Many homebuyers may hesitate to consider a smaller home that lacks sufficient storage space. While this often means getting rid of—or acquiring fewer—belongings, there is still a need for accessible, efficient storage throughout the home. Short of adding or constructing areas specifically for storage, there are ways to coax more usability out of existing space.
Most people use a back or garage entrance to the home far more often than the front door. These entryways can often incorporate “drop zones”, where everyone can unload their backpacks, shoes, bags, sports gear, and outerwear. Baskets under benches provide both seating and storage. Some drop zones incorporate shelves or cubbies for each family member’s gear. A tray or shallow box for mail keeps it visible but doesn’t let it pile up too high. As a high-traffic area, a drop zone should be well organized and systematic in order to really work. If one system doesn’t quite function well for a particular family, it will always be better to try another arrangement until settling on one that really works.
Home offices are another area where storage is at a premium as functionality changes. These spaces are now used not only as an office, but for homework, projects, and more. Effective storage can now mean adding shelving and drawers to a closet to replace hanging rods. A dresser can be used to store project materials for easy access. With multiple users, this multi-function room, like the drop zone, needs to have a workable system that everyone can follow.
In the kitchen, pantry space has become more important as cooking becomes more popular. In large homes, a pantry might even be a separate room with plenty of space for storing everything from china to dog kibble. Smaller homes, generally with smaller kitchens, need to at least accommodate kitchen staples and larger, bulky items that aren’t often used such a large mixing bowls, seldom-used small appliances, and serving pieces. Pantry shelving for food items should be somewhat shallow so that everything is easy to find and reach. This type of shelving can even be added to a niche in the wall between two studs. Websites such as houzz.com and apartmenttherapy.com are great resources for useful small-space storage ideas.
A smaller home will often require a creative approach to storage solutions. But with efficient, practical planning, even a smaller home can accommodate the needs of almost any family.
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