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Home improvements: The best ways to maximise home storage & space

Prices on houses in the UK have risen by £18,000 in the past year according to government figures; young professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to get themselves on the property ladder and those living in London might as well forget personal space as they squeeze themselves into £900 a month shared rooms.

The rising house prices are definitely a cause for concern, but on the other hand, the lack of room many are facing in their expensive properties means people are forced to become more savvy with the space they do have. If you’re a creative that wants to utilize their space more efficiently without resorting to IKEA’s finest, we’ve spoken to removals and storage expert of over 40 years, Mike McCarthy, about how best to get the most out of every nook and cranny in your home.

Move away from the traditional closet
If you’re proud of your wardrobe, why not put it on display? One of the best ways you can combat a lack of space in the bedroom is by doing away with traditional wardrobes and cupboards. Beautiful free standing rails are available cheaply at places like IKEA, although they don’t give you folding drawers, they do free up the space above and give the illusion of a bigger room. If you’re feeling a little more creative, experiment with rails that hang from the ceiling if you have limited room on the ground or an awkwardly shaped bedroom.

Utilize space under the stairs

It’s an obvious one, but utilizing the space under the stairs is an absolute must if you’re short on space. Get creative too, it doesn’t have to be the place you store boring bits like the Hoover, or spare toilet roll. Instead, turn it into a reading space; deck it with cushions and comforts in order to create the most comfortable haven possible. Alternatively, if you’re still after a place to stash the things you want to hide away, make the most of the space by adding shelves, drawers and hooks.

Replace doors

This tip isn’t necessarily about storage, but more about opening up the space you do have. If you live in an extremely small house with compartmental style rooms one of the best things you can do is with the doors. By changing conventional doors to sliding doors, you can give the illusion of a luxurious open plan apartment; you can close them for privacy but open them to air out the building or in the summer to get as much light to the main space as possible. You’ll end up with the best of both worlds and installing a sliding door isn’t as costly as you might think.

Shelves, shelves, shelves

A lot of people underestimate the importance of shelving in their home; you would assume that too many would make the space look cluttered, but actually, drawing the eye upwards to well organised shelves creates the illusion of a much bigger environment. One of the best places to utilise this is the kitchen, invest in some open cupboards instead of closed off ones and watch as the room size increases. You could also get some different coloured acrylic and build your own shelves to give your room more storage and colour! Book cases are another good way of sorting your possessions; invest in a small one for the hallway or a full sized one for the living room, they are a great way of displaying items other than books too!

Hang Utensils

One of the worst things about having a small kitchen is finding a suitable place to store all your awkwardly sized kitchen utensils. Stacking pots and pans can, over time, ruin them and forget finding a good place to put that juicer you used all of once. If you’ve got a small kitchen with limited surface room, one of the best ways to save precious space in the cupboards is by hanging everything you can. You can get a clothes dryer for relatively cheap and having your pans and spoons hanging above you when cooking is a lot less time consuming than rummaging through your packed kitchen drawers.

Low-sitting Furniture

So you’ve not got much room in your living room? One of the easiest ways, although probably not the cheapest, is to invest in some low-sitting furniture. One of the major problems with new builds as opposed to the long lasting Georgian houses we’ve come to love and admire, is that they all have low ceilings. The lower your furniture sites in contrast in the centre of the room, the more perceived space you’ll have, giving you the perfect opportunity to get those shelves up or bring in floor-to-ceiling bookcases.

Main image credit: Suijten