Owning a small flat has many benefits - less space means less to clean and less to heat, and of course, a flat usually costs less to rent or buy than a larger type of property.
The downside to being a flat dweller is that you must be very creative when finding storage solutions. With no loft, cellar and (often) no spare room, storing your belongings without making your home feel cramped or cluttered can be tricky.
The key to managing a lack of storage space in a flat is to prioritise what needs to be kept at home, within easy reach, and what could be stored elsewhere.
Storage solutions inside your flat
There are some clever storage designs out there that can help you to furnish your flat with built-in storage. If you combine those with creative use of your space, you can store all your day-to-day essentials in your flat.
1. Use all the vertical space
Kitchen wall cabinets are usually fitted at eye height, so you can (just about) reach the top shelf with easy access to the bottom and counter.
You could extend the storage space available in your kitchen by adding additional shelf space below the cupboards (while still allowing you to access all the workspace on the countertop). Many options are available, from fitted shelving to under-cabinet shelves
and baskets that easily hook onto the bottom shelf of your existing cabinet.
You can also use the top of the kitchen cabinets and the tops of your wardrobes to store boxes
of less-often-used equipment such as mixers, baking trays and cookware in the kitchen or extra blankets and bedding in the bedroom.
Use large enough boxes to fill as much of that space as possible but small enough to easily lift up and down - don’t overfill them, and make sure you label them!
Finally, consider replacing your solid bath panel with one that allows access to the space
around your bath to store all your cleaning bits and bobs, spare shampoo, etc.
2. Use the doors
There are lots of storage solutions you can hang on your doors, but to keep your flat looking clutter-free, it’s best to hang them inside your cupboard doors rather than on display on the visible side of the doors (if there’s room for you to do that and still close the doors!).
- Use door-hanging storage pockets inside your wardrobes for extra space to store things like underwear, hats, scarves and other accessories.
- Use hooks to store pan lids on the inside of kitchen cupboards.
- You can use an over-door storage rack to add space for pantry essentials.
- Suspend your laundry - rather than using a clothes horse, install a pulley clothes airer that you can pull up to the ceiling after you’ve laid out your wet clothes. They’ll dry quicker than they would on the ground because heat rises.
3. Use your walls
Shelves and wall-mounted bookcases
can be installed above your sofa or wherever you have space. The key to making the most of that space is to keep it tidy, or it will make your room seem cluttered. Arrange books neatly, and if you’re using open shelves, use baskets or boxes to group items together for tidy storage with easy access. Accessorise with pot plants, candles and photo frames to make it seem more like decor than storage.
4. Use multifunctional furniture
There are some fantastic multifunctional furniture ideas out there now.
If your bed needs replacing, you can invest in an ottoman lift-up bed
for your flat to maximise under-bed storage. If you can’t afford that or have a perfectly good bed you don’t want to swap out, use under-bed storage boxes to slide beneath the bed to keep items like spare bedding, books, craft gear, and whatever you need space for. Using transparent boxes with lids will keep everything dust-free and easy to find.
If you don’t have space beneath your bed, consider a storage headboard
- this will also free up the space that bedside tables might otherwise take.
You could save space in your flat by investing in a coffee table that will fold up to double as a desk
. There are all sorts of fold-out options for dining tables, office desks and beds that will make your flat feel much larger when tucked away. Only using that furniture when needed (e.g., during mealtimes or bedtime) will make your flat look larger and have more space to relax.
Storage away from your flat
Your flat should contain everything you need to live comfortably. You’ll own items you don’t need access to for most of the year or at least several weeks or months.
Those items might fit in your flat but make it feel cluttered. Or they might not fit into your flat at all. Renting a self-storage
unit might be far cheaper than paying a higher rent or purchase price for a larger property.
Self-storage units can be an effective
, affordable solution for flat dwellers needing more space at home. Our units are indoors and range in size from a locker the size of a car boot to a room the size of a warehouse and everything in between.
You could access your storage unit whenever it's convenient for you during our regular trading hours. Our stores are open seven days a week*, Except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Easter Sunday and New Year's Day). You can stay as long as you like.
The sort of items you might want to store away from your flat are the things you don’t use often, such as:
- Camping gear,
- Sports equipment,
- Out-of-season clothing and bedding (e.g. thick tog duvets during the summer months),
- Portable heaters or fans,
- Christmas decorations,
- Crockery and tableware you only use for special occasions,
- Spare chairs for when you have company.
Moving those items out of your flat gives you more room for daily or weekly items, such as the vacuum cleaner and ironing board.
If you’re a flat dweller looking for solutions to make up for a lack of storage at home, contact
one of our helpful team and see how we can help.