19 Creative Storage Ideas for Small Spaces

Live small and store well: These ideas show you how to get more from your home with creative storage ideas for small spaces.

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  • 1 of 20

    Clear Off the Floor

    Clutter is a constant in small spaces, and the more storage solutions you can find, the cleaner and calmer your rooms will feel. Try a strategy used here to gain valuable spots to stash essentials: Install small cube or rectangular shelf units for open storage. No doors means no need to gobble up space for opening and closing, and a light installed on the wall keeps the surfaces free for books, glasses, and more.

  • 2 of 20

    Use Vertical Spaces

    There are plenty of up-and-down surfaces that never make the cut when it comes to small-space storage -- and that's too bad. Those precious square feet can be put to good use, especially for narrow items that are prone to quick clutter. A variety of slim wire baskets -- better to keep contents in view -- lines the back of this door to corral gift-wrapping essentials.

  • 3 of 20

    Don't Ignore Nooks

    Shelves don't need to be long expanses of horizontal space to be useful, especially in small spaces. Here, a narrow nook with narrow shelves yields a storage bonanza for cookbooks.

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    Scale Down Shelves

    Very often in small spaces, there's not room for overly large furniture or lots of extras. That's why the search for sized-down furniture can yield unexpected rewards -- even the three-shelf unit here. It offers just enough space for extra towels and toiletries, as well as pretty display space.

  • 5 of 20

    Entryway Drop Zone

    The right combination of furniture and accessories can create an efficient entryway, even if space is limited. Watch and see how it's done.

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    Stagger Shelves

    Uniform shelving units can push out into a small room, overpowering it and making it feel smaller than it really is. Instead, look for pieces that stair-step back the depth of the shelves, getting narrower at the top and lightening a room's look and feel.

  • 7 of 20

    Combine Cabinet Types

    Not all storage works the same: Doors and drawers each serve a purpose to stash different types of items, especially in heavy-traffic areas such as bathrooms. Even in tight spots, mix up the options -- here, a narrow drawer steals a few precious inches above the toilet -- to offer more storage options.

  • 8 of 20

    Include Out-in-the-Open Storage

    Very often we equate storage with closed doors and drawers, but smaller spaces may necessitate using spots that are in view. Consider grouping same-size items -- here, rolls of essential kitchen papers and wraps -- in a decorative storage piece that accents metals or hues in the room.

  • 9 of 20

    Rely on Double-Duty Furniture

    Pieces that can work in a variety of ways are a great fit for small-space storage. Home offices, for example, may be difficult to create out of limited square footage, but strategically placed bookshelves -- even those out in the open -- may offer practical and beautiful space. Here, a stool tucks under a work surface and a laptop folds out of the way. Small bins and baskets keep necessities stylishly contained.

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    Hide Your Storage

    Not all items to be stored need be in view. Furniture tricks -- here, a table skirt with a pretty pattern -- help to hide shelves, baskets, and the like for a clean look that still boosts storage.

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    Research Helpful Add-ons

    There's been an explosion in storage-minded products in recent years, and many of them work wonders in small spaces to keep clutter at bay. Look for single-storage items -- hair dryer hooks and specialized clothes bins, for example -- that can help you find homes for those things that are used daily but can easily live out of the way.

  • 12 of 20

    Pare Down

    Small spaces are great for getting back to the basics -- or the essentials -- and keeping less stuff (which, in turn, means less stuff to manage). Have only what is necessary for your family -- a set or two of towels, for example -- and replace items as they get worn or damaged. In addition, to maintain easy access to what you do have, subdivide open spaces for better organization.

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    Open Up Storage

    Cabinet doors take up square feet that may not be available in small spaces. Instead, opt for narrow or short shelves to gain extra surfaces to store that which is used most often -- plates, glasses -- in easy reach.

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    Think in Inches, Not Feet

    Some items are difficult to store, even if space isn't an issue. Jewelry collections, for example, tend to include a range of pieces that resist stashing in regular-size compartments. To save valuable drawers and shelves, look to walls for extra storage in a small space. Outfit an empty frame with a piece of cork and use pins to hang necklaces and bracelets. Install near a dressing area for easy access.

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    Add Incremental Storage

    To gain more storage out of small spaces, take a fresh look at surfaces. For example, a second tier of full-depth shelves or a secondary cabinet may not make practical sense. But a narrow addition such as this notched-back shelf can offer room for canisters that keep oft-used items close at hand.

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    Don't Discard Potential Storage

    A stool isn't just a stool when it comes to small-space storage: Here, it's a spot for extra washcloths and pint-size bathing essentials.

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    Hide Electronics

    For small rooms, counter and work-surface space comes at a premium. Instead of keeping all those essential tech pieces such as printers and scanners out in the line of sight, tuck them into sized-right drawers.

  • 18 of 20

    Use Your Windows

    Natural light is a boon in small spaces, helping to brighten dark corners and make tight rooms feel bigger. But windows can also gobble up potential storage spots. To get the best of both window-focused worlds, consider a strategy used in this kitchen: a mid-height shelf for a few short bowls, and a hanging rack near the ceiling for essential pots and pans.

  • 19 of 20

    DIY Bedroom Storage

    Pack more storage into your bedroom with a few clever DIY projects. Watch and see how!

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    Begin Slideshow »
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