29 Simple Storage Hacks for Small Spaces

So you've got into Spring Cleaning mode and decluttered your items, but still feel like you could store things more efficiently? We're here to tell you how to create and make the most of the space in a small house or flat. We’ve got storage hacks for every room to help you to banish clutter for good.

29 Simple Storage Hacks for Small Spaces

How to make more space in your room

When your bedroom is on the smaller side, how do you go about organising it? Read on for creative bedroom storage ideas that can help you maximise your space.

1. Depending on how much ‘design freedom’ you have in your bedroom (i.e. whether you own your home or are renting a furnished space), a raised bed can work wonders. There’s a world of possibility, with desks or even entire wardrobes below beds – kind of like an adult bunkbed. A more budget-friendly option is to make a bed base out of, for example, IKEA shelves or drawer units, and pop your mattress on top of those. For more ideas on managing your closet, have a look at our handy wardrobe hacks.

2. When it comes to your workspace, you can upcycle your desk to give it extra drawers by screwing baskets to the underside. (Make sure to check that you’re not cutting off your legroom first.) Or, if you’re in the mood for a bit of DIY, you can build your own desk. Buying a separate desk-top without legs or creating one out of simple wood is a good place to start. Then we suggest placing the desk surface on top of two identical-height, narrow drawers, filing cabinets or a vertical cube storage piece (like a second-hand IKEA Kallax, for example).

3. If you have a hobby that involves larger items, getting inventive with storage could really help you save space. Guitars mounted on wall holders become a funky art piece. Love exercising at home? We have a whole article on how to keep your gym and sports equipment neatly out of the way.

floating shelves

4. Another idea is to put up floating shelves anywhere you see dead space – within reason, of course. Generally, above doors, above windows and even above your bed are good locations for an extra shelf. This can go a long way in keeping your things out of the eye line.

Bathroom Storage Hacks

Bathroom storage hacks

With these handy bathroom storage ideas, you can make space without the need to renovate.

5. If your bathroom is a little tight for full shelves, try fixing small storage baskets to the wall. Small wicker or reed-style baskets look cutest, and you can attach them via a hook or screw. They’re useful for holding small cosmetics, products or even your toothbrush and toothpaste. Similarly, a basket above the toilet is a great place to store spare toilet rolls, freeing up cupboard space.

6. Over-door storage in your cupboard or behind the bathroom door can create more usable space. It’s perfect for hair tools or small towels.

7. No space on the wall for your hand towel? You can attach a loop or hook to the back of your bathroom door. It’s always closed when you’re in there, making this an accessible spot.

8. Finally, did you know that corner shelves aren’t just for corners? You can use them to hack under-sink storage. You’ll need two low, free-standing corner shelves positioned facing each other against the underside of your sink.

How to create storage space in a small house: the hallway

If you have a hallway, chances are it includes some unused space that could be used to store all kinds of handy things.

9. Houses and flats in the UK often have narrow hallways, and you might not want to reduce that space further by having a shoe rack. Adding simple metal hooks to your wall provides another simple shoe storage solution. You simply hang your shoes on the hooks and hey presto – a tidy floor!

10. Consider wall-mounting bikes, scooters and skateboards. They can have quite a footprint on your floor, so one of the handiest things to do is use bike wall racks or hooks. This comes with a slight warning that a dirty bike can lead to a dirty wall. So it’s a good idea to clean your bike outside before bringing it in.

11. The space above your door is easy to forget about. You can use a simple shelf above it to display decorations or to keep essentials like handbags.

Small Kitchen Storage Hacks

Small kitchen storage hacks

There are a lot of clever kitchen storage hacks out there to help you make the most of your space without compromising on your style or wallet.

12. Magnets are super-handy in the kitchen. You can attach a magnetic strip along the wall to make your metal implements, including knives, scissors and sharpeners, easy to access while prepping food. Similarly, you can attach magnets to non-magnetic items like wooden spoons and stick them to the side of the fridge for quick access.

13. You can create a homely farmhouse-kitchen vibe – and get your pans out of the way – by hanging them from a ceiling rack or hooks. If you need inspiration, check out pictures of old farmhouses and manor houses with pans suspended over the Aga or fire.

14. If your kitchen has drawers, you can maximise them with dividers. Expendable dividers are a popular choice, or you can make your own out of wood or MDF. These will make it easier to find what your looking for.

15. Another organisational hack we’ve borrowed from the world of ‘office supplies’ is using file folders and magazine racks as kitchen storage. A file holder can store pan lids, utensils or even the lids to food containers (finally, an end to the chaos). Magazine racks, on the other hand, are great for chopping boards and trays.

How to create storage space in a small house: the living room

Ideally, you want your living space to be cosy and uncluttered, giving you the right environment to have guests over. If you have a combined living and dining (and maybe even working) space, organising it creatively will help you to max out the space.

Folding Desk

16. A fold-away dining table is key to saving room in mixed-use areas. It’s useful to opt for a table that folds down at both ends into a narrow rectangle. Then you can push it against a wall or even move it behind a sofa when you’re not eating. Some tables even come with folding chairs that tuck in between the table legs when you aren’t using them. You could also mount your folding chairs on the wall with hooks. It’s a simple yet effective way to free up some floor space.

Ottoman

17. A bench seat or ottoman is a fantastic way to double-up your space. It can seat up to two people and you can use it to hide away items.

18. Fold-down is a real theme when it comes to saving space. If you need a desk in your living space, a folding desk is a great solution.

19. Alternatively, if you have an alcove, you don’t need to find a desk that precisely fits the space. Instead, you can simply fit a wide plank or shelf at desk-height and get a desk chair with a fold down back. In the evenings, the desk chair can slide under your desk shelf while you relax.

20. If you live in an older house, you might have an old, non-functioning fireplace or – better still – a large, square cut-out where a fireplace used to be. This space can be filled with décor, but why not make it work harder? Small shelves inside the ex-fireplace can be used to store books. A large fireplace hole is a perfect spot to tuck a cat or dog bed. They’ll feel nice and cosy, like they’re in a den. (Obviously, we don’t recommend trying this with a gas fire or still-open fireplace.)

outdoor storage

Outdoor space storage hacks

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, yard, balcony or other outdoor space, you probably want to make the most of it for relaxing (rather than using it for storage). Here are some hacks to keep your outdoor items under control.

21. The most obvious place to start is looking for a tiny outdoor storage cabinet, box or mini shed. You can use this to house anything from pet supplies and garden tools to outdoor adventure gear. The best way to double-up on that space is to make it a low, wide storage cabinet or bench so you can top it with a cushion and sit on it in summer. This works well on balconies, too.

22. For super-compact spaces, you can use a storage crate turned on its side as a seat and still have space underneath for storing wellies or tools.

23. If you’ve got green fingers but not a lot of green space, try growing vertically. Pallets can become planters and double as trellises. Or you can get hanging planters, plant ladders and plant shelves for garden walls. If you have second-hand shelves, you could also give them a new life as a vertical planter.

24. You might want a table for drinks or alfresco snacks, but don’t have the room. Don’t worry – you can make your own fold-down garden table with just a pallet, a masonry drill and a YouTube tutorial on fold-down pallet bars or drop-down tables. For a balcony, you can get a tray or tiny table that hooks over the outer balcony rail. When you’re not using it, you can tuck it under that bench or crate seat you’ve just created.

Garage Storage Hacks

Garage storage hacks

To make the most of a garage, it’s handy to use the wall and ceiling storage space.

25. Wire shelves and baskets make perfect garage shelving solutions when mounted to the wall. You can use them for tools and pet food, for example.

26. Dual-purpose wire shelves, with hooks or rails on the underside, are also great for storing all the things you need to keep in the garage – whether that’s tents and outdoor gear, sports equipment or tools.

27. You can store long-handled tools such as brooms, rakes and even fishing rods inside heavy-duty tubes. Alternatively, you can mount a storage rack on the wall or create your own. You can use some plywood as a shelf, cutting holes or slots that are the size of the tool handles. The head of the tool, like the shovel or the broom, sits above the hole, holding it up.

28. You can create ceiling storage using PVC pipes and fittings to make a lightweight rack that can be screwed to the ceiling. Or you can construct wooden rails that will hold up storage boxes or gear like a tent.

29. If you need or would like a workbench for DIY but can’t fit a hefty, traditional bench in your garage – perhaps because you need the space for your car – it’s time to get creative. Using wooden brackets, hinges and a sturdy piece of wood to be the bench, you can create a super fold-down surface for doing DIY projects on the weekend. For more tips on arranging your garage, check out our ultimate guide to organising your garage.

We hope you’re feeling inspired by our storage hacks for small spaces. Having a look at shelves and other storage furniture on Gumtree is an excellent starting point if you’re ready to optimise the space in your small home.