Thursday, November 8, 2012

How Do You...Handle Storage in a Small Home?

How do you store things you aren't using? I live in a flat with hubby and a 6-year-old  and am struggling to store sports stuff, Easter decorations, Halloween decorations, party stuff, etc.  Any ideas?
submitted by Candy

While I consider myself an organized person, I find it hard to give others advice on how to be organized.  So instead of telling you how you can organize your stuff, I'll go back to the aim of this series which is to simply tell you how I do it.

When we lived in a townhouse, we had no designated storage area so we used our smallest bedroom as a closet.  All the kids had to share one bedroom, but we loved having a place to store the unsightly boxes of decorations, craft supplies, and out-of-season clothing.  It also provided a place to stash gifts.  We called it our "no-no room" because the kids knew they could not go in without an invitation.  Twice a year we set aside a Saturday to clean and organize the storage room before the clutter monster could take over.  Having such a limited space helped us prioritize and we often realized that some things simply took up room and out they went.  We found that it was easier to keep less stuff that to concoct a way to store it all. 

Now that we own our own home, we have more options.  Each of the bedrooms has a walk-in closet with shelves above the clothing racks.  We also have cabinets in our built-in wall unit.  Still, we need a space for summer toys, out-of-season clothing boxes, seasonal decorations, baby gear that we're not currently using, and other large items that don't fit neatly onto a closet shelf.  Without an attic or a basement, we rely on our outdoor shed.  We keep everything sorted in large Rubbermaid containers and stack them according to contents.  For example, the winter gear (hats, scarves, boots) container is stacked with the winter coats container.  The Christmas boxes are kept with the fall decor boxes.

That still leaves us with no great spot to store gifts or things we want to keep out of the cold (or heat).  In our master bathroom, we have a separate walk-in shower that we have turned into storage space.  Though we talk of someday formally converting it, for now, we have a towel on the floor to block the drain and we banded a plastic bag  around the shower head to prevent drips. 

We still hold to the mantra, though, that it is easier to keep less than to find a place to store more.  Try telling that to my kids, though.

How do you handle storage in your home?  Let us know in the comments. 

Also, if you have a question for a future "How Do You...?" post, share that in the comments, too, or send me an e-mail!   I'd love to hear from you. 


  1. we used under the bed wheeled storage containers for personal storage but the same could bee used for sports stuff and/or out of season clothes.

  2. I live in a small 5 room (including the bathroom!) apartment with my 3 kids and husband and we have virtually no storage space. I utilize space under beds, behind furniture, and in every nook and cranny I can find! I'm also looking forward to someday having my own house...with closets and storage areas *blissful sigh*

  3. We've used the 3rd bedroom as storage, too. Now that we're in a two bedroom, it's quite a bit harder.

    We use lots of under-the-bed storage containers. We also had to store homeschool things downstairs, so we moved the couch forward a few feet to gain all the storage behind it. It's not ideal, but it works for now.

  4. Try looking up. Sometimes just putting up a shelf that is high can give you the needed space to keep a few things. Evaluating what you think you need is good as well. Sometimes you may find that something you thought you had to have you can do without, by using something else or thinking outside the box.

  5. We allow only 2 sets of sheets per bed, and store the not-in-use one between the mattresses. This leaves space in a closet for other items. We also keep things downsized. I try to have the kids only have a weeks worth of clothing (about 7 days worth) and mix and match them for variety. (um yes this is a challenge with my dd). Who needs all the clothes taking up space, of course we have 9 folks in our home, so that may be my motivation. *wink*


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