Increasing Your House’s Storage Capacity
Houses and apartments are getting smaller and smaller, while our belongings usually grow in size overtime. Before long, our house can look more like a warehouse if we don’t do things to keep our belongings neatly organized.
So how do we do it in our house? Below are the things we exercise:
Double-function your electrical panel cabinet as shoe / umbrella rack. When we measure our electrical panel, hidden inside a cabinet by our living room, we noticed that it could fit some shoes. We spent US$10 to buy two plastic shoe racks that fit that cabinet perfectly, and it hosted 18 pairs of shoes plus four umbrellas. No more shoes scattered outside the door!
Always, always, always, install deep multilevel shelves in your store room. When we first moved, we put everything on the floor of the store room. It took us almost an hour to find one little thing in there and probably another hour to get them out of the store room and back, simply because there was absolutely no floor space for us to move around, and all things were just dumped on top of each other. Then we spent US$230on a 60-cm deep (2 feet deep) five-level shelves, and that was a very worthwhile investment! It increased our store room’s capacity by fourfold, and it takes a mere seconds to find anything because things are now organized according to use (beddings go to one corner, suitcases another shelf, etc)
Keep those takeaway containers! I never throw them away, first because I can re-use them to put food that I plan to give away to other people so they don’t have to give me back the box. Second, because they can be used to separate your different items in a drawer … one box for your lipsticks, one box for eye shadows, one for bracelets, another one for your nail polishes. Something like that. Notice the difference in my sink cabinet, before and after I organize them using used containers.
- Divide your drawers into section. I put my underwear in a drawer, divided into sections … black goes with black, the whites grouped together, the swimming suits go into another part of the same drawer. To prevent these little items from being mixed up, I cut cardboard boxes to make dividers. You can also use small shoe boxes, or any small-sized boxes, to do this.
Put those laundry detergents on a nice box or rack. I used to put all my detergents, bleach and softener on the floor next to the washing machine. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing, as well I need to bend down multiple times to grab them, not ideal because I have a back problem. So I went to Ikea and spent … like … US$8 on a plastic rack with wheels. It’s the perfect size to keep my detergent, stain remover, softener and laundry bags (those bags I use to keep my socks, underwears and delicates so they don’t get ruined during the machine spin).
- Lastly, scan every corner of your house every three months, see which items you no longer need, which ones are expired or broken beyond repair. Get into the habit of handing over the things you no longer want but still usable, and chuck the ones that are broken into the recycling bin. Without doing this religiously, all the aforementioned tips won’t help you maintain sufficient storage space in your house, no matter how big your place is 🙂
- If you want to take tips #6 even one step further, get into the habit of “buy 1 get rid of 1”. For every new cloth that I put on a hanger, one piece of clothing has to go be given away so I don’t cramp my wardrobe beyond its capacity. This tips won’t just maintain the number of belongings that you need to store, but more importantly, it will train you to firstly look at your current belongings and weigh whether or not you really need that something new to add to what you already have .. before going to buy it.