15 Ways to Squeeze More Storage Out Of Small Spaces
There's often much more storage space in your home than you think – even in small spaces. It just takes a little out-of-the-box thinking. Check out these 15 ideas for creating more storage in your small spaces.
The space behind a door is a storage spot that’s often overlooked. Build a set of shallow shelves and mount it to the wall behind your laundry room door. The materials are inexpensive. Measure the distance between the door hinge and the wall and subtract an inch. This is the maximum depth of the shelves. We used 1x4s for the sides, top and shelves. Screw the sides to the top. Then screw three 1×2 hanging strips to the sides: one top and bottom and one centered. Nail metal shelf standards to the sides. Complete the shelves by nailing a 1×2 trim piece to the sides and top. The 1×2 dresses up the shelf unit and keeps the shelves from falling off the shelf clips.
Locate the studs. Drill clearance holes and screw the shelves to the studs with 2-1/2-in. wood screws. Put a rubber bumper on the frame to protect the door.
Install a Shelf and Clothes Rod
This laundry room hanging rod project will save you hours of ironing and organizing. Now you can hang up your shirts and jackets as soon as they’re out of the dryer – no more wrinkled shirts at the bottom of the basket. You’ll also gain an out-of-the-way upper shelf to store all sorts of odds and ends.
Just go to your home center and get standard closet rod brackets, a closet rod, and a precut 12-in.-deep melamine shelf. Also, pick up some drywall anchors, or if you have concrete, some plastic anchors and a corresponding masonry bit. Fasten shelves to the wall and add the closet rod for instant laundry room storage.
Wire pantry shelves aren’t just for pantries. They’re perfect for any wall where full-depth shelves won’t fit: garages, laundry rooms, utility rooms, etc. The perfect space-saving shelves solution.
Make the Most of Skinny Spaces
Narrow Storage Shelves: Stud Space Cabinet
When you can’t find a convenient nook for a set of narrow storage shelves, you can often create one by recessing the shelves into the wall itself. Choose the location before you build the project to make sure it will fit. Start by looking for a space with no obvious obstructions. Locate the studs with a stud finder. Some stud finders can also locate electrical wires and plumbing pipes inside walls. When you’ve found a promising spot, cut a 6-in.-square inspection hole between the studs. Use a flashlight and a small mirror to inspect the stud cavity for obstructions. You often can modify the size of the cabinet to avoid obstructions.
When you find a good space, mark the perimeter of the opening and use a drywall keyhole saw to cut it out. Measure the opening and subtract 1/4 in. from the height and width to determine the outer dimensions of your cabinet.
For standard 2×4 stud walls with 1/2-in.-thick drywall, build the cabinet frame from 1x4s that measure 3-1/2 in. wide (see illustration). If your walls are different, adjust the depth of the frame accordingly. Then add a 1/4-in. back. We screwed 1/4-in. pegboard to the back so we could hang stuff from pegboard hooks. Add casing that matches the trim in your house. Drill holes into the sides to accept shelf supports. Shelf supports fit in 3mm, 5mm or 1/4-in. holes depending on the style. Install the cabinet by slipping it into the opening, leveling it and nailing through the trim into the studs on each side. Use 6d finish nails placed every 12-in. along both sides.
If you already have a few unused suitcases around, they can be suitable for storing seasonal clothes (and won’t take up any extra room). Roll common clothes like shirts, sweaters, and pants into loose bundles before storing them. They take up less room this way and can breathe easier.
Over the Door Bookshelf
Build Rollouts at Ankle Level
Install under-cabinet storage racks
Pantry Storage: Spice Storage
Install Expandable Shelves in Cabinets
Joist Space Storage
Closet Nook Shelves
Storage for Small Spaces: Two-Story Closet Shelves
There’s a lot of space above the shelf in most closets. Even though it’s a little hard to reach, it’s a great place to store seldom-used items. Make use of this wasted space by adding a second shelf above the existing one. Buy enough closet shelving material to match the length of the existing shelf plus enough for two end supports and middle supports over each bracket. Twelve-inch-wide shelving is available in various lengths and finishes at home centers and lumberyards.
We cut the supports 16 in. long, but you can place the second shelf at whatever height you like. Screw the end supports to the walls at each end. Use drywall anchors if you can’t hit a stud. Then mark the position of the middle supports onto the top and bottom shelves with a square and drill 5/32-in. clearance holes through the shelves. Drive 1-5/8-in. screws through the shelf into the supports.
Clothes storage ideas for small spaces: Double-decker closet rod
All you need to gain a lot of hanging space in your closet is two metal closet brackets and a length of closet rod. If your existing closet rod is at least 66 in. from the floor, there’s enough space to add a second rod below it and still hang shirts and slacks. We placed the top of the rod 35 in. from the floor, which allowed just enough room to hang two levels of pants.
Locate studs on the back wall of the closet with a stud finder. Then attach metal brackets to the studs. Use a level to align the brackets along the top. Space the brackets no more than 32 in. apart. Need even more storage? Then check out these 50 organizing tips you’ll wish you knew all along.