Easy ways to create storage space at home: 10 myths about having a messy house!
Chaos as far as the eye can see – there is stuff lying about and hanging everywhere. It looks like a tornado has been doing Zumba in your house. And this can’t all be put down to hunter-gatherer instincts. There’s only one solution: create storage space! With a few little tricks you can reclaim your space and restore order to your home. 😉
Messy home myth 1: I don't mind the chaos!
False! Secretly, it does sometimes bother you, at least a bit. You can admit that it is annoying when things aren't where they belong and you’re always having to look for them. It takes time and causes unnecessary angst!
Space-saving extra storage: Every item needs a home! That applies to batteries, stamps as well as scissors, spoons and toothbrushes. So, it's worth clearing out a few things and finding a way to create extra storage space. That might be a drawer for tools or stationery. In the kitchen, it’s useful to have a somewhere to hand to store all your cooking spoons, whisks, potato mashers, knives etc. If everything is always there, where it is needed, then it puts a stop to the chaos.
Zebrabox tip: Whether you're organising the kitchen cupboards or a chest of drawers, assign each drawer to specific items: cutlery, tools, stationery etc. You can use practical drawer dividers to stop things getting jumbled up. They are cheap and available to buy in many homeware stores.
Messy home myth 2: Every little bit of space is taken up!
Every single bit, are you sure? What about above and around your door frame? Surely you can still create extra space there...
Space-saving extra storage: Things placed above your field of vision don't bother you because they don't make the room look smaller or narrower. Shelves above and beside the door frame are ideal when you want to create extra storage space.
Zebrabox tip: Separate part of the room with a curtain or blind, place shelves behind and use them to store items which you don't need frequently. Alternatively, mount rails on the ceiling and floor. Then you can assemble some shop-bought or home-made sliding doors. You can also design and order these online.
Messy home myth 3: I still need that. At some point. Really...
False! It’s your guilty conscience talking: Read me! Repair me! Make me beautiful again! You were going to take me down and put me up again...
Space-saving extra storage: These are the items that make you feel guilty, like the Nordic walking poles resting in the corner, the bike with the flat tyre and the old coffee set with the gold rim (which you have to wash by hand...ha!). Don't give unused items the power to take over. Just have a clear out and throw away unused odds and ends or give them to a charity shop. Amazing how much space there suddenly is!
Zebrabox tip: You don't want to get rid of stuff, you just need to more space? Then the magic word is self-storage.
Messy home myth 4: There’s no more space!
Admittedly, in many rooms or apartments storage space is as rare as shadows in the desert, but it does exist. Somewhere. And it’s not always the size of the room or the apartment that is to blame for everything feeling crammed in and cramped. The furniture is often simply too big for the room and takes up too much space.
Space-saving extra storage: Built-in wardrobes are an easy way to create extra storage because they make the best use of the available space. Corner cabinets are also a real space-saving miracle, they create storage space right up to the very corner of the room, particularly if they have a carousel, swing or pull-out function. Top tip: use multi-functional furniture such as folding tables, sofa beds, Murphy beds and roller storage boxes with cushions that can be used as seats. This type of furniture can be used differently depending on the time of day and there’s usually also a place to store bedding.
Zebrabox tip: You can also create storage by building another level or platform. There are some great ideas on Pinterest for platforms with drawers or cabinet features or you could even buy ready-made items from furniture stores. If you’ve got two left hands, you should probably leave building your storage ideas to a carpenter.
Messy home myth 5: I can’t fit anything else in!
True! Lots of pieces of furniture have a tendency to expand and take up space on the ground, especially heavy items such as wardrobes and kitchen units. Nothing really fits in between or it looks squashed in.
Space-saving extra storage: If there's no space left on the floor, then use the walls and make use of the height! Hanging things on the walls rather than leaving them on the floor makes the room feel much more airy. You can find some great hanging furniture, that not only helps to create storage space but also provides extra storage.
Zebrabox tip: Ever thought about putting a shelf under the ceiling from one side to the other? You can put things up there that you don't need very often, such as books, photo albums and magazines. Another tip: click on Pinterest and type in extra storage. Surprise!
Messy home myth 6: There is never enough space
True, it always feels like there is never really enough space. Regardless of how much space you actually have. Another fact: if you do have lots of space, it's tempting to let stuff pile up and accumulate. The more space you have, the fuller your cupboards, basement and storeroom become with useless stuff (see myth 3!).
Space-saving extra storage: Extra storage space is a treat! But like with all treats: don't have too much and enjoy it in moderation.
Zebrabox tip: You can also find storage space that is tailor-made to size outside your home. Here at Zebrabox, we have self-storage units in every size.
Messy home myth 7: I've used every last inch of space!
Bet you haven't! In every apartment there is unused space – usually between the cabinet and wall – or the little nook where the ironing board, vacuum cleaner and clothes horse languish.
Space-saving extra storage: Little nooks are ideal when you need to create storage even in the smallest room! By using shelves, poles or hooks, you can create extra storage in these little areas. Depending on the width, you could also stack boxes or folders to create even more storage. Hang a floor-to-ceiling curtain and you're done.
Zebrabox tip: Get the shelves cut to size at your hardware store. You can find construction design ideas online that will help you make optimal use of the space.
Messy home myth 8: Ornaments are nice and you can never have too many!
True! Vases, picture frames, candles and the shells from last year’s beach holiday are what turn your house into a home. However, the more little things you have lying around, the more chaotic your home becomes.
Space-saving extra storage: Where ornaments are concerned: less is more! It’s better to display a few select items than put everything out at once! The rest can be put in a box and then stored in the basement, wardrobe or a storage unit. After a few weeks or months, you can swap them over. Regularly check your items, get rid of anything that has broken or that you’ve become bored of.
Zebrabox tip: Showcase your belongings! Display unusual objects, for example in a picture frame (without glass!). Your framed shell or favourite cup (that is always left unused in the cupboard so that it doesn't get broken) will become a real feature piece! And it frees up space in your cupboard.
Messy home myth 9: The hall is too narrow, that’s why there’s so much chaos.
True! Many homes have small entrance areas and incredibly narrow hallways. Spacious storage area? Hardly! Daylight? If you're lucky! The chaos is only made worse by the pile of abandoned shoes and all the jackets that you could find hung on top of each other on the coat rack.
Space-saving extra storage: Shoe cupboards are a great invention! They are narrow and therefore suitable for any hall. It’s worth the investment! Find a new home for jackets that you don’t need on a daily basis. How about in a drawer under your bed or in a storage unit?
Zebrabox tip: Chests are a miraculous way of saving space! And they’re versatile – they can be used in the hall for shoes, in the kitchen for towels or tablecloths, in the children's room for building blocks and Lego etc. And you can sit on them too!
Messy home myth 10: It’s not worth tidying up – it looks messy again straightaway
Hmm, there’s probably something to that. But, don't give up hope, even chaos can be eliminated! Don't try to achieve everything at once. Do things step by step, box by box, pile by pile...
Space-saving extra storage: Rule no. 1 for tidying up: little and often is better than then rarely and laboriously. This helps to avoid chaos hot spots! Because, let's be honest, tidying up becomes a real nightmare if it’s time-consuming and hard work. This deters many people from even starting – and things are just left as they are. Rule no. 2: eliminate chaos. There’s no time like the present. Just get started. Our tips can help!
Zebrabox tip: Miracles happen time and again. They could happen today or tomorrow. Even for you! Hello space-saving miracle, goodbye chaos!