Household storage is a major issue for many of us, especially with more of us living in compact flats, houseshares and new-builds, which often have a smaller footprint than older family homes.


If you feel like your clothes, books, kitchenware, and just general... well, stuff... are starting to overflow and your current storage units are bursting at the seams, this guide is for you! Read on to discover our top tips for maximising the storage capacity of your home, no matter how small.

Storage solutions for small spaces

Identify unused spaces

Vicky lightened the room with Farrow & Ball’s Lime White and White Tie, which draws the eye to her alcove of treasures

If you're looking to unlock some extra storage space, your first port of call should be to look for any unused nooks or crannies which could be repurposed. Obviously you don't want to overcrowd your space, but you'd be surprised by how often there's an empty corner or two with bags of potential even in the smallest homes, especially if you consider moving furniture around.

For instance, could an unused alcove or recess house a slimline unit or some extra shelves? Don't let awkward angles put you off - bespoke shelving can be adapted to accommodate all kinds of spaces. You can even make your own if your DIY skills are up to it!

Why not check out our coat storage ideas for making the most of your hallway space?

Search out slimline storage units

Penelope Grey Hairpin Tall Cabinet

Finding storage units suitable for small rooms can be a headache, but the good news is that space-saving solutions are very much on the radar for manufacturers these days, so you're spoilt for choice when it comes to sleek, slimline furniture designed to slot into smaller spaces.

Shelving, drawers or cupboards with a shallow depth will take up far less space - and reduce the number of painful collisions as you walk past! - while still offering plenty of storage room. You could even use a radiator cover with a built-in shelf for additional slim storage.

Besides a slim profile, look for units that are tall rather than wide, making use of your room's height rather than taking up precious floor space.

Invest in multifunctional furniture

Laggan Upholstered Ottoman Bed,

Furniture takes up a lot of square feet in the average home, so it makes sense to seek out items which double as storage solutions, like the mirror and shelving combo unit below, which provides a handy home for cosmetics and toiletries. Mirrored bathroom cabinets are already a staple, but why not try it in the bedroom, too?

Shelving Wall Mirror, Next

Some of these are simple, tried-and-tested favourites - for instance, opting for a lidded storage bench or ottoman which offers you extra seating while offering concealed space for everything from blankets to books. But there are also plenty of manufacturers producing smart modern multifunctional takes on all kinds of furniture, from desks which transform into dining tables to floor lamps with built-in shelving.

Make the most of 'dead' space

Bromley Wheeled Underbed Storage
Bromley Wheeled Underbed Storage, Dunelm

'Dead' space in your home refers to those little areas which are typically unused, and often located within or around existing furniture. The classic example is the space underneath beds - so many of us leave them empty, even when space is at a premium. Luckily, we've got a whole feature on smart ways to use underbed storage to get you inspired!

Other common dead space zones within your home might include the backs of doors, which can be utilised for hanging storage systems, or the lower part of a wardrobe - unless you have loads of floor-length dresses, there's often space at the bottom for shoe racks or boxes.

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Opt for moveable units

Industriel Trolley on castors

If one of your household conundrums is you can't find a spot for any new storage solutions that wouldn't feel 'in the way', then a moveable unit might be the answer! Look for wheeled furniture such as a kitchen trolley or drawers on castors. That way, you'll be able to quickly move the unit out of the way if needed for access or extra space, whisking it away easily to a more convenient corner of your home.

Maximise your understairs storage

Home makeover: 'We’ve proved that small is beautiful!'
Niamh has made the most of the area under the stairs – it houses a fridge and freezer, pull-out pantry units and practical drawers. On the side facing the garden, open shelving and a broom cupboard provide further storage. The units were built by her builder, Ciocan Construction.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have room under the stairs, but if you live in a home which follows this traditional layout, are you making the most of your understairs space?

Our guide to understairs storage ideas will let you in on some ingenious ways to transform this valuable area. From the modular units to bespoke built-in storage units, there's a whole world of clever solutions beyond the classic understairs cupboard.

Re-imagine your home's layout

‘Previously, the kitchen was very small and closed off from the rest of the house – not very practical for family living,’ Jade recalls. ‘Moving it to the middle of the house made more sense, as we could have a large, open-plan space with an island and lots of storage.’
‘Previously, the kitchen was very small and closed off from the rest of the house – not very practical for family living,’ Jade recalls. ‘Moving it to the middle of the house made more sense, as we could have a large, open-plan space with an island and lots of storage.’

While options like slimline units and underbed storage boxes can help you make the most of your existing space, have you considered whether changing the layout of your home could provide a permanent solution? For instance, reader Sarah was able to double her small kitchen's storage capacity simply by removing a door to open it onto the dining room - the more open design made it possible to extend the kitchen units without making the room feel cramped. Read about her kitchen makeover here.

Reconfiguring your home might not be possible, depending on the amount of work needed and your budget, it may not be practical either. However, it's worth taking some time to think carefully about your current layout and any changes, large or small, that might unlock some extra space. If you identify any ideas, your next step would be to consult a builder to work out exactly what would need to be done and any building regulations you'll need to bear in mind.


More storage ideas

Hammered Gold Metal Storage Trunks Set of Two


Rebecca MessinaEditor,

Rebecca is the Digital Editor of Your Home and HomeStyle