Prime living spaces are hard to come by in city centres like London. The average size for flats are around 9 parking lots. Houses aren’t any better. Houses in London are 20% smaller than they were 50 years ago.
Despite the effort of building smaller houses to keep them affordable, many residents in London still find it too expensive. In fact, a lot of Londoners are sharing their micro-flats to be able to afford living in the capital. Since the reality of living in shoe box homes does not look like it’s going anywhere, the best workaround is storage. Units are convenient and affordable storage spaces that you can rent out so you don’t have to live with your items.
While you may not be able to magically expand your home, you can still be smart with how you use your space. Here are 10 more ideas for residents living in London.
Outside Storage Solutions
The easiest way to get storage is to have more space. If you aren’t going to renovate your place, the only other way to get is by looking for solutions outside your home. Whether your house is overflowing with your items or not, outside storage solutions are the quickest fix.
Self Storage Unit
The self storage unit can be anyone’s best friend, from the homeowner to the flat renter. These units are usually a part of a larger facility in large buildings, warehouses, or industrial lots. Facilities like Henfield Storage have units in different sizes. You can rent one and keep any bulky, non-essential items here like extra furniture sets, electronics, seasonal clothes, or personal collections.
With a self unit you can free up your cabinets and closets for more essential items. It can help you keep your storage places empty for essential items and ensure that your belongings don’t take over your living space.
Outdoor Storage Shed
The outdoor storage shed may not be an accessible option for anyone. However, if you live in a place that allows them, an outdoor shed is a great way to free up an extra room. Instead of a crowded basement or attic, you can keep gardening equipment, sports gear, and other miscellaneous items in the shed. Your outdoor storage shed also acts as a safety measure to keep hazardous material away.
While your attic or basement can stay as is after you empty them, they can also be repurposed. Property value in the UK is judged by the amount of rooms and not the total area. If you feel the same way, an empty attic or basement can be an opportunity for you to get new features you wouldn’t get otherwise.
Vertical Space For The Win
Another thing that is severely underutilised in every home is the vertical space. Your bare walls can be converted into storage opportunities without taking precious floor space. Here are four ideas for you to put that empty space to work.
You might have a couple of floating shelves in your home, but there can always have a bit more. They fit in different kinds of rooms without too much trouble. From the bathroom to the bedroom, you can always use a little more shelving space. Sentimental items, decorations, art and office supplies can all be kept on top of them.
Getting floating shelves does not have to be a professional job. Many DIYers have tutorials online about their experience, so there should be nothing holding you back. Stop by the hardware store and follow the detailed instructions online to create your own floating shelf.
Another way to use your wall space is with pegboards. Pegboards may be the staple for studios, workshops, and outdoor sheds, but they can also have a practical use indoors. The small holes make it convenient to store things from crafting tools, kitchen utensils, and other baubles. With hooks, wires, and clips you can attach just about anything. Besides being a way to use vertical space, pegboards make it easy to find all your tools.
Floor To Ceiling Bookshelf
An often overlooked source of storage is your bookshelves. They can work with or be an alternative for floating shelves. A floor to ceiling bookshelf can be an interesting design feature that has a functional element to it. If you are concerned about getting to the hard to reach places, you can order models that come with a ladder or purchase a stool separately.
If you aren’t much of a reader, you can still use this idea. However, instead of bookshelves, industrial racks or shelving units can be an excellent alternative.
Over The Door Shoe Organiser
Over the door shoe organisers are the cloth or plastic pockets held up by hooks on the door. They provide much needed shoe storage in small flats. It helps keep your home neat and all your shoes visible.
However, you are not limited to using them only for shoes. If you need vertical storage in a crowded room, this is a great option. Children’s toys, pet supplies, and other miscellaneous items can be kept in these pockets.
Squeezing In Space Saving Furniture
While there are many ways you can add storage opportunities to your home, it is best to add them in as soon as you get your place. By planning how you will use the space in the future, you don’t have to deal with replacing your things for the sake of space. Purchase space-saving or multi-functional furniture to create opportunities. If you cannot find a model you like, you may always opt to create a customised piece instead. Your personal touch can go a long way in making sure no space is wasted in your home.
Stairs are known for their dead space. You can add compartments to your stairs like they do in tiny homes.
If you live in a flat or rental, a customised floor to ceiling bookshelf with stairs integrated into the design can be an alternative. You can pull out the bottom shelves to create steps to reach the top shelf and create a potential seating area as well. You can see this bookshelf in action here.
Foldable tables are great space savers, they do not actually add storage. The main reason why you should have them is for the opportunities they create. Whether your foldable table is built into a wall or free-standing piece, it does not take up any extra floor space.
Couches With Compartments
Couches are one of the most versatile furniture on the market. You probably heard of its different versions from the convertible couch that turns into a bed to the one that doubles as storage. Both types are great space saving furniture, but there are models on the market that do both.
Instead of getting a separate bed frame and mattress and the accompanying furniture, you can settle with the sofa bed for out of town visitors. When you live in London, it is impractical to get a place with a guest bedroom that is often left unoccupied.
Boxes and Organisers
Last but not least, are your typical storage solutions. Boxes, bins, and baskets are a staple for a reason. While they cannot take care of all storage problems, they are great at separating your items into neat categories. They can also serve as a visual reminder if you are accumulating too much of one item.
There are ways to adapt and work around the space limitations that living in London brings. After all, you chose to stay in the city for opportunities and experiences. Take the space for what it is and make the most out of it by looking for alternatives and other storage solutions.