Clever storage ideas for growing families

Clever storage ideas for growing families

Last updated: 21/01/2022

Space is a precious commodity in your home. And this becomes more apparent as it starts to vanish. If you’ve also got a growing family, it may seem like the walls are starting to close in.

So how can you reclaim this space? Here are a few smart storage ideas which could help you declutter and create more room in your family home.

Add open shelving

One of the best ways to create more storage capacity is to use vertical space. Any area of free wall space is potentially usable, and you can combine storage with décor.

Shelving is a good place to start. This can be added to almost any room, it’s cheap to buy, and you can put it up yourself.

Increasingly, open shelving is being used to make a feature of items which would have previously been hidden away behind cupboard doors. For example, you could put shelves above the washing machine , and put your laundry essentials into containers such as glass jars. You could also have labelled baskets for different types of laundry.

Think about areas that don’t get used, such as the wall space above doorways. These are ideal spots to store books , or items which aren’t in everyday use. You could even go round the whole door, and add some plants to liven things up .

utility room storage

Image from Decor Scan

Incorporate storage into your furniture

Many a child has ‘tidied’ their bedroom by shoving all their clutter under the bed, and hoped their parents won’t notice. But in some ways, it’s quite a smart idea. Underneath the bed is a prime spot for storage, after all.

If you don’t already have drawers in your bed, you can use plastic containers for out-of-season clothing. You could even use wheeled crates  to make it easy to roll them in and out. 

Before investing in new containers, be sure to measure the space under the bed, to maximise the volume, and avoid getting anything too big for the gap.

And there are plenty more items of furniture which can be used to stash your things. You can use a modern cabinet or chest of drawers as your TV stand, and use it to store your, films, music , games and other entertainment. Coffee tables with multiple tiers or drawers are also handy, and ottoman footstools can be used to store blankets.

wheeled under-bed storage

Image by Jaime Costiglio

Make storage fun in children’s rooms

Storage needn’t be just about ‘putting stuff away’. Getting the right multipurpose storage furniture in kids’ rooms can turn it into a fun art or play project (or both!). For example, the highly configurable Trofast range from Ikea – perhaps combined with a chalkboard wall – can bring about fabulous results.

Along the open shelving lines, you could repurpose storage such as old bookcases or DVD units. You might even get your kids to spray paint them for an added personal touch. Once dried, fix them to unused wall space, such as around windows or doors. Then your children can make a display using their favourite things.

The bed itself could also accommodate plenty of storage. You could get a high sleeper, for instance, which could have a built-in desk . Or you could go all out, by installing a mezzanine level. Two rooms in one!

children's bedroom storage

Image from IKEA

Organise your wardrobe

Overstuffed, unruly wardrobes are a common household feature. To maximise wardrobe space and prevent overspill, there are a few simple steps you can take. And the first is to get everything out, and get rid of anything you don’t use. If there’s anything other than occasional formal wear that you haven’t worn in the last 12 months, you know what to do – sell or give to charity.

Now the wardrobe’s empty, you can give it a good clean, and visualise how you plan to organise wardrobe 2.0. You can help to make best use of the space by getting some wardrobe organisers , which can be picked up nice and cheap. Again, even if you’re not into Ikea, it’s really good for this kind of thing. And an over-the-door shoe rack will make the most of the back of the wardrobe door.

Once it’s time to put everything back in, be sure to group like with like, and keep the clothes you wear most frequently near the front. You might also find it useful to group clothes by season.

wardrobe organisers

Image from The Every Girl

Add storage to your hallway and use space under the stairs

As passageways to your main rooms, landings and hallways are frequently underused. As such, they’re perfect for maximising your storage potential.

You could install a shoe cabinet , for instance. These can tuck in surprisingly tightly to the wall, and can store a good amount of shoes out of sight. If you’re looking for inspiration, Argos has a good range of shoe cupboards and racks.

Or you could install an outdoor-clothes cabinet , with an area for each family member – with sections for hats, coats and shoes, for instance. Again, this makes the most of the vertical space.

The area under your staircase is a potential home for a surprising volume of bits and bobs. If you don’t have an under-stairs cupboard, you can make yourself stylish shelving for a range of different possessions. Or go one step further, and convert it into a desk area. 

Finding places for all your belongings can seem overwhelming, particularly with a growing family and ever-changing demands on your house and what you need from it. But these small changes and additions can make a big difference and let you make the most of your home. 

Once you’ve thought through some of these options, you’ll be in a good position to speak to a professional and potentially get going on your very own loft conversion.

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