Home Storage 101: Tips for Better Storage
Whether you’re just an avid Costco shopper or you’re prepping for a national emergency, you can bet you’ll need to stock up at some point or another.
And while those supplies may help ready you for what’s to come, they also pose another problem — a home storage one.
Where will you put those 10 packages of toilet paper or that gas-powered generator?
Will you have room for 100 cases of water or five pounds of meat?
Unless you’ve recently cleaned the house or just have a lot of space, probably not.
Fortunately, we have you covered. Next time you find yourself stocking up, try these handy home storage tips to keep organized:
1. Storage Solution: Use the storage space above your cabinets
Many kitchens have at least a foot or two of space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling — both in the kitchen and in the bathrooms – that can be used as open shelving.
When you’re stocking up, these areas can be seriously valuable commodities. Use them for easily stackable items:
You can also use it for bulk items like multipacks of toilet paper or paper towels. Just make sure if you’re storing anything above cabinets near the oven or microwave that you choose items that can’t be affected by heat (like produce, for example).
2. Storage Solution: Look to the garage space
There are lots of ways you can use your garage’s vertical space for extra storage and shelf space.
If you have space, stacking boxes and flat items near a wall or in a corner is an option (just make sure they’re not blocking any pathways to and from the house).
You could also move some large items like your lawnmower or wheelbarrow to an outdoor shed to make more room.
Here are just a few other storage ideas:
- Add a set of utility shelves. If you have pre-existing shelves installed, declutter and clear a few out to make more extra space.
- Install hanging shelves or hooks from the ceiling. This gives you additional storage without taking up any more real estate.
- Use space under your tool bench. Make sure you don’t put items there that animals or bugs will want to get into (paper goods are a great option here).
3. Storage Solution: Consider under-side storage
Your tool bench isn’t the only place that has under-side storage. There are actually several other furnishings and parts of the house you can look at, too.
Under the bed floor space is a good choice (invest in a few flat bins to keep things organized), or you can even add pedestal drawers under your washer and dryer to add a little extra shelf space in the laundry room.
There’s also a storage room under some couches and tables (especially ones with tablecloths that hide the underside). If you have any extra room under your dresser or a bedside table, these are options, too.
4. Storage Solution: Consider outside options for nonperishables
A shed or storage bench is a great way to add some additional storage space to your home’s exterior. If your kids have a playhouse, there might even be room in, around, or under that, too. A word of warning, though: Be mindful of your local climate when using outdoor storage, and take steps to keep animals and pests out.
5. Storage Solution: Use your attic or crawlspace
Attics, crawlspaces, and bathrooms can be another nice option when you need to stock up. In the attic, make sure you’re careful about where you store things (never put items directly on your insulation or sheetrock) and be wary of the added heat your supplies will be exposed to up there.
A basement is a fair game as long as you consider cold weather conditions, and a crawlspace is an option, too — if it’s closed off. (Open crawlspaces could mean mold, pests, and more.)
6. Storage Solution: Invest in a garage fridge or freezer
An outdoor freezer or refrigerator can come in handy for frozen items, meat, and drinks you’re stocking up on (water bottles, soda, juice, milk, etc.). Keep in mind this will require a little extra wall space, as well as a slightly higher electric bill.
You can offset those energy costs by filling your fridge or freezer with frozen gallons of water (this makes it easier for your unit to keep cool, despite weather conditions).
If you’re worried about the cost of an additional appliance, consider bargain options instead of something brand-new. Try an outlet store, look to the Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, or Craigslist, or try your local Habitat for Humanity store.
Sometimes, buying the floor model of an appliance can also save you cash.
The Costs of Stocking Up
Stocking up (and arranging hidden storage ideas for those supplies) can get costly.
Do you need help with footing the bill? If so, a cash-out refinance may be able to help.