Sunday, July 6, 2014


When good renters move from one place to another within the same city, it's normally for one of 3 reasons. (1) Location.  Maybe they want to live closer to work - or farther away.  Or maybe they want a neighborhood that allows them easy access to shopping or a neighborhood park? (2) Price.  Some want a cheaper place while others want an upgrade.  And finally, (3) Storage.  

Houses/apartments can look pretty spacious when they're staged right or even when they're empty.  But once you begin bringing your stuff into it, all of a sudden the house doesn't seem to be as large as you remembered.

If you love your location and the price is good, let's look at some easily affordable ways to add storage to your space.


Cubes are an awesome thing.  They add seating while offering extra storage.  Use them to store children's toys, sofa throws, blankets, books.  You can even keep one or two in the entryway so when you come home you can sit on the cube, take off your shoes and then put them into the cube.  This keeps your entryway neat and organized at all times.

You can buy these practically everywhere.  Some are inexpensive while others might cost as much as $250 each.  You can also make them.  Below is a link to a site that gives really easy instructions.

The next link is just another way to build the cubes and at the bottom of the page, it shows how to build a storage bench.

I have included another picture to further illustrate cubes and their functions.  They can be used for seating, as a coffee table, side table, at the foot of a bed....uses are pretty endless.

Here is another site that offers another take on the cube.  This one doesn't involve fabric so it can easily be painted or stained to fit your mood/decor changes.

What if you change your design?  Cubes are perfect for that.  All you have to do is get a yard of fabric and staple it to the frame of the cube and you have an instant new look to an old cube. Same thing with spills.  Cubes are so easy and cheap to refinish, I can't imagine why anyone would ever throw them out.

Built in shelving

I have written about this before.  Note.  If you are a renter - get permission IN WRITING before you even attempt this or you can kiss your deposit (and rental reference) goodbye.

This link ( will take you to a site that offers easy to follow instructions.  This process may seem daunting to a lot of people but it really is just building a box and adding some shelves and a little finishing touches to it.  The worst part in the process is cleaning up the dust and sheetrock once you bust through the wall.

The greatest thing about built in shelving is the fact that it takes zero floor space while adding storage.  I have done these in a bathroom, hallway and kitchen and it is wonderful.  It takes a solid wall and gives me storage while looking great at the same time.  Adds a lot of character to your space.

Walls are the largest potential storage in your house.  If you can't insert shelving, try buying a few picture hooks and use them to hang your jewelry, scarves, ties, hair accessories, etc.  No damage to the walls that a tiny bit of spackling won't fix and you've made an interesting wall feature at the same time.


In a small room doors can take up a lot of space.  After all, you need that extra footage so your door can open fully.  But if you also need that footage to have room for your sofa or bed....well, you see the problem.  Below is a great solution to that issue.

This savvy renter took the door off their closet and replaced it with a curtain.  Great idea!  As for the door they removed, simply put it in the back of the closet or beneath a bed so you will be able to reinstall it before you move.

Baskets and old dressers

These are two of the best storage containers ever invented.  My daughter moved into a basement apartment while in law school.  Her bathroom was larger than her kitchen.  She used an old chest of drawers located against a wall between her kitchen and bathroom to store her canned goods, plastic containers and other kitchen items that simply would not fit into her small space.  The top of the chest of drawers became home for her blender and microwave.  Great solution.

Same thing can be done for the bathroom.  Everyone has items that need to be in the bathroom for convenience sake.  Toilet paper, bath salts/oils, towels, hair dryer, etc.  If space permits, why not put a chest of drawers in there to hold all that stuff?

Everyone has extra stuff in their living room that we want to keep in there but at the same time we don't want to see it.  How about putting a basket or two behind a chair or sofa to store those things until we need them?  This is a great idea for books, magazine, children's toys and anything else that we might want to quickly get out of sight when company's coming over.  

Under the bed storage

Next to walls, under your bed offers the most storage possibilities.  You can purchase the plastic containers on wheels that are specifically made for this purpose or you can get creative and build your own.  All it takes is knowing how to build a large box and a few drawers.

Here is a link to a video that will give you step by step instructions.

Kitchen storage

Again, utilize your walls for storage.  Floor space is a premium in all rooms but especially in kitchens.  Developing creative wall storage ideas will not only make your kitchen more convenient but it will also make it more interesting and appealing.

The first picture shows pretty empty cans nailed to an old cutting board and hung on the wall.  I love it!

I use the trick below all the time.  I don't get fancy and pay a lot of money for the rods that are specifically designed for this purpose.  Rather I use the cheapest cafe curtain rods that I can find, spray paint them to coordinate with my kitchen color pallette and hang them on the wall.  My favorite trick is to get the spring loaded cafe curtain rods and mount one at the back of my vent over the stove.  I add some "S" hooks and that is where I keep the utensils that I use most.  Right in front of me within easy reach.  This clears a ton of space in my drawers to house the utensils that I don't use all the time.

Of course, the easiest solution to not having enough storage for your things would be to get rid of most of your things.  Sounds simple and logical doesn't it?  But if you're like me, that's simply not going to happen.  So my solution is to think outside the box and make room for the things I've acquired.  Who knows?  If I am creative enough I just might be able to find room to add more???

Enjoy your space!!