Chances are, over the years you’ve accumulated your fair share of stuff. And if you live in a home that’s short on storage place, all that stuff can quickly become a problem, spilling out from under the bed and out of drawers, cabinets, and closets, causing your living space to feel cluttered and overwhelming.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can have your cake and eat it, too – or in this case, keep your stuff and keep your home organized, clean, and clutter free.

Here are 5 tips to maximize your storage space:

1. Take Advantage Of Secret Storage Above Your Kitchen Cabinets

You already know that the space between the top of your kitchen cabinets is a great place to display decor or plants. But did you also know it can be a great place to store lesser used items?

The 5 – 6 inches of molding provides a secret storage place that can’t be seen from your kitchen. You can use this space to store smaller items you don’t often need, like tools, extra dishes, or lighting. Or, if you want to use the space to store larger items, store them in a large decorative bowl or basket; get them in a color scheme that matches your kitchen so they pull double duty as storage and decor.

2. Hang It Up

While most people tend to store things horizontally (like on shelves or in drawers), there’s also an opportunity to store things vertically by way of hanging.

Build a magnetic knife rack and use it to store your chef’s knives, which will free up space on your counter or in your drawers. Invest in a pot rack and hang all of your pots and pans from the ceiling where you’ll have easy access for cooking. Instead of taking up table space with foliage, get a few hanging plants to bring some greenery into your room without creating a cluttered environment. Get a shoe rack, hang it on the back of your closet door and get those shoes off the floor.

Think outside of the box and look for opportunities to go vertical with your storage.

3. Save Closet Space With Vacuum Bags

If it’s the middle of summer and you’re fighting your way through massive piles of sweaters to find the clothing you need, you’re not optimizing your closet storage. Your closet should contain the items you’ll need for each season. When a clothing item isn’t in season, it should be in storage.

But where can you store all of those clothes? Clothing is bulky, and if you’re already struggling with storage space, it can be hard to find a place to store all of your off-season wear.

That’s where vacuum seal bags come in. Vacuum seal bags are the most efficient way to store clothing as they drastically minimize the amount of space needed for storage. Just pop your off-season garb into one of the bags, attach the vacuum, and remove the air. The clothing will shrink in size and flatten, allowing you to easily store them underneath the bed.

Not only are vacuum seal bags effective, but they’re also affordable; you can score 6 jumbo size storage bags (plenty to take care of most family’s clothing storing needs) for $25.99.

4. Look For Furniture That Can Double As Storage

Furniture is something you have to keep in your house anyway – why not put it to good use, kill two birds with one stone, and buy furniture that can double as additional storage?

There’s tons of great furniture on the market that’s design friendly and will look great at your home, but will also provide you with some much needed additional storage.

Invest in an ottoman with a removable top and use it to store extra throw pillows and blankets. Find a lift top coffee table and stash the remote, books, and DVDs that you frequently use in your family room. Buy a storage bench for your mudroom or hallway and use it keep jackets, shoes, or sporting equipment out of sight.

If you’re struggling with a lack of storage in your home, whenever you buy a new piece of furniture try to find a piece that can double as additional storage space.

5. Hide Your Bedsheets

Closet space is precious in a house that’s short on storage. So why waste that space with bedsheets? Instead of storing your bed sheets in a hallway or linen closet, try storing them underneath your mattress.

Fold each sheet and pillowcase into a thin square and then slide them under the foot of your mattress. Since they’re stored underneath your feet, they won’t disturb your sleep. And extra bonus: next time you need to change your sheets, they’ll already be there: no trip to the linen closet required.

With these 5 tips, you’ll be able to keep all of your things, declutter your home and make the most out of your storage space.

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