No matter how big your home is, there’s never quite enough space for everything. However, the vast majority of homes come complete with two fantastic areas to store all the clutter. The attic and the basement can give the rest of your home a bit of breathing space, by taking the brunt of the junk.
But, even they can soon become cramped if you just throw everything in without a plan. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to maximize the space in your attic and basement and find a place for everything. Before you start, it’s important to clear out both spaces and ensure they’re well ventilated, clean, easy to access, and well lit.
Use the Angles in Your Attic
Most of us tend to throw endless boxes into the attic, in the hope that we will never run out of space. The main reason is that both the attic and the basement are often a bit awkward to work with. With all those angles, slopes, and unfinished walls and floors, at first glance, it’s not all that practical. However, you can put those angles to work in numerous ways.
A long shelf or two running along the wall just beneath the angle of the roof is a great solution for storing smaller items. It can be a good place for tools and appliances you don’t use too often, such as a sewing machine, electric drill, or even spare dishes. Beneath these shelves, you still have plenty of space for winter boots and shoes, flip-flops, or boxes of miscellaneous items. With this system, you can fit tons of objects, effectively without taking up any floor space or intruding into the main part of the room.
This space is also great for storing excess clothes, and fitting a rail will enable you to hang clothes in the same way you would with a closet. Those other awkward spaces, triangular slots where a square frame meets a rafter, can also be stuffed with softer items such as extra bedding, blankets, spare curtains, etc.
Look Up for Smart Storage
So far we’ve barely touched the main part of the attic, and this next tip will enable you to store even more things away, without anyone ever knowing. Take a look at where the ceiling of your attic would be and notice that the rafters have spaces between them. In these spaces, you can fit swinging wooden cupboards, that securely latch into place, and fold open, revealing a variety of items, such as toys, sundries, cleaning supplies, and more.
Before we leave the attic, let’s take a look at that stairway. It’s a good idea, and a legal requirement in most states, to fit a rail around the opening. However, rather than a standard railing, why not use cupboards? These can be used for all kinds of things and will keep you and your family safe from harm. Of course, the space under the stairs can also be put to good use, by fitting crates, hooks, or shelves, to store clutter out of sight.
Heading to the basement now, why not add some built-in cupboards in those nooks and crannies. If yours is a damp basement, consider using metal shelves and cabinets rather than wood, as these will offer better protection over time. Similarly, plastic bins and boxes can also be used.
Wall-to-wall shelving or cabinets is another great option for those basements that don’t feature anywhere to fit a built-in cabinet. Think about using sliding doors to conceal what lies beyond, especially if you don’t often need access.
Playroom Toy Storage
Those with kids will find their houses overwhelmed with toys and other bits and bobs that don’t seem to have a place in the rest of the house. If you’re blessed with a basement, why not transform it into a kids’ playroom? It’s surprisingly cheap and easy to do, and in doing so, you can contain all the play-things in one space, fitted with toy chests, bookshelves, and cupboards.
Hang Curtains to Hide the Clutter
A curtain can hide a multitude of sins, and if you’re looking for a more basic approach to keeping your attic or basement usable, but functional, a curtain could be the answer. By using half of the space as a living area, and half of it for storage, the two sections can be divided by a thick, heavy curtain. This will save you money, and let you get the most out of your space.