Yes, we said it... the dreaded spring clean. Before spending time and money on storage solutions, you should always have a thorough cull of your wardrobe and belongings to see what you need and what you forgot you even owned. If you're struggling to part with clothes, throw the "maybe" pile into a separate box and give yourself three months to see if you use them. If, after this, they're still not getting any love, you know it's time to send them packing! If they're in good nick, offer them to friends or pop them in an opportunity shop charity bin so they can go to another happy owner.
All of those out-of-season clothes and extra sheets and blankets can be vacuum-packed in special storage bags to save a whole lot of space.
Install a few shelves above the toilet in your bathroom to store bathmats and towels. By keeping these visible, they will not only be easily accessible to guests, but won't get musty sitting in an airless cupboard.
Pop into your local discount store and check out their range of stackable plastic boxes. These come in all sizes, usually with wheels attached. They can be used to store old toys and books and let you clear the clutter from your living area. Opt for clear sides so you can see exactly what's in there without having to open each box — and save yourself the hassle of wrestling it down from a high storage cupboard!
Have you ever considered how much space your shoes take up? While we all love having our prized heels on display (ok, maybe our hubbies don't... ) there are many great ways to keep them accessible without taking up half the bedroom. Browse your local homewares storage store for clear, stackable boxes which are open at one end to slide the shoes in and out. Alternatively, consider investing in a hanging shoe organiser you can fit into your wardrobe, or even a rack that allows you to hang your heels vertically.
Take a tour through your house -- maybe invite a friend for an objective eye -- to discover the neglected areas and see if you can put these to good use. An empty spot under the stairs? Add a cabinet. A gap beside the bed? Add a bookshelf. Compact storage solutions come in so many different shapes and sizes, you'll no doubt be able to find some great pieces to fit your home's style. If you've got a raised bed, you'll probably find that you can fit some storage boxes under there too — it's the perfect spot for extra linen.
Check out interior design magazines and websites for some great images of space-saving ideas put to use. Apartment Therapy is a fantastic resource, and even has a dedicated section for small spaces. Five minutes on there will give you plenty of wonderful ideas!
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