How to Remodel to Add Storage

Need more storage and planning a remodel? Here’s how to combine the two to get a more beautiful, more practical home.

Take Advantage of Your Home’s Structure
Your home may have little nooks and crannies that you see as less than ideal. But they may, in fact, be the best solutions to your storage conundrums. For example, you might think that floor-to-ceiling storage is the only way to maximize organization, but even shorter spots — here, a space that reaches only to the sloped ceiling — offer loads of traditional-depth drawer space, and slim open shelves are perfect for narrow baskets and a television.

Improve Storage in a Mudroom
Remodeling to add storage doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple shelf and a bench/drawer unit offer sit-down and stash-it spots inside this home’s entryway.

Plan For Better Kitchen Storage and Include Helpful Extras
Sometimes extras might not fit into your lifestyle. For example, if you’re not a frequent cook, then a knife drawer may not be a good fit. But for those daily-use areas that end up as magnets for disorganization — keys and wallets, for example — consider amenities that offer quick ways for you to store more with little effort.

Transform Nooks
We all have a tendency to stuff as much storage as we can into any remodeling project, whether it’s small-scale or grand in nature. But more storage often begets more chaos, and sometimes the just-right amount isn’t overdone at all. This transformation of a charming nook — with pretty patterned wallpaper and a vintage desk and chair — needed only a few baskets for day-to-day paperwork as well as a corkboard for important reminders. The resulting combination is a pitch-perfect redo of an otherwise ignored nook.

Add Storage for Technology
Cords, printers, chargers, routers: They’re all a fact of 21st-century family life. And while tech offers lots of usefulness for day-to-day needs, its visual appearance can be less than desirable. Built-in storage in high-traffic areas can help: Have drawers and doors installed with cutouts or built-in outlets in the back to hide cords.

Keep Your Best Finds Out in the Open
Remodeling for storage may mean that you think differently about your stuff and how to store it. For example, many people put their little-used items away, bringing them out only on special occasions and days. If your newfound storage offers open spots that are unusual, too, consider grouping similar colors or same-function items together. Who knows: You might end up using them more, too.

Include Shoe Storage
Sometimes during renovations, slim spaces feel too small for traditional closets with hanging bars and hooks. They can, however, be great spots for oft-used items that everyone needs access to — say, shoes. Here, a narrow hidden niche beside more built-in storage offers plentiful space for floor-to-ceiling shoes.

Use Storage as Display
Remodeling for storage doesn’t have to be boring and hidden from view. Collections deserve the spotlight, and well-done storage is a great way to add beautiful practicality. This pretty nook — filled with loads of flea market finds — is the just-right depth for a single-file display of treasures.

Add Hardworking Garage Storage
Although we use them multiple times each day, garages rarely get the kind of storage love that they deserve. Durable products and simple installation can make quick work of a remodeling redo to add practical spots for everything from coolers to tools to holiday ornaments. Go for shelves of varying widths and lengths, as well as multiple hooks and adjustability to change the height of extras as needed.

Plan Out Storage Before a Remodel
Some people finish a remodel, then fit items to the storage they’ve created. You can take a different approach: Think through all the items you need to stash in your remodel, then create cabinets to fit everything, including those odd-size items such as awkward-height and slender cleaning essentials.

Add Shelves Without Building
Remodeling projects are often intended to take the humdrum out of our spaces, either with inventive details, bright colors, or much-needed practicality. If a renovation budget is limited, it’s OK to add storage with creative reuse of furniture. Here, a vintage shelving unit — repurposed for dining-room-smart storage — gets a fresh coat of bright paint, better to draw attention to the delightfully detailed elements.

Capture Lost Spaces
Getting more storage from your home remodel involves thinking differently about those unusual spaces. Instead of losing inches, you can gain them for accessible storage that actually works better to help you find and organize essentials. This bath cabinet — adjacent to a countertop — is just deep enough for single rows of bottles and boxes, making items easy to find.

Look Low for More Storage
Storage experts will tell you that every square inch counts, including those almost-out-of-sight spots near the floor. Awkward items that are slim or oversize are a good match for those spaces: Consider taking drawers down to the floor for easy pullouts that keep clutter at bay.

Try Open Storage
Remodeling to add storage can be a spendy proposition, so cost-cutting ideas may help you gain extra space without extra investment. This narrow bath nook — just a cutout into an otherwise dead area, with a few shelves for good measure — offers a good spot for necessities such as a laundry hamper and pretty storage baskets.

Reach for the Ceiling
You may feel as though fewer square feet may not allow you to include much useful storage, but this charming bedroom with maxed-out nooks and crannies shows otherwise. Closet doors take up valuable square feet; consider eliminating them for fabric coverings. Open cubbies, taken up to the ceiling, offer spots for little-used items.

Get Storage Off the Floor
Storage experts will tell you that floors are magnets for clutter. If you’re revamping a closet, try lifting several storage units up off the floor to help better keep items in drawers and on shelves.

Transform Your Basement for Storage
Even if you can’t carve out your whole basement for livable storage, you might be able to remodel a small area for a bonus room. Here, loads of storage and a desk make this open-to-the-yard spot an unmatched work station. In place of additional built-ins, a symmetrical storage unit fits neatly into a middle-depth nook across from the work surface.

Create a Mudroom
Sometimes homeowners get hung up on having the exact space for a specific need. But a creative eye can help you carve out go-to spots in your home that add storage you’ll use on a day-to-day basis. Case in point: This corner nook-turned-mudroom. It’s not just inside the door as many such spots are, but this nook — intended for a closet — was outfitted with cubbies, hooks, and hidden storage under the bench cushion.

Add Surface Space for Work Time
Having more space to work often equals more storage — even flexible baskets that stash oft-used items. In a kitchen or home office, consider repurposing a table for a bar-height gathering spot.

Grab Odds and Ends
When planning for remodeling that includes storage, there should be no such thing as wasted space. That includes outward-facing ends of cabinets. Add sensible details — here, a plate rail to hold display-worthy heirlooms — and interesting color touches, too, such as this pop of a muted neutral as a backdrop.

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