By SEAN GANEY
If your home is anything like the typical household, finding ways to organize and store all of your belongings is an ongoing issue and struggle. Most homeowners can never have enough storage and there seems to be a constant battle between how much “stuff” you own and how much space is available in your home. The good news is there are a number of creative ways to address your needs and find ways to organize and put your stuff away.
Consider a ‘family foyer’
Designing an ample informal entrance is a great use of space to provide more storage for your household. Well-designed walk-in closets can help keep coats and shoes from piling up, corral sports equipment, or serve as a pantry for extra food and bulk items. Built-in cubbies can house belongings for each family member, prevent mix-ups, and keep the doorway neat and tidy. Add a place to sit and also designate an area for wet boots and umbrellas to help keep the area dry.
Maximize space with under-stair storage
Often, space comes at a premium, so many homeowners take advantage of all the square footage they can by utilizing the space under their stairs. Under-stair storage is particularly useful for long-term storage of luggage, holiday decorations and other items you won’t need access to year round. Sump pumps, safes, security equipment, and shorter water heaters can also be housed here. Do you find yourself wishing you had another bathroom? This versatile, often unused space can sometimes be used as a half-bath as well.
De-clutter with a storage system
Storage systems are the ultimate tool in home organization. These systems can be anything from semi-custom and relatively inexpensive solutions, to fully customized products, tailored to your specific needs. A storage system can help maximize limited space in a standard closet by creating multiple levels of storage, as well as incorporating drawers and shelving. Create a unique and personalized space in a walk-in closet by adding tie and belt racks to keep accessories organized, or install an open shoe rack to show off your collection. Make a laundry room more efficient with custom cabinets, built-in hampers, and a fold-out ironing board.
Do you have a car enthusiast or a handyman in your family? Create a custom space in your garage for all their tools and gadgets, while making a functional work area. Work benches, built-in tool boxes, and a peg board for easy access of tools are a good starting point. Durable stainless steel cabinets will give your garage a clean, industrial look, while providing rustproof storage. Consider modifying the ceilings to accommodate car lifts if doing a lot of automotive work. When designing a garage, some people choose to incorporate an extra half bay to a full bay into the design. This will give you plenty of room for storing bikes, pool equipment, patio furniture, etc.
Take advantage of your attic
Installing a room truss system is an economical way to improve the functionality of your attic space, as the cost is not much more than building a conventional web truss. Whether you need more storage, living space or a combination of both, a room truss creates an open, habitable area within the lines of the roof. Consider using the space as a fun playroom for kids, an out-of-the-way office, or a cozy loft bedroom for guests. Or, perhaps if you’re artistic, use this bonus room to create an art studio.
These few examples just scratch the surface of ways to improve the efficiency of underutilized areas in your home. An experienced design build remodeler can provide practical solutions and help guide you through selecting the best options for your needs and lifestyle.