Space, in urban areas, comes at a premium. Urban homes are small and creating storage space is a challenge.
At help4u.today we have been trying to provide creative solutions to your everyday problems. In our previous post – The Art of Decluttering, we discussed decluttering and organizing your home. In this post, we will provide you with solutions for storing things that you need.
Our modern day lives and homes are not conducive to storage. This is especially true of urban areas where space is extremely expensive and homes are becoming smaller and smaller. Storage, naturally, has taken a back space. But that doesn’t mean we have stop acquiring and keeping stuff for future use. It just means that we need to be more creative with how we use the limited space we have and create as much space as possible for storage of all the things that we require.
Importance of Storage
Storage is essential for ease of living and organisation. You do not want to run out of essential supplies in the middle of the night or be caught short in an emergency. You might have clothes that you only require seasonally, or extra pair of shoes, or even books, memorabilia and a million other things that you require or keep for emotional reasons. You would not want to throw out that heirloom dinner service just because you do not have adequate space to store it. Anything and everything that we bring into the house should have some space where it can live. Adequate storage is key to an organized and neat house.
Organized storage saves time and effort. When you have proper storage for all your various possessions, it saves time and effort in locating things when you require them. You will save a considerable amount of time if you know where you have put something. You can go to the exact place you have stored it and retrieve it as and when you need it. Storage is essential to keep your possessions in good condition for longer. From food to clothes and furniture, if they are stored properly, they will last longer and you get more value for your money.
Storage eliminates clutter and chaos. When everything is properly stored in its place, even a small space appears uncluttered and tidy. It helps to make your living space look more luxurious and upscale.
Storage space adds to the value of your property. It is one of the most sought after features of any home. When there is adequate and aesthetic storage space, the value of the property appreciates by a considerable amount.
Good Storage Essentials
Just keeping stuff is not the key to good storage. Good storage involves keeping a thing properly in its own space which is big enough to accommodate it. Good storage should preserve whatever it is that you wish to store. There is no point in storing clothes in a dark and damp place. They will get moldy and become useless.
Good storage means finding the best way to store a thing so it maintains its freshness and remains usable for a long time.
The things we store include perishables like food, fruits and vegetables. Almost all of us have a refrigerator and a pantry area to store these. If your pantry is damp or gets very hot, your food is likely to perish. So, before assigning storage space to anything, keep in mind its requirements.
A good storage area should be well lighted so it is easy to see things and locate them.
It should have proper ventilation so there is air movement to keep things fresh and dry.
Things are better preserved in cooler areas. So storage should be in the cooler part of the house if possible.
Storage should be easily accessible so you do not have to go through extraordinary effort to retrieve and replace stuff.
It should be dust and pest free. You do not want pests to get into your storage. Dust and pests can destroy your stored goods.
There should be adequate space for whatever you are storing. Keeping things too cramped may damage them. Now that you know the basic requirements for good storage, it is time to take an inventory off your space to see how you can organize your stuff so that it is properly stored.
Storage Solutions for Small Homes
Not too many people in Dubai can afford to have large houses with gardens and ample storage space. Most people either live in flats or apartment blocks with limited space available to them. Finding space for storage in an already limited space requires creativity and ingenuity. For storage in tiny spaces, how you make use of the available space is more important than finding new space.
There are three ways you can create storage in your house. You can create storage:
- Under the floor
- On the Walls
- Up in the Air
- Within existing things
If you are wondering what I am talking about, just read on to discover.
Under the Floor: This is the vertical utilisation of the space available to you. If you live on the ground floor. Then you can create plenty of space by constructing a basement to add extra space to your house. Unfortunately, not everyone lives on the ground floor, nor can everyone construct a basement. It requires a lot of effort, money and permissions to be able to do so. What you can do instead is to create space in your floor boards for storage of items that are not required very frequently. All wooden floors have space underneath. You can create a trap door in the floorboards to access this area. Even if it is just 6 – 8 inches of space, it is still a lot of space as practically the whole floor area of any room is available to you. It may be the perfect solution for storing extra bedding, mattresses, seasonal clothing, tinned food etc.
On the walls: Walls are excellent places to hang up stuff to clear out the floor space. Besides the usual, pictures, wall hangings and other hanging decorations, it is excellent to use it to store stuff. Hanging up pots and pans on the kitchen walls instead of having separate storage units will save precious floor space. Creating shallow 4 – 6 inch shelves on the walls that can be disguised by placing paintings, mirrors, or posters. You will have plenty of storage space for small things, jars, bottles, medicines, children’s toys, tools etc. The paintings or mirrors would act as the door for the storage adding to the aesthetics of the room while concealing the storage area and giving you extra space. In any home, the beds are the largest pieces of furniture taking up a huge amount of storage space. A good solution to save the floor space and create a multipurpose room is to use a wall bed. There are several excellent wall beds available in the market that can fold up against the wall with all the bedding still on it. So you do not need to redo the bed every time you wish to fold up or bring the bed down. Once the bed is safely folded away, you have ample space within the room to create a play area for children or to entertain friends. Another solution is to use sofa beds that can be folded away during the day to creating a sitting area and pulled out at night to sleep. Use back of doors and cupboard doors to store things. Hanging shoe organizers can be used behind all doors to create extra space for things like – toys, cosmetics, cleaning products, toiletries, undergarments, socks, jewellery, etc. Wall caddies are another good solution for creating extra storage for knick knacks.
Up in the air: The vertical space in most houses goes waste. You can create extra space by utilising this vertical space creatively. Use stackable containers to store seasonal clothes, books, toys, etc. Most apartments have false ceilings. The space between the false ceiling and the ceiling slab can be utilized for long term storage. Things that you only use occasionally can be stored here. It may be a bit more difficult to access than other storage areas, so put in things that you do not need frequently there. Hanging things like cycles, clothes drying racks, etc. from the ceiling is another way to save floor space while storing your stuff properly. Stackable furniture is easily available that can be stacked neatly away when not in use.
Within other things: Using your present furniture and architectural spaces creatively to create more storage. Staircases are excellent places to store things. There is dead space under the stairwell that can be converted into a storage cupboard. If the stairwell is in the living room, use the space underneath to create a bar or an entertainment unit. The steps of the staircase can also be used for storage. They can be converted into pull-out drawers to store CD’s, books, clothes and whatever else you can fit into the drawers. Furniture can also be used to create storage space. Under the bed storage has been around for ages. Sofas, benches, tables can all be used to create space for storage. Using a large wooden box for a centre table will give you not only a classy table but also precious storage. Look for dining sets that are space saving. Either use a fold away unit or one where the chairs can be pushed under the table so they do not take up extra space.
The most important thing about organizing storage is creativity. The more creative you are the more solutions you can find. Everything in a home can be dual purpose and serve as a storage too. To continue to learn about creative solutions to your everyday problems keep reading the help4u.today blogs. help4u.today is a listing service for agencies providing domestic services in Dubai. If you wish to hire a maid in Dubai, help.4u.today will help you find one. We have a list of online cleaning services that you can book through our site. If you require domestic help, do visit our website.