5 Simple Ways to Increase Storage and Decrease Clutter In Your Home

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By Alex Mikayelyan June 02, 2021

Clutter is a regular problem for many homes. Unless you’re living an absolutely minimalist lifestyle, there are going to be a few things out of place and often in the way. Regardless of the level of disorder your household sometimes falls into, everyone can benefit from the occasional decluttering session and having a stable system of organization in place.

It’s normal to have some clutter from time to time, but the real problems surface when the occasional mess turns into a regular member of the house. You can have issues from unsanitary living conditions to limited space, as well as the constant struggle of finding basic necessities like keys and receipts. Luckily, there are storage solutions and tips you can use to neutralize these problems and free up tons of space at home.

Helpful Tricks to Optimize Storage

There’s no single formula for increasing storage at home. Everyone has a different amount of space to live in, so whatever works for you isn’t necessarily going to work for someone else. However, there are a few tricks on how to increase storage that can be useful in any home. By following them, you can free up some much-needed space; space that, sometimes, you didn't even know you had. You can also hire a professional organizer to come in and fix everything up. For a long-term solution, however, you’ll need to learn how to declutter and maintain the order yourself as well.  

Have a System

Storage Bins to Declutter and Decorate

Storage Bins to Declutter and Decorate

Among the many storage tips out there, a very good place to start is with containers. Many people underestimate how big a difference a few baskets, boxes, and cute totes can make. 

The reason they're the key to an organized home is that they allow every little thing to have a home. After all, not everything in your home always has its own separate space. Sure, coats have their closets, shoes have their drawers, toys have their bins, and work material has its desk drawers and folders. And still, some things just fall into the miscellaneous category and never seem to find a home.

In the kid’s room, for example, all the toys should be put into big baskets or clear bins with lids and labels. If you have bags of spices lying around in kitchen drawers, consider putting them in separate glass jars and storing them inside a pantry. If you have magazines lying around all across surfaces in different rooms, make a makeshift library for them out of a couple of shelves or stand-alone baskets. Are there papers, documents, and other work materials strewn all over the desk? There are tons of aesthetically pleasing filing folder boxes you can bring in to make your mind and space clearer.

Even if you’re a bit untidy by nature, having containers around will subconsciously motivate you to keep everything in order. Label the boxes and baskets and now you have a system of keeping clutter at bay.

It may seem somewhat obvious that in order to increase storage, it’s a good idea to organize your belongings. However, what most people miss is how important it is to have a categorized system of organization, as opposed to a few arbitrary boxes full of miscellaneous items. The best way to develop this system is to start using containers effectively. 

Once everything has its own designated storage unit, you’ll notice how much more free space you’ll have. Keep that system going, and you’ll never run out of it.

Storage Add-ons

Organization Tips to Maximize Storage

Organization Tips to Maximize Storage

You can maximize your storage space with some very simple and affordable purchases. 

If you have a pantry in your kitchen that's not enough room for a spice rack, get a pantry door organizer. Whether it’s in the form of a net or a metallic or plastic rack, by hanging it off the door you can essentially turn the door into shelving of its own, where you can store more without cramming them onto the pantry shelves.

Adding a few extra wire racks can also give you a lot of extra space for increased storage in cabinets. These are especially transformative in tall cabinets, that almost always have the top half of the space empty. By adding a roll-out or stand-up wire rack or stand, you will be able to store items on top of and below the rack as well.

How to Make the Most of Your Storage Spaces

How to Make the Most of Your Storage Spaces

There are tons of other accessories and add-ons you can purchase that are great storage solutions if you’re having trouble organizing your drawers or closet spaces. One really effective one is a hanging shoe organizer for things like scarves, gloves, and smaller items. These little add-ons won’t cost you much and will save you from extra stress by providing a hideaway from all your household items.

Vertical Spaces

Don't Forget Your Vertical Spaces

Don't Forget Your Vertical Spaces

Most of us are used to having wide desks, tables, and shelves that we naturally line up our things on horizontally. As a result, many people disregard the vertical space that’s available, leaving it empty while everything is accumulated onto one level of space.

The next time you’re organizing the closet or a wardrobe, look at the shelves that are a bit overcrowded. Think about how you can use vertical space to give yourself more room. In the pantry, inspect your higher and lesser-used shelves; they’ll generally have a lot of extra room there. Move some of the things from the lower shelves that you don’t use often to these higher storage spaces. Organize your closet vertically by folding vertically and making the most of your closet shelving as well. There’s always extra room hiding, you just have to see it.

If your desk is lined with paperwork and stationery from one end to another, invest in some board shelves or a floating desk and secure them to the walls above your workstation. This gives you more space to categorize your materials and work more efficiently. 

Multi-Functional Furniture

Add Storage without Adding Furniture

Add Storage without Adding Furniture

The advantage of some new furniture designs is how they’re created to be multi-functional. Not only does this help provide some extra discreet storage space but can usually serve a second purpose, like seating, as well.

Beds with built-in drawers or benches that open up to reveal a chest are a good example of multi-functional furniture that increases storage. If finding the space for a desk to work from home is your concern, you can consider a transformable coffee table that can be raised to function as a desk. If you have trouble finding ones that match your interior, you can get them custom-made by a local furniture maker.

Big furniture pieces, like couches and armchairs, have the potential of adding storage space without making it look like it’s added on. Some clever living room storage hacks are using lovely wicker baskets or flatter storage baskets if you have space below your couch and under your coffee table. Start to look at everything in your home and ask yourself if it can serve more than one purpose, like how an ottoman can opens up to house blankets for guests.

Multifunctional Furniture Can Change Your Life

Multifunctional Furniture Can Change Your Life

This kind of smart storage is becoming an essential feature in not only modern furniture but also interior design. It’s a glorious combination of style and practicality.

Use All the Space

Tips to Maximize Storage in Your Home

Tips to Maximize Storage in Your Home

Another great solution for expanding your organization options at home is to make use of all the available space. Whether it’s in your living room, your home office, kitchen, or even bathroom, making the most of what you have is a very effective way to mold out some extra storage space.

There are many nooks and crannies in your house that have the potential of becoming functional. Some obvious ones are the small closets beneath the staircase, a popular place to store cleaning supplies and other miscellaneous items. Is the basement overcrowded? You can use the ceiling! You can prop up a few flat and long items, like ladders, onto the joists of the basement ceiling. 

The walls are also capable of greatly increasing storage space. Get a professional woodworker to make a couple of shelves that complement the rest of the interior and secure them to your walls. Why have bare walls, when they can actually come in handy?

Make the Most of All the Space You Have

Make the Most of All the Space You Have

If you have furniture that’s lost its purpose or you’re just holding on to it because they were a gift but they don’t add value to your home's functionality, get rid of it. This can be an armchair, bookcase, cabinet, or stool that’s getting in the way and has probably reached the end of its journey in your home. Sell it in your next garage sale, donate it to someone in need of extra furniture, or give it to a carpenter who can repurpose the material and perhaps even mold out a slimmer version of it. We often have the habit of keeping old items as we associate them with memories. Unless you want your future memories to be of you tripping over a decrepit stool every time you cross the living room, better to send it out on its way.

Why Clutter Is a Problem

Clutter may seem like a superficial problem at first, maybe a minor inconvenience. As time goes by and the heap of junk and rubbish stays where it is, you’ll be dealing with a lot more than just a messy room.

Trouble Finding Things

When everything is in disarray it becomes easier to forget where you put something and small items, like keys, phones, wallets, or remotes get tougher to find. 

It can even cause you to constantly be running late: imagine you overslept and have to get ready in a handful of minutes. You’re getting dressed, having breakfast, and trying to find your car keys all at the same time. If you have to sift through mounds of loose stuff just to find your keys, you’re more than likely going to end up late.

What seemed like a little bit of manageable clutter you were eventually going to get to may risk tarnishing your professional reputation. This is only one of the many examples of why clutter is a serious problem for your personal, social, and professional life.

Productivity Suffers

Studies have shown that organization and tidiness are more subjective than we think. Different people have their own systems of organization and while one person may feel the need to organize everything down to each pencil, others are perfectly fine with having everything in a big pile. 

Regardless of preferences, however, clutter is going to find ways of slowing you down. Even the most sharp-minded individuals with photographic memory will have trouble finding that one important document hiding under the binders, books, and notepads. 

Unsanitary Conditions

Dust, mold, and bacteria like to hide away in the darkest corners. Inside those mugs and empty noodle cups that you leave behind is a potential mess of festering bacteria. Hiding under a scrap newspaper page could be a tiny crumb of cheese you forgot about. Now you may think, that’s not me, or it’s never that bad in my house, but sometimes smaller trails do get left behind even for a day, because, well, we're human.

As things that are forgotten get moldy, they can stink up the entire room. Even not throwing dirty socks in the hamper only overnight can change the smell of a room, especially if ventilation is not performing its best. In these scenarios, even after you clean up the scraps of food or postponed clutter, the smell will take hours to leave the area and will make it hard for you to relax or work in a particular room.

When everything is organized and in its place, you should have no trouble finding and disposing of anything that may spoil and cause unpleasant smells. This is how proper storage can also keep your home in a clean and sanitary state so that when something is out of place it’s too much of an eyesore for you to tolerate it staying out.

Clutter Causes Added Stress

All of the issues above culminate into a single problem that has a major negative impact on pretty much every aspect of your life. With extra clutter and a lack of organization, your time at home is a lot more stressful.

One way or another, we’re all going to face stress in some form. However, a home should be our little refuge from all the troubles we face when outside. By keeping your rooms cluttered, you’re essentially bringing extra stress into your life.

With a few organizational hacks and some easy home storage solutions, you can declutter your home, clear up entire areas of space, and reduce stress. All it takes is a little time, effort, and the following tips.

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan