Perform a quick search on Instagram or Pinterest for “storage ideas” or “organization tips” and you’ll find post after post, pin after pin, of rainbow-hued pantries organized in aesthetically pleasing and perfectly labeled containers or refrigerators bursting with raw produce, all enticingly arranged in just-right bowls, trays and jars. But do any of these systems really work?
As tempting as those picture-perfect pantries are, storage systems are subjective and should be based on how you live, particularly in petite homes where every square foot (nay, inch!) counts. Here, we outline some trending solutions to streamline your storage in the three rooms where clutter loves to collect the most.
In the Kitchen: Appliance Garage
Air fryers, Instant Pots, Keurigs, pellet ice machines and more … the list goes on. Modern technology has led to some delicious innovations in the kitchen but also more countertop clutter than ever. The solution may be something old school.
Enter: the appliance garage. This clever system for stashing counter-hogging kitchen devices (and their pesky cords) is trending again as technology plays a greater role in the kitchen than ever before. These special “garages” take the form of a large, counter-height cabinet where you can store everything from a stand mixer to an espresso machine (often at the same time). Modern designs ditch the roll-up door for chic cabinet panels that blend seamlessly with the rest of the kitchen. Outlets dial up the functionality (particularly as a coffee station), and if your cabinet is tall enough, interior shelves max out your storage.
In the Bathroom: Sneaky Storage
Compact bathrooms call for a little creativity. Think on a micro-scale, and forget square feet: Where can you squeeze in a few more square inches? It could make all the difference.
Start under the sink. No matter your setup, there is storage space to spare. (Yes, even pedestal sinks!) Fake it with a wall-mounted sink cabinet that goes around the base or a pair of inverted corner shelves around the pipe. For vanities, if you’re not using shelves and drawers under the sink, you’re leaving storage space on the table. Insertable drawers come in an endless array of setups so you can strategize for what you need to store—whether that’s styling tools, cleaning supplies, backup bath and body products, linens or otherwise.
Go behind the mirror. Medicine cabinets are a given, but are you missing storage space behind your full-length mirror? Whether over-the-door or standalone, mirrors made with jewelry storage in mind can work double duty for makeup and other small toiletries.
Look in the nooks and crannies. In between cabinets or beside the toilet, if you’ve got dead space that’s even just 5 inches wide, you’ve got the potential for storage. Slender rolling shelves offer a sneaky and strategic way to hide toilet paper and other bathroom essentials and open up valuable storage options elsewhere for more frequently reached-for items.
In Bonus Spaces: Bookshelf Boundaries
The advent of remote work changed the way we live in, decorate and lay out our homes.
Design trends show an increase in dedicated spaces within the home — for work, exercise, play and more. But for homes that now need to pull double-duty but don’t have the luxury of a complete remodel or the square footage for more rooms, the simple addition of smart and chic shelf storage can be enough to create the illusion of dedicated “zones.” On top of that, shelves are the simplest way to boost your storage and display space. Etageres set the stage for an elegant display of treasures, awards, books and more, while units with drawers and cabinets offer a convenient place to stash unsightly office supplies, papers and other clutter.
In modestly sized homes, even the smallest strategy can have a big impact. Start with these spaces, and you’ll be well on your way to a home that’s efficient in size and function.