How to Create More Storage Space in Your Home

Organized shelves in kitchen

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It's rare that you ever hear of anyone complaining about having too many closets. Storage spaces are at a premium in most homes, so it’s important to learn how to work with the spaces you already have.

Here's a list of top tips and tricks to help you create extra storage space in your home.

  • 01 of 07

    Get Rid of Stuff

    Clothing donation box

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    The first step in creating more storage space in your home is to get rid of the stuff that you’re not using. The best way to maximize your space is to learn how to declutter.

    There are so many reasons to declutter. Clutter costs you all the time you spend looking for things. It also costs you money if you end up buying the things you already have but can't find in the clutter. Regularly decluttering is a key step in maximizing storage spaces. 

    The best way to declutter your home is to go room by room. Break up large or complicated rooms into zones which allows you to stay organized. Then, work quickly and decide which items to toss or keep. Consider a donation or consignment for items you're tossing instead of tossing them in the trash.

  • 02 of 07

    Use Better Storage Solutions

    Mother and daughters organize with plastic containers

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    A good storage solution creates more space and streamlines your organization by grouping like items together. That way, everything has a proper "home."

    Professional organizers recommend using clear plastic containers. Clear storage containers will allow you to see inside the container, easily saving you precious time when quickly trying to retrieve an item from storage. A more decorative basket is great for your living spaces like dens and bedrooms. Make sure you label these containers for easy retrieval later, especially if you’re using them in a storage space like the basement, attic, or in the back of a closet. Even if your storage containers are clear, a label will speed up item retrieval.

  • 03 of 07

    Maximize Your Prime Real Estate

    Woman reaching in shelf in well-organized closet

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    Your prime real estate is the space in between your knees and your shoulders, says professional organizer Lisa Zaslow of Gotham Organizers. In other words, the best spaces are the easiest places to reach.

    The classic rules apply here: If something is out of sight, it's out of mind, so keep your most frequently used items in prime real estate zones. Think about what you reach for most often and store it where you see it often.

  • 04 of 07

    Think Vertically

    Entryway Clutter

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    Don't discount the space above your head and at your feet. They are great places to store out-of-season, holiday, little-used, and worn items. Take advantage of higher spaces by investing in a sturdy step ladder so you can reach these areas. Don't store anything too heavy up above. Boxes full of books or large appliances should stay low to the ground. For higher spaces, use small containers and keep them lightweight. You won't be hurt if they happen to come crashing down on you.

    For the space near the floor, use plastic storage containers. They stack well and they make it easier to find everything from shoes to gift wrap.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Choose the Right Products for Your Spaces

    Man measures closet space

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    Triple measure your storage spaces (like the inside of a closet door) before buying bins, trays, or racks. Storage products should fit your space so they are easy to access. Plan ahead and carry a note card with the measurements of your closets and other storage spaces in your wallet. Buy products that nest or stack together so they will stay neat.

  • 06 of 07

    Label for Easy Retrieval

    Label for Later
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    The uses for label makers are endlessly. Labels give your home organization efforts a polished and professional look. If you don’t own a label maker, a set of sharpie pens, tape, and some note cards work just as well.

    How to Label


    When labeling storage items, start with broad categories to begin ("socks"). Then adjust labels to more narrow categories ("black socks") as you see fit.

  • 07 of 07

    Take Advantage of Off-Site Storage

    DIY storage unit alternatives
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    While decluttering and organize your storage spaces, you may find that you have a ton of items you need to store. Renting an off-site storage unit for a short time could be your best bet. This option is also particularly helpful if you're in between moves or recently downsizing and are waiting to host an epic tag sale or estate sale. Just keep an eye on your fees.