How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger Using Clever Storage

by WordCustard

When you have a small room that you want to make appear bigger, it is a good idea to consider clever storage solutions. These can create a feeling of space. Third in the series.

Make a Room Appear Spacious by Organizing Your Stuff

Smart storage solutions to give you more space

If you're reading this series on making small rooms look bigger, it's a fair bet that you have a challenging living space to deal with. We've looked at ways to give the visual impression of a larger room with color choices, special paints, and wall decor that can add light and trick the eye. Even with all these techniques, a room will still look and feel small if it is full of clutter.

Clutter is anything that gets in your way. Of course, clutter is not the same thing as junk. Clutter can be treasured possessions, expensive gadgets, family heirlooms. The way I see it, clutter is stuff (to use a technical term) that makes a room look untidy, regardless of its value.

Working on the assumption that you don't want to start throwing your possessions out, let's look at some ways we can use storage solutions to sort out that clutter and give you back your floor space.

Article copyright ©WordCustard, June 2011, all rights reserved. 

More in the Home Decor for Small Spaces Series

Many of us have small rooms in our homes. Fortunately it's easy to make a room look bigger and brighter using a little decorating know-how. We start with paint and color.
The second in a series to help you make a room look brighter and larger. Mirrors add light to a room, while clever posters and artworks can create an illusion of a larger room.

Smart Storage Solutions for a Living Space

The first thing to consider is where we are moving all this 'stuff' to. To make a small room look bigger, every inch of floor space counts. Getting everything other than large furniture off the floor will immediate help it to look more spacious.

For possessions that need to stay in the room, your options are either to make better use of existing storage space (cupboards/closets, chests of drawers, tables, etc) or to add more fixed storage such as shelves. Shelves are good because they use space on the walls that would otherwise be wasted -- but an expanse of wall also creates a feeling of space so take care not to overuse your wall space or you will end up with a vertical face of clutter.

From my own experience, things that work well for keeping your stuff need and tidy include:

  • Pretty boxes with lids, in various sizes, that can hide a variety of things and can be stacked on shelves or tables
  • Baskets, made from natural materials such as willow and seagrass that blend with your decor
  • Plastic boxes with multiple compartments that tuck away in drawers -- ideal for crafters like me or for DIY enthusiasts or anyone who has lots of small items they don't want to lose
  • Inexpensive sets of drawers that can tuck away under desks
  • Extra shelves to use wasted space in wardrobes
  • Big bags and vaccuum packs to store bulky fabric items

Furniture that doubles as storage or has a dual purpose is perfect for a small room, for example the storage seat pictured (right).

Ideas for Storing Entertainment Media

By entertainment media, I mean all your music, movies, videogames, books and magazines. It's amazing how much room these can start to take up over time.

If you have a small living space, especially if you've moved to it from a larger one, you don't always have the luxury of having all of your books, music and movie collections with you.

The good news is that it's becoming ever easy to compress entertainment media into data you can carry around. A Kindle or Nook can save you entire bookshelves of space. Your music can be converted to mp3 format and stored on your computer or mp3 player. Even where you want to keep your original discs, such as with movies and video games, you can keep them in storage boxes or cases designed specifically for this purpose. 

Keep remote controls in one place with a handy remote control organizer that matches your decor. If you are drowning in newspapers and magazines, either get a magazine rack or consider subscribing to them online instead.

Expert Advice on Organizing Your Space

Essential Storage Ideas
Ideas from Home & Gardens on cutting the clutter in each room of your house.

Tips for Shoe Storage
Shoes are best kept out of sight but can get unruly! This page has some great tips.

zenhabits Guide to Decluttering
Some techniques for approaching decluttering and how to actually get rid of stuff.

Clever Storage for Small Rooms

Big ideas for small spaces

Libby Langdon has packed her expertise on organizing and styling small spaces into this book.

Includes advice on how to store everything as well as general tricks of the trade which will can help make a small room look bigger.

Libby's style is modern and many of her ideas are both inexpensive and easy to put into action. Not just confined to tiny spaces, her advice can add a cozy and uncluttered feel to average size rooms too.

Hey, Before You Go...

Why not join me here on Wizzley and build an online income writing about things you love! Just click the link to get started.

Updated: 03/08/2012, WordCustard
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Do You Have Any Storage or Organizing Tricks for Small Rooms?

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mandeesears on 04/11/2012

Love, love, love these ideas! Since the move, my organization has gone to pot. Need to take a lesson from you!

katiem2 on 03/10/2012

Oh yea I can never get to much storage, great tips here I will put to good use in both my daughters rooms. Thanks

FinancialTips4U on 01/26/2012

I really like this article. My most favorite thing to use is pretty boxes(I have a set of treasure chests) that add to the decor of the room but you can also use them as storage. I, also, like to use wicker baskets on shelving to store items and add to the decor.

Angel on 12/30/2011

Great ideas for storage. I am always looking for ways to reduce clutter in my home with 4 kids and all their stuff. Every room seems to get so cluttered with misc items from shoes to toys. All of these are great ideas for me to redo some of my rooms.

Pinkchic18 on 10/17/2011

This is a very neat article! I'm always looking for clever ways to bring more storage into my room - without looking horrible. You've got it figured out!

ForestBear on 08/02/2011

These are great ideas of how to keep things neat and tidy. I like to use baskets made of natural materials like the classic one you have featured above. Nice article, thank you!

nightbear on 06/08/2011

Very nice ideas for storage, I LOVE The craft room organizing, I have something similar in my craft room, but home made, not store bought. We all just need to learn how to best utilize what space we have, don't we.

WebWriter on 06/06/2011

Nice article and tips Wordcuster.

Jewelsofawe on 06/06/2011

Looks like cool ideas!

Sylvestermouse on 06/06/2011

Excellent suggestions and I love the craft wall! I prefer the uncluttered room whether it is big or small, but I had never considered that it would make a small room look bigger. Awesome!

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