'bout using a chest for a coffee table in the living room. End tables built like cabinets are great too. Ditch the couch and build an RV style sofa with storage beneath. Under stairs is always good storage space, and the stairs themselves could be a series of storage compartments with hinged lids.....

There are a million ways that space could be better utilized, and folks wouldn't need McMansions....

gott_cha said...

you can utilize a crawlspace for dry good storage if you place the items in plastic tupperware style totes.... some time on your hands,...dig out a small root cellar.....can be done in about 2 days if ya keep in simple.

dccdmom said...

I have 7 people living in an 1150 sq ft house. We've done everything mentioned here, plus made "bar stools" out of two grain buckets stacked on top of each other with a padded plywood circle on top and a cloth skirt that covers the top and hangs down to the floor. Only one person so far has figured out that they were sitting on buckets. We also have benches with storage underneath instead of chairs at the dining table. We have shelving up to the ceiling in most rooms. I put baskets on the shelves filled with all sorts of stuff. If a basket is above eye level no one knows that I have toilet paper in there. I keep a couple of "pretty" walls here and there with decorative candle sconces or shelves with my oil lamp "collection" , so the house doesn't just look like a stock room.

riverwalker said...

To: mayberry and gott_cha

Great tips there guys!



You could teach us all a little bit more about storage space!


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