Between books, toys and years of accumulated “stuff,” a home can feel cluttered. And most families quickly run out of available storage space.
However, with a few smart tweaks, you can create new storage solutions for much-needed space, and dramatically alter the feel, flow and look of your home.
“There are a number of simple, quick and low-cost solutions that can truly open up space in the home,” says John J. Isch, principal at RWA Architects and co-chair of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Custom Residential Architects Network.
Isch suggests the following:
Furniture can be used for dual purposes to create extra storage space. Beds, for example, can be built into walls to open up a room. Drawers and other types of storage units can be added into or placed underneath bed frames.
Instead of chairs, use benches with storage underneath or inside to save space and create an extra area for storage. Like beds, benches can also be built into walls.
Consider thickened walls or hidden spaces between rooms that can be opened up and carved out with shelving or closets. Just be sure your plans don’t pose a conflict with your electrical wiring or plumbing.
Adding shelves to closets will give you more storage flexibility and make the most of your space. In some cases, you can even remove the doors to those closets for more reach. The added shelves will appear built-in and part of your room. If you have a basement, think about installing shelving units.
Rethinking Your Needs
Take a look at how you currently use your home and consider how rooms might be reworked to create spaces that meet your needs in smarter ways. For example, do you really need to use a spare room as an office? Does your dining room go unused because of seating in the kitchen? Take a look at your home more holistically and determine how each room should and could function.
Don’t forget about spaces under stairs. Carve outs or shelving can be added to spots along the wall or staircase, or under the staircase.
If you have high ceilings, an architect can help you identify options for building in a completely new storage area.
Creating accessory outdoor storage can help you organize and bundle more cluttered items, such as tools and yard equipment. With these types of projects, one must consider zoning regulations and other elements, such as pest, rodent and environmental and temperature controls. Ensure that the storage area will serve its purpose and keep your items safe.
An architect can help visualize storage opportunities that people might not consider or think are feasible. He or she can help you apply many of these storage building solutions. To find one in your area, visit: http://architectfinder.aia.org/.
Most importantly, before you purge your precious belongings, take some time to create some space.