How to Get Extra Storage Space from Your Furniture

I enjoy watching shows like House Hunters on the Home and Garden Channel because… well, I’m a dork. I also write about home and garden topics for my websites, and I often get ideas from magazines and shows on HGTV.

One of the things I’ve noticed is that whenever they show people’s closets, those closets are always stuffed–sometimes overflowing–with clothes, shoes, sports paraphernalia, and all sorts of miscellaneous household items. We are a society of hoarders, and we’re all on a quest for more storage space.

Sound like you?

Before you head out to rent a huge storage unit (those monthly rental fees sure do add up), see if you can find more ways to store your items around the house. Ideally those ways shouldn’t make your home look more cluttered. It’s all about hidden storage.

A great way to add hidden storage is by buying furniture that does double duty. On the obvious side, a piece of furniture can be a perfectly functional coffee table, ottoman, or bed, but then voila: you open it up to reveal a secret storage space.

Coffee Tables Are Ideal Storage Spots

You can browse online for lots of coffee table ideas, but if you’re thinking storage, stick to the ones that offer items such as sliding baskets beneath the tabletop, drawers or cabinets that hide spacious nooks, or pull-out ottomans that can increase seating when guests visit.

Avoid coffee tables with open shelves below the tabletop, as these tend to look cluttered when you actually use them (and they collect dust).

Ottomans Can Be Storage Pieces

When it comes to ottomans or footrests, don’t buy a piece that’s nothing more than a place to prop your legs or seat guests. For storage purposes, choose one with a top that opens to reveal a hidden cubby inside. These often spacious nooks can be used for tucking away anything from blankets to seasonal slip covers.

Beds with Storage

In the bedroom, you can get a lot of mileage by buying a bed with built in storage underneath.

Usually the area beneath the mattresses is just wasted space that collects dust bunnies. By purchasing a bed with built in drawers (such as a captain’s bed), you can greatly increase your practical storage space in the bedroom. Hint: a taller bed means more storage room underneath it.

You may also consider all-in-one bedroom pieces that include shelves in the headboard and attached nightstand (these take up less room than detached pieces).

If buying a new bed isn’t in the budget, then pick up a few low boxes that can easily be slipped in and out beneath your existing bed. This can be a great spot to store off-season clothes and shoes, as well as extra bedding. If you’re handy with tools, you can also build something on casters that is easy to roll in and out.

And finally…

You need not limit yourself to coffee tables, ottomans, and beds when it comes to buying furniture with integrated storage either. The too-much-stuff syndrome, which affects so many of us, is being acknowledged by many designers, and every day there are more and more pieces of smart furniture on the market, pieces that can do double duty in your house and help bring you more storage space.