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    Storage furniture - what works for you?
    • #1
    • 7th Mar 09, 11:01 AM
    Storage furniture - what works for you? 7th Mar 09 at 11:01 AM
    I'm not sure this really belongs on this board but it's not about DIY, and I think that the flylady people might have some helpful ideas for me.

    We are moving (hopefully) in a month or two, and the house we're moving to doesn't have any fitted wardrobes and doesn't even have an airing cupboard. So I need to purchase furniture to store clothes, linen, towels, toys, sewing bits & pieces - all the things that currently are stuffed at random into wardrobes and cupboards. I would like a fairly uncluttered look but totally hate fully fitted bedrooms - it needs to be freestanding and the furniture does not have to match, I'd prefer it didn't. There are polished wooden floors throughout but I don't want it to be too cottagey. Keeping me tidy is a massive challenge, so I'm trying to come up with ideas which will make storage easy.

    Could people here share their tips and ideas? To start off, what I am thinking of doing is:
    • Buy a large-ish wardrobe for the master bedroom and only hang what HAS to be hung. Maybe double rail? Put shoe racks in the bottom. I would like something old rather than new (feels more 'sustainable'), and will be trawling local antique shops.
    • Keep as much as possible in drawers: we have an old blue painted chest of drawers and I would like to put that in the bathroom for keeping pullups, towels, etc. We will have to buy more drawers, not sure what style. The theory is that they are easier to keep tidy and also the room will not seem so crowded with too much tall furniture.
    • I'm thinking that each bedroom has a drawer dedicated to its own bedding, rather than me having one big bedlinen cupboard. In the master bedroom, I'd use the under-bed drawers, the children would give up one of their drawers.
    • Keep the bookcases out of the living room if possible, as they are a real clutter magnet. It would mean putting ds in the smallest bedroom and using the second biggest bedroom as a combined study/spare room.
    • The children need new beds, so will get ds one with drawers under and dd is probably getting a mid-sleeper.
    • Instead of putting coats on hooks in the hallway, put a small wardrobe there so they are hidden behind a door, and we keep 'spare' coats in our bedroom wardrobes.
    • I'm thinking of one of those wooden units (probably painted white?) with wicker baskets in the living room for all the toys that end up there - lego, bratz, board games, my sewing ... Baskets are good I think because I can take the basket to the mess rather than the mess to the basket. The rest of toys will have to be in the bedrooms, I have plastic bins but would prefer something less babyish.
    • I've never had to do washing/ironing in the kitchen before so I don't know how to organise clean and dirty washing.
    Any thoughts on whether keeping sheets and towels in drawers rather than shelves will work? It sounds daft but I've got myself in a right tiz about all this.
    Mortgage started on 22.5.09 : £129,600
    Overpayments to date: £3000
    June grocery challenge: 400/600
Page 1
    • HariboJunkie
    • By HariboJunkie 7th Mar 09, 11:17 AM
    • 7,160 Posts
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    • #2
    • 7th Mar 09, 11:17 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 09, 11:17 AM
    We are fairly limited with storage in this house as we have next to no loft and other than huge built in wardrobes in the girls' room there is little else.

    I swear by blanket boxes and have at least one in every room as they hold masses of stuff and the surface can be used for seatibng or as a coffee table.

    I have a basket at the foot of the stairs where I gather up anything that belongs to the children and (theoretically) they put the contents in their rightful homes before bed.

    Drawers should be fine for bedding and towels.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 7th Mar 09, 11:25 AM
    • 12,638 Posts
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    • #3
    • 7th Mar 09, 11:25 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 09, 11:25 AM
    Blanket boxes are a great idea - they can hold out of season clothes/spare blankets/bedding.

    While you're searching through the local antique markets etc for the perfect bits, try freecycle for some temporary stuff (you can freecycle it again when you're done). And if you're feeling brave you can customise the furniture. My mum did furniture painting for a bit, and an old utility chest of drawers of my grans is now crackle glazed with ivy climbing up the front and over the top. And the wooden handles were replaced with brass pulls. She also restored a beautiful little cane-seated chair which I keep in a bedroom.

    Baskets are great for storing toys/odds and ends. I do keep bookshelves in the living room, but they are full height and only have books in them. The bookshelves in the study have other stuff in, but only in baskets.

    I manage my laundry in the bathroom - I have a series of laundry bags on the back of the door, which are colour-coded - white for whites, red checks for red/pink, blue checks for light coloureds, navy for dark and embroidered for hand washing. I have a big laundry bin for bedding/towels. And I keep the ironing board in the study rather than the kitchen, as it's easier to shut the door on that when visitors come round than to rush round tidying the kitchen, which they are likely to want to come in to!
  • Olliebeak
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 09, 11:28 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 09, 11:28 AM
    I keep all my towels on one of the two shelves in my 'one-and-only storage cupboard'. Below that shelf is a deep space containing two 'flip-top' bins which just fit side-by-side (used for dirty laundry - cream for whites and grey for darks). Behind those is my big tool box (I have a smaller one with an assortment of 'often used' set of tools in the kitchen. On the top shelf in that cupboard are my two spare sets of bathroom mats (I have a bathroom and downstairs loo so need four sets) plus a couple of boxes of Xmas ornaments that I consider to be a bit special and store apart from the other Xmas stuff.

    Divans with underbed storage are great for keeping individual sets of bedding together. Also ottomans/blanket boxes are good for bedding and can be used for seating if necessary - if they're a bit tatty looking, they can be sanded and painted white. Use vac bags for storing unused bedding/duvets/pillows so that they take up much less space and you'll get more into whatever you decide to keep them in.

    I've recently bought some of those clear plastic drawers and storage tubs with 'crocodile lids' for keeping knitting/craft stuff, grandkids toys/books etc in. I now need another set of the drawers for all my embroidery/sewing stuff as well. Then I can get rid of the tatty old picnic box that I've been using for about 20yrs! If you don't like the idea of being able to see the contents from the outside, I'm sure that you can get the solid colour ones. Or what about those sets of drawers that are canvas covered - I always think that they look better than the plastic ones - but I was going for economy when I bought mine.
    • fuzzgun19
    • By fuzzgun19 30th Jan 11, 9:46 AM
    • 7,148 Posts
    • 59,126 Thanks
    • #5
    • 30th Jan 11, 9:46 AM
    • #5
    • 30th Jan 11, 9:46 AM
    kunekune, how did you get on with your storage issues?

    I'm looking for a similar answer, as I'm moving and the house has very little storage (only one small under-stairs cupboard).. and i have lots of 'junk' lol

    I'm always baffled by these people's houses you see on TV and there is absolutely no 'junk' lying around at all.. where do they keep it all?.. surely everyone has some junk?

    Also my youngest son is having the 'Box' bedroom, which will only just fit in his bed and not much else (its about 5ft6 wide, and 9ft4 long)
    I did plan putting in his bed, chest of drawers, small bedside drawers, and PC desk, but I don't think everything's going to fit!
    ..does anyone have any experience organising a small bedroom?
    Last edited by fuzzgun19; 30-01-2011 at 9:51 AM.
    I Hate Jobsworths!!!
    • Katgoddess
    • By Katgoddess 30th Jan 11, 10:16 AM
    • 1,797 Posts
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    • #6
    • 30th Jan 11, 10:16 AM
    • #6
    • 30th Jan 11, 10:16 AM
    ..does anyone have any experience organising a small bedroom?
    Originally posted by fuzzgun19
    We live in a 2.5 bedroom house, and our toddler currently sleeps in the smallest bedroom in a junior bed. We will be moving him into the bigger bedroom at some point, but I was toying with the idea of having custom built furniture made for the room to maximise storage space ceiling to floor. Also I thought about having a single bed under the window along the shortest wall - custom made in length so it would fit the space exactly, and last him until he was a teenager. Expensive, but cheaper than moving! I think if we are going to stay in this house for a long time, we'd convert the loft, and use the box room as the stairway to the loft and a study. Not much else use for it!
    "A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for."
  • zarazara
    • #7
    • 30th Jan 11, 10:31 AM
    • #7
    • 30th Jan 11, 10:31 AM
    I find bedding boxes good . I think its a good idea to get strong cardboard boxes and keep stuff in those until you have lived in the house a while, maybe months or even a year or two. that way you avoid expensive mistakes of buying the wrong thing.
    I also keep preserves and spare clothes and shoes under the bed in plastic boxes.
    "The purpose of Life is to spread and create Happiness"
  • zarazara
    • #8
    • 30th Jan 11, 10:36 AM
    • #8
    • 30th Jan 11, 10:36 AM
    fuzzgun, my 2 adult sons share a small room. its 6ft6" wide at one end and only 5 ft wide at the other end. it is 12 ft long. we manage by having a shelf fitted to the wall for books and stuff. the beds are raised ones we had made , tall legs and they keep stuff in boxes underneath. there is a small set of draws and a small wardrobe [fitted at the narow end why its norrower] and they share that. we just had to pretend we were living on a canal barge, fit stuff around and hope or the best. 1 son lives here perminantly the other lives away at work during the week and is home weekends.
    "The purpose of Life is to spread and create Happiness"
    • emg
    • By emg 30th Jan 11, 10:50 AM
    • 1,372 Posts
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    • #9
    • 30th Jan 11, 10:50 AM
    • #9
    • 30th Jan 11, 10:50 AM
    Also, check around your new house for little nooks and crannies. You might be able to fit one of those tall thin chest of drawers in an alcove or behind a door on your landing or in your hallway somewhere. I only have one cupboard in my little flat and all the rest of my furniture is freestanding. I have managed to fit a good sized cupboard into my bathroom which has all my toiletries and towels in and also a shoe cabinet in the hall. My tv stand is actually a sideboard full of drawers but my biggest problem is clothes.

    What I have done is move the pole in the freestanding wardrobe up and fitted a second one underneath. It means I have to store my trousers folded over a hanger but I can fit twice as much in. I only have a few dresses anyway so I have hung those on a hook on the outside of the wardrobe on the side next to the wall so that they dont show. I also have hooks on the back of every door and in my bedroom I hang all my cardigans and handbags on this.

    I have got a big shallow basket from Dunelm Mill that matches my bedroom decor and this is on top of my wardrobe with my bedding in it. I also have a really tall bookcase in an alcove behind my bedroom door. I got it in IKEA as all their storage boxes are made to fit their furniture. It does have some books on it but I also got lots of their storage boxes so several shelves have these on and I have put things like accessories, stationery, photos, etc. in these.

    Hope some of these ideas are useful.

    (ETA - didnt realise this thread was an old one, I love hearing peoples storage ideas though!)
    Last edited by emg; 30-01-2011 at 11:01 AM.
    • dreaming
    • By dreaming 30th Jan 11, 10:57 AM
    • 656 Posts
    • 2,866 Thanks
    I downsized last year to a 2 bed bungalow. In my last house I had a 10foot long wardrobe fitment stuffed with clothes, 2 chests of drawers and a bedside table and I still overflowed. After a lot of sorting and recycling I still have the drawers and bedside table, but only 1 wardrobe in my bedroom. I swap summer/winter clothes over and store in suitcases under the bed. I had a small wardrobe built into the corner of the 2 bedroom/study for long coats. I also put a shoe tidy in there and a set of wire drawers from one of the diy stores for bedding etc. Bath towels are kept in a storage chest I use as a dressing table seat. I can honestly say I haven't missed all the clothes I used to have (does anyone need 6 virtually identical black t-shirts, or 4 pairs of black trousers? etc.). Every piece of furniture I have bought for this house has built-in storage. I bought a lovely pew-style bench for the kitchen with a lift-up seat - ideal for plastic boxes and tablecloths (and storing cans of food in the recent bad weather).
  • LittleLauz
    I have TONNES of junk!! I have lots of those under bed plastic storage boxes for all shoes, clothes, bedding and towels etc. Have them all stacked up in the spare room though as have a solid bed now. But they are fantastic and cheap if you have room under the beds.
    You can also get bigger ones that are taller, so I use them for all my boots. ( I have far too many shoes and boots, lol).
    • Alison Funnell
    • By Alison Funnell 30th Jan 11, 11:30 AM
    • 751 Posts
    • 3,187 Thanks
    Alison Funnell
    Chest of drawers in the living room. The old wooden type. We have a set I inherited from my great uncle that had already been painted a lovely non gloss old white colour that has our flat screen on and is fully of paper and craft goodies.

    Bedside cupboards instead of little coffee tables at the end of the sofa etc. I have allsorts of stuff in need (make up, nail varnish, spare sweeteners, pens, hand cream) in the sitting room.

    An old 50s kitchen style cupboard in the conservatory use full for china/bits there are no room for in the kitchen.

    Our old bed had built in drawers. Our metal frame doesn't so I am going to get storage boxes with lids for out of season clothes and shoes.

    We have an old fashion hall stand with lift up seat that we store some hat gloves scarves in.

    Have ikea bent wood chairs that I want to get some drawer sized/shaped boxes to go under them for more storage.

    We have a 3 bed terrace modern terrace with badly wasted spaces in the design. We are trying to improve it's storage in practical way. So most I like to be closed (drawers/cupboards) so there is less dust collection and the cats don't make beds!
    Put the kettle on.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 30th Jan 11, 1:40 PM
    • 62,818 Posts
    • 368,084 Thanks
    When I need storage, so long as there's space to do it, I'd be looking at:
    - Two open slatted pine shelving units (£15 each)
    - Length of wardrobe hanging rail however long I decide
    - One curtain rail
    - Some thin/organza/voile curtains wide enough

    Then I'll:
    - Make up the two pine shelving units (15 minutes, 1 screwdriver). Stand them side by side with 3-4-5' gap between them.
    - Plonk the hanging rail between the two units on the top shelf
    - Fix curtain rail somehow (possibly to the ceiling, or even directly to the units themselves
    - Bung on the voiles

    An instant, huge storage space, out of sight, for under £50, that can be achieved with one screwdriver and under 1 hour.
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