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Storage solutions for small spaces

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Ed Hawes
small living rooms

Whether you still live at home, are a renter in a small apartment, or simply want to use your space more effectively, you need savvy storage solutions.

Where space is tight, you don’t want to be dependent on bulky storage units like bookcases and wardrobes. Instead, you want to find alternative ways to store away everything you need, without having to compromise your living quarters.

Which is why we’re here with some of the best storage solutions for small spaces. Check out our list to be inspired into using your space in the bedroom, hallway, bathroom or kitchen more efficiently.

Declutter first

declutter space

The first step to maximizing storage in a small house is, of course, to declutter.

Starting with a clear idea of what you need to keep, will help you organize your stuff into what needs to be stored where.

If that one drawer in the kitchen filled with all sorts of bits and bobs has suddenly become a whole house filled with all sorts of bits and bobs, it’s time to do some serious clearing.

More often than not, you’ll actually have plenty of space in your house to store the real essentials. It’s all the other ‘might fit into that outfit one day’ or ‘maybe I’ll get back into that hobby some time’ stuff that’s really causing the problem.

Start off small with a single corner of a room. Create three piles of keep, bin and recycle (or re-sell). Get everything out and start from the top. Then, work your way through the room until you have a huge pile of things to trash and sell.

You can then start to think about how you’re going to store the things you need to keep. And for storage ideas for all this stuff, read on.

Easy storage solutions for small spaces

Below are a variety of easy storage solutions you may not have thought of. We’ve also categorized different areas of the house, but feel free to use any of the ideas where you see fit.

Multi-functional furniture

Multi-functional furniture is the key to small space storage. Divan beds that offer storage underneath, storage ottomans that double up as extra seating or shelves that can easily become a small desk or breakfast bar.

Take a look at what you currently own, and how items could double up. Or, scrap the old and invest in some savvy storage solutions.

Don’t neglect nooks

Small spaces often come with awkward angles and hard-to-use wall space. But don’t neglect these nooks.

When space is premium, you need to make use of everything you have available to you. Under the stairs, random indents in the wall, strange corners in the kitchen walls, etc.

Add floating shelves to these areas to make the space functional and practical. Since you weren’t using the space for anything already, it makes sense to dedicate the area to more storage.

Lift the storage up


One thing that can make the house feel stuffy and cluttered is a lack of floor space. And although we’re all guilty of the occasional floordrobe feature, this is less than ideal for anyone in a small home.

A neat trick is to lift storage units off the ground. Storage cubes, for example, can be hung further up the wall so that the skirting boards and floor are still visible. This gives the impression that there’s more space, and keeps the home looking and feeling that little bit tidier.

Laddered shelving

If you do need larger storage options like bookcases and display cabinets, try to use open units or laddered shelving.

Staggered storage can be great for maintaining the light and air flow in the room, so as not to make the space feel even smaller than it already is.

Hide electronics in drawers

Wires are not only a deathtrap in the house, but are also really tricky to make look neat and tidy. 

For devices that are used frequently, free up worktop space by storing them in drawers. If you think strategically, you might even be able to wire them through the back of the cabinet to plug in. That way, you can still use them, without having to constantly have them on display taking up much-needed surface space.

Use your windows

Everyone loves natural light. But large windows take up vast amounts of wall space.

Instead of leaving the windows bare, and shuffling items around trying to make room for everything elsewhere, it’s time to start using this space better: Add shelving across windows or store things neatly on the windowsills.

Displaying frequently used glasses on window shelving is a great idea. You can free up space in the cupboards without reducing the amount of light flooding through the windows.

Create more space with radiator covers

Store-bought or homemade radiator covers offer an extra surface in any room of the house. Ideal for storing keys in the hallway, picture frames in the lounge, or crockery in the kitchen.

The heat can still come through, but you’ll have a small shelf to fill with bits and bobs.

Above the door shelving

One place you probably haven’t thought of using for storage is above door frames.

These little spaces are perfect for storing childhood books, teddies or towels to quickly grab before jumping in the shower. Add a small shelf or a storage cube and you’re good to go.

Shoe Storage Solutions For Small Spaces

Possibly one of the most awkward things to store in small spaces is shoes. Especially if you’re a family of shoeaholics. With school shoes, going out heels, hiking boots, exercise trainers and general day-to-day pairs, there’s a lot of space used up.

It’s particularly a problem if you don’t have a porch or hallway. Rather than having a dedicated space for shoes as you enter the house, the living space in the lounge or kitchen takes the hit.

With this in mind, here are 4 useful shoe storage solutions for small spaces.

Custom shelves and hooks

If the front door is in your lounge, you may struggle finding somewhere to put outwear.

Adding a few hooks or shelves is the simplest solution. Hang shelves around the door frame for a quick shoe storing idea, while coats can quickly be dumped onto hooks on the other side of the door.


For those less than fashionable pieces, it’s unlikely you want them displayed for all to see on shelves in the living space. Instead, place baskets or bins on the shelves to keep the area neat and tidy.

If you’re really tight for space, scrap the shelving idea and keep a small shoe bin by the door. Any additional pairs can be taken up to bedrooms.

Use the walls in the hallway

Even if you have a tiny hallway, there is still plenty of wallspace that can be utilized for shoe storage.

Slimline, pull out shoe bins can be hung onto the walls at any height to hide away footwear when not in use.

Add a window seat

Where space allows it, a window seat could be the perfect shoe storage solution for your small space. Window seats provide additional seating, can be framed with bookshelves for trinkets and can offer a useful space below the seat for throwing shoes.

There’s also plenty of hallway seat units that offer storage if you don’t have the space or money for a window seat installation.

Small kitchen storage solutions

kitchen storage

The kitchen is a major project to tackle in a small space. But, these simple tricks should help you make the most of the space you have for storing away utensils, crockery and food.

Store things out in the open

Rather than taking up so much space with cupboards, open up the room with floating shelves instead.

Keep the lower half cabinets for storing away larger items and remove the top cabinets to make room for open shelves.

You may need to invest in new crockery that you don’t mind having on display, but this trick will give your kitchen a new lease of life.

Over the door hooks

For the cupboards you do keep, use over the door hooks to store pans, colanders or food wraps without taking up shelf space.

Slimline shelving & glass jars

As we should all be looking to waste less and reduce the amount of plastic packaging we use, slimline shelves with glass canisters is a great little storage tip for kitchens and bathrooms. 

Store away pulses, flours, herbs or spices in tidy glass jars to create a dreamy pantry that’s super practical. Then, when you run out of something, take your jars to a zero-waste store for a refill.

You’ll be saving space, and the planet.

Use height

Not everything in the kitchen is for everyday use. Baking tins, mixers, fancy dinner sets can all be stored at height. Installing shelves around the perimeter of the room can help free up the worktops and give the kitchen a more spacious feel.

Small bathroom storage solutions

As one of the busiest rooms of the house, bathroom storage solutions need to be slimline, functional and carefully thought out.

Combine different storage styles

The best way to make the most out of a small bathroom is to combine different storage pieces. Use shelves on the walls around the bathroom mirror and above the door, and create a cabinet around the basin for those items you don’t need on display. You can also use baskets and glass jars to store earbuds, loo rolls or laundry.

Small bedroom storage solutions 

Whether you’re still living at home, or just feel a little overwhelmed in your bedroom, these small bedroom storage hacks are for you.

Choose a headboard with storage

Headboards offer a world of storage possibilities. By opting for a thicker storage headboard, you’ll have shelving on either side or behind your bed for all those little bits you need to hide away.

Get creative with cork or pegboards

Peg or cork boards are the perfect little storage hack for small bedrooms or offices. 

Using pins or pegs, you can create quirky storage for stationary, jewelry, hair pins and more.

The boards can be attached to the wall so they won’t take up any floor space, too. For more small bedroom office ideas, read our blog.

Stack boxes in the wardrobe

If you have a seasonal wardrobe, shoes or bedding to store, stash them into boxes that can be stacked in the wardrobe.

Placing shoes at the bottom of a wardrobe can take up way more room than is necessary. By storing everything away in easy to access boxes, you’ll have everything you need without compromising on space.

Use curtains as dividers

Wardrobes can be pretty clunky in small rooms. Instead of opting for an actual unit, you can install a clothing rail with a curtain around it. Curtains are a great way to create temporary, light dividers in a room. If you have a small alcove in the room, this is the perfect place for your curtain wardrobe.

Choose underbed storage

Utilize the out-of-sight floorspace. Choose longer storage boxes on wheels that can then easily be pulled out from under the bed when needed. This is a great place to store bedding, towels, seasonal clothing or old mementos.

Or make your own storage bed

For a fun DIY project, you can create your own storage bed. Using a series of storage units or cubes, create the base for your bed then drill a sturdy mdf panel into the centre. Add your mattress and you’ve got a space-efficient storage bed and a rewarding night’s sleep ahead.

Use old trunks as a side table

Rather than splashing out on a simple bedside table, use an old trunk - or a series of old trunks - to create a practical nightstand that’s bursting with storage space. Books, lotions, PJs and more can be stored out of site, ready to grab whenever they’re needed. Or use storage ottomans that look great. 

Hang items on hooks in the wardrobe

You can save a ton of space in your wardrobe if you use alternatives to hangers. S-hooks are great for hanging t-shirts or vests on and take up much less room. You can also hook scarves, ties and jewelry onto the back of the wardrobe door using self adhesive hooks.

Raise the bed

For those that don’t have underbed space, there are leg raisers available to buy that can lift your bed. That way, you can store boxes underneath and free up more floor space.

Once you’ve finished inside, you can take a stab at these 21 small garden ideas too. You’ll likely find that once you’ve got a bug for small storage hacks, you’ll never stop coming up with creative ways to use your space more effectively.

Don’t forget all of this starts with a good declutter. While you’re looking at space saving furniture, or selling your unused items online, shop our sofas for somewhere comfortable to sit when it’s all over...

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