How To Win The Storage War
Storage solutions are a well received addition to any home and there is a fix without having to break the bank, writes Caleb Pearson, of Pearson + Projects.
1 January 2023
ABOVE Attic storage is great for those Christmas decorations.
BELOW Custom seating with hidden space beneath.
RIGHT Wardrobe storage organisers create useful space.
If you have moved house recently you may have had a shock over how much “stuff” you have gained over time, especially after the festive season where gifts, decorations or even new camping gear have been added to the pile.
All of these items eventually get packed up and need to be put somewhere. It’s at times like this we are reminded how nice it is to have storage space … or, for many of us, how much we need more.
Whether it be for yourself or your tenants, new storage solutions for a property lacking in this area are a well received addition to any home. It’s an area that is noticeably missed when it's not there, but can be overlooked when initially purchasing or renting a property.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach for storage, as you need to work with the layout of your property and the space you have. However, there are many options available without having to do major renovations. Here are my favourite storage solutions.
The attic has become a favourite storage space of ours. If you have a pitched roof, an attic may be an untapped reservoir. Do this by installing an attic ladder, lining areas with particle board/plywood on top of ceiling joists, and adding a light. This opens up so much dry space and is surprisingly easy to access with a good ladder. Great place to pack away the Christmas tree and decorations until next year.
A wardrobe with an organiser is a valuable addition to any bedroom. A complete organiser allows for much improved use of wardrobe space. For bedrooms without wardrobes, consider adding one where space permits. Sliding doors provide better access and have less impact on the rest of the room. There are also great stand-alone options available where space is tight and you want to maintain flexibility.
A creative addition to a living or dining room is to include custom seating with a lid which can be lifted to access storage beneath. We have utilised this option many times in renovations as we like the design of a window seat in a bay window, a bench seat in a dining space, or a sun bed for reading in a living room. Built with a liftable lid, it doubles as great storage in accessible locations within a house.
LEFT Vanities or mirrored cabinets add to bathroom storage.
ABOVE Off-street parking can be lower cost with pebbles or pavers.
Many homes have small linen cupboards and it’s hard to claim floor area to add a new linen cupboard. If your HWC requires replacing, consider relocating to where you can utilise the space it currently occupies for storage. This could be outside with an external rated HWC, or up into your ceiling if there is adequate access and height. This often frees up a well located cupboard in your home you can now make functional for linen or other needs.
The bathroom is a unique space, as the items we keep in here are not suitable to be stored in other rooms of a house. A few simple options, while avoiding a costly bathroom makeover, include replacing a mirror with a wall-mounted mirror cabinet, wall-mounted cupboards, or replacing a vanity with one that has drawers and more storage.
A garden shed is a great addition to a property, and doesn’t compromise any internal floor area. It’s a simple DIY task to install a kitset shed, and is great for bikes, tools, sports gear and garden items. Raise the floor off ground level to improve weather tightness and options for use, as well as including a lock.
UNDER THE HOUSE
This is an option for those with little to no budget. Create a large access door or removable panel from the baseboards around your property. Level ground if needed, place pallets on the areas with enough height to use. Make sure the space is dry, and use plastic boxes to store internal items.
EXTRA CAR PARK
Outside of a house a vehicle is generally the next highest value item someone owns. If there is insufficient parking for the size of the property and occupants need to park on the street, look at opportunities to add off-street parking. If concreting or asphalt is too expensive, this can be done by boxing and adding a base course, pebbles or paving blocks.
Whether it be for your tenants or at your own home, having adequate storage options helps improve the function of a home and creates more organisation within a household. It’s an addition that might be forgotten about once it’s installed, but something that is definitely missed by occupants when it’s not there. With a range of options available, if you’re lacking in the storage department why not pick one that works with your property and give it a go.