Space saving storage is gold dust isn’t it and you really just can’t have enough great storage can you? Or at least that’s what I used to think.
I prided myself on being the queen of space saving storage hacks.
Hidden hacks beneath beds and above wardrobes in bedrooms plus clever built in closets for clothes, baskets under furniture in the living room, extra shelves snuck into corners of the kitchen and all done in – if not a totally, tiny house – a pretty small one.
Anywhere I could sneak a clever space saving storage solution. I did but it didn’t actually help.
Because all those super smart, space saving storage ideas are of course not actually the solution at all but are in fact the problem.
I do now have space in my home – lots of lovely space in bedrooms, in the kitchen and in the living room – but that is not due to clever storage ideas.
It is because I opened my eyes to all the big clutter in my home I didn’t enjoy owning and truly had no reason to own and I let it go.
And you can too and create oodles of space fast without the overwhelm, hassle and sheer mess that comes with most declutter methods. (I’m not – I have to say – a fan of Marie Kondo.)
Sounds good, huh?
So let’s get started …
1. The Real Space Saving Storage Solution
OK so our starting point is simple.
And it’s understanding that (mostly) …
- We do not have a storage problem
- We just have too much stuff
- And the real space saving storage solution is to declutter
But lots of the clutter – driving us screw ball crazy – is the tiny stuff, isn’t it?
Socks. Lingerie. T-shirts. Cups. Cutlery. Stationary. Lego. Paperwork.
You name it, we’re drowning in it.
The problem is, it takes time and patience to let it all go and we desperately want more space now.
But most of us also have loads of big stuff we can declutter fast to create space.
Big stuff we take for granted.
Big stuff we’ve stopped noticing.
Big stuff that’s become part of the wallpaper even though it’s gobbling up our precious space and tripping us up everyday.
I’ve got a big list of common culprits below. Have a gander and open your eyes to all those space monsters hiding in plain sight and then check out my clever declutter hack.
It will help you:
- decide which space busting clutter to let go
- and get it out of your home.
without stress and mess. Hurrah!!!
2. Space Saving Storage Ideas
So here you go, list of big stuff you can declutter to create space, lots of space:
- Lamps no one switches on
- Chairs no one sits in
- humongous stereo & even more humongous speakers never listened to
- Duvets unused even when you’ve got guests
- Luggage broken or so large you can’t carry it
- Storage you’re storing!!
- Shelves you not read a book from in a year
- Bikes & scooters & trikes no one rides
- A shelf of big out of date reference books
- Side tables that just collect clutter
- Floor cushions gathering dust
- Scruffy old coats
- Tents when you never go camping
- Ditto sleeping bags
- The coffee table taking over the living room for no useful reason
- Desktop computers slower than your tablet
- Sideboards full of stuff but never opened
- Piles of outgrown kids shoes
- Rain wear and rain boots that leak
- Piles of blankets housing moths
- Towels, towels, towels, towels, towels!!!!
- Kids cots, beds, mattresses they can’t fit in
- Sheets with tears, stains, dodgy patterns or still in their packaging
- TV screen no one watches
- Antique games console
- Sports raquets for games you don’t play
- Musical instruments you forgot how to play
- Stools with wobbly legs
- Grotty old pillows no one wants to sleep on
- High chairs for kids now at college
- Mirrors no one looks in
- Pictures stacked up in the garage or loft
- Complicated garden tools you don’t know how to use
- Rugs you’re storing … for reasons unknown
- Old curtains you’re storing … ditto
- Rusty old BBQ
- Table cloths never put on a table
- Old ironing board that won’t stand up
- Whopping great kitchen gadgets still in their box – coffee machines, juicers, mixers, slow cookers etc
- Sewing machines when you don’t sew
- Super fancy specialist cooking pans when you’re a meat and potatoes kind of girl
- Exercise bikes you ride one week a year
- A whole cupboard of games never played
- Fold out tables you never unfold
- Seriously uncomfortable office chairs
- Vacuum cleaner long since kaput
- Deckchairs that collapse on you
- Multiple ladders exactly the same size
- Enormous inflatables that won’t inflate
- Hostess trolleys & warmers last used in 1997
- Printers, scanners & copiers that only work with computers you no longer own
- Fans that don’t cool & heaters that don’t heat
I have decluttered a van load of big stuff like this and freed up so much space.
But you ask “how do I get it out of the house without creating more mess?“
Well, that’s where my clever space saving storage declutter hack comes in.
And the answer – as I’ll explain – is stickers.
3. Space Saving Storage Declutter Hack
The temptation, when you’re decluttering, is to yank everything out.
In fact some “experts“ tell you to do this.
Please don’t. It will just make an unholy mess.
(If these experts had ever actually had a declutter problem they would know this!)
Instead play what I call big clutter bingo for two weeks.
Use my list of space saving storage ideas above to spot big stuff you can let go.
When you spot it, leave it where it is but sticker it with a sticker on which you’ve written either:
- Or SOLD
Then write it down on an A4 sheet divided into two columns: donated & sold.
It sounds simple – silly even – but that sticker helps seal your declutter decision without you moving anything or making a mess.
Afters two weeks, we can shift the donations.
Either contact a charity who collect large clearance items with your donated list or take a snap of each donated item and post in a local free stuff group on Facebook.
I’ve shifted so much stuff this way – much of it just left in the front garden or porch for people to collect – and created lots of space fast.
You can then turn to stuff you’ve mentally sold.
Again, go through your list, take snaps and post on eBay, Craigslist or Facebook.
And then you have to be a little bit patient, but set a time box – e.g. a month – to get it sold. If it’s not gone, replace the sold sticker with a donated one.
Again this seals the decision for us and helps us accept we won’t make money from it.
You can then process final donations and you are done.
You’ve got the absolutely, best ever, space saving storage solution:
- Lots of big stuff decluttered.
- AND lots of space saved.
Great idea, huh?
If you’d like more help creating space by decluttering do check out my other posts and sign up for my newsletter.
Sandi Welch says
This is such a great post. You have come to the same conclusion I have. We just have too much stuff, organizational and otherwise. I started decluttering almost 3 years ago and finally feel like I have accomplished a stress free living environment for my family. What a difference it makes!
Jean Campbell says
While not a fan of Marie Kondo, I did appreciate her folding methods. Now my tee shirts and jeans stand in dresser drawers in neat rows rather than the piles I use to dig through. If we can take away one or two tips from every site we visit, they’ve been worthwhile.
I am with you on the t-shirt folding Jean. I don’t do socks but folding vertically is brilliant isn’t it? Makes it so much easier to find stuff including things we’re ready to let go.