Thursday, June 18, 2015

Downsizing? Finding Storage Solutions in Your Condo

Downsizing can be tough: No matter how much purging, donating and trashing you do, you’ll still need storage in your new smaller home. If you’ve walked through your new condo and thought, “Hmm, where am I going to put everything?” don’t panic. Storage solutions can be found in the most unlikely places!


Look for dead space where drawers or cabinets can be installed

You can turn dead space behind window seats, under staircases and other nooks and crannies into storage space, with a little help from a carpenter or cabinetmaker.
Drawers make fantastic storage options, as long as the contents aren’t too heavy.


Expand your closets

Some homes are built with a lot of dead space behind the walls. What’s behind that master bedroom closet? Possibly another two to three feet of space. Look for areas in your condo where there might be hidden dead space in room layouts and have it opened up.

I had a house in Kentucky in which the bedroom closets were strangely shaped, had twists and turns and were just plain unusual. Then I realized that the builder had used all the space possible to create the closets. Storage was plentiful!


Divide and conquer with room dividers

A free-standing closet or cabinet can do double duty by dividing one room into two smaller rooms and carrying its own storage. Consider this option if you have enough living space, rooms are spacious enough for your needs, but you’re willing to have slightly smaller rooms in exchange for added storage.


There’s the door

Look no further than the doors - room doors and closet doors - for storage solutions. You can increase a storage closet’s capacity by almost half by attaching hooks or holders to the back of a door.

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Don’t be afraid of what’s under the bed

The boogyman isn’t under there, but your winter coats, boots and skis might be. Under-bed storage solutions run the gamut from built-in pull-out drawers to portable containers on wheels to any box or container that will fit under there.


Make your furniture do double duty

A coffee table can be your extra blanket storage, an ottoman can flip its lid to reveal your CD collection, a desk can surround cubbies full of office and school supplies, and have you seen the couch that hides a ton of storage space? If you’re buying new furniture for your downsized space anyway, why not get pieces that will do double duty?


Use what storage space you do have as wisely as possible

Here’s where I put in a plug for Pinterest. Those pinners are overflowing with smart storage solutions. Retailers like The Container Store and Organize-It have storage bins, baskets and organizers to fit every home.


If you like Diane's humorous take on moving, you'll love her book Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves.

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