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10 clever storage solutions for rental properties

By George Hadgelias

Is that tiny cupboard in your rental starting to drive you batty? Are you sick of struggling to close its door, while a pile of clothes and miscellaneous items teases it open from below?

If you’ve answered yes to one of those questions, then chances are your rental lacks storage. In which case, you’ll either need to explore ways to fix the problem, or simply resign yourself to living in a home where chaos reigns supreme.

Here are a few options to consider.

1. Use stacks of boxes

A simple stack of matching boxes in the corner of a room can be a very elegant and modern solution to your storage problem. You can use plastic, cardboard, wicker or metal – whatever material suits your aesthetic and your budget.

Even simple, inexpensive cardboard file boxes can look fantastic stacked haphazardly in the corner of a bedroom or office.

2. Consider freestanding wardrobes

If it looks like you’re going to be renting for the foreseeable future, it might be a good idea to purchase a freestanding wardrobe. It will give you a place to hang your clothes and can double as a pantry or television cabinet if the next house you move into has decent cupboard space.

You can scrimp or splurge depending on your budget. Timber wardrobes will be more expensive; zip-up fabric versions, a fraction of the cost.

3. Embrace an open pantry

There’s no need to despair if your new kitchen doesn’t have a pantry, as a bookshelf makes for an excellent alternative. You can keep all of your dry cooking supplies neatly in jars, and arrange plates and cups in chaotic stacks, to add rustic charm.

Magnetic strips for knives and hanging hooks for pots and pans are two more ways to reduce clutter in the kitchen.

4. Utilise buckets and tubs

These are particularly useful if you have children, as you can store toys, clothing, towels, beauty products, cleaning products, bedding and sports equipment in them. If you purchase tubs with lids, you can stack them neatly in a designated area.

5. Use hooks to hang items

Semi-permanent hooks are a must-have for apartments with scarce storage. Over-the-door hooks are the best option, as they aren’t secured with an adhesive, and you can hang coats, dressing gowns and storage organisers from them.

Removable adhesive hooks are a safe alternative. You can stick them anywhere you like, although you’ll need to test them on your walls first, to make sure they really are removable.

6. Use boxes stacked into shelves for storage

Stacking metal, wooden or plastic boxes on their sides is an excellent way to make a temporary shelf.

It’s a good idea to get boxes with lids if you move frequently, as you can just pop the lid on and move your belongings without having to pack anything.

Portable shelving units are also great, as they can serve as bookshelves, shoe racks, or a spot for trinkets.

7. Use trays and suitcases as storage

Trays will help you make use of any additional space you have in the house. Big plastic trays on wheels are fantastic for extra under-the-bed storage; smaller trays, for organising small surface areas such as dressing tables and desks.

Suitcases and large bags are also great for storing items you don’t need to access every day.

8. Consider a freestanding coat rack

Sleek modern coat racks take up very little room in your home and will provide you with a place to keep coats, sports bags, scarves and handbags, preventing them from finding a home on your limited floor space.

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9. Create bookshelves from inexpensive materials

Buy some inexpensive planks of wood from a hardware store and use stacks of your books to prop them up to make a shelf.

It’s also an excellent space saver, as you’re using an item that needs to be stored to help store other items. It’s also perfect for people with large libraries.

10. Reuse old trunks and chests

Trunks and chests are brilliant for storing extra bedding, and if you purchase one that has a flat top, it can also double as a coffee table.

This is another storage solution that is excellent for frequent movers. You can just pick up the trunk and leave; there’s no need to pack.

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