We’re all pushed for space. Not surprising really, with some of the smallest homes in Europe being built right here in the UK. So what can we do to maximise the space we do have?
There are a variety of different storage systems available to help maximise space, and you can look at these whether you’re a home and have a personal storage problem, or if you’re a business, and you need a solution to your business storage requirements. We’ll be looking at these in more detail in later blogs, but today we’re just going to outline some of the practical solutions you could adopt to help manage your space more effectively.
We love IKEA. IKEA is such a great solution provider to people functioning with very limited space, we just had to give them a category of their own. With bijoux office spaces featuring slide-out desks and fold-away chairs that will fit in a studio apartment, through to brilliant little flats that incorporate a bed, sofa, kitchen, bathroom and storage space all in less than 10 square meters (or 100sq ft). Even in London, where homes are reputedly tiny and storage space is at a premium, IKEA’s storage solutions offer great ideas at affordable prices. Take a visit to your local IKEA store and marvel at the ingenuity of their engineers and creatives!
Shelving is an age-old, practical solution. It’s fallen out of favour recently, with minimalist, contemporary home designs and the preferred look of a sleek, uncluttered wall with a single, floating shelf or no shelves at all. But don’t discount shelving as a very practical, day to day storage solution. You can buy some great looking floating shelves to mount to your wall if that’s your bag, or for a more traditional look, stick with a shelving unit. You could opt for a beautiful oak or walnut shelving unit, or a more modern version made of compressed wood and painted white or black. Of course, you’ve always got the option of simple, expandable metallic racking if that’s the look you’re after.
Racking is similar to shelving, but is traditionally used for commercial purposes. Racking is modular and expandable, and can be purchased in sizes and loadings to suit you. While a business might opt for large, high-back racking strong enough to hold many pallets of goods, racking can also have a place in the home – in your utility room for instance, or in the garage. The modular construction of racking makes it a very efficient way of maximising the use of space, whether in the home, garage or business.
Rails are another common form of storage. You can get double-height clothing rails, on which you could store a significant number of garments, and these are often seen in dry cleaning businesses where there is fast turnover of a high number of garments. You can use them in the home too, although you will need to consider the possibility of garments getting dirty or dusty. Again, IKEA does a wonderful range of hanging rails around which they erect simple cloth covers which can easily be zipped open or closed for access.
This is a huge area for discussion, and we will go into a lot more detail about storage boxes in a different blog post. For now, all you need to know is that boxes come in thousands of shapes and sizes. While you can get metal and wooden crates, the majority of practical storage boxes that you might wish to use on a day to day basis will be either of a plastic or cardboard construction.
There are boxes for storing archives and other document records, and there are boxes constructed specifically for storing CDs and DVDs. Others still were designed with books in mind; wide and flat, to make it easier to store the books, without the box becoming too heavy to handle. Some of have lids, other don’t. Some come with handles, others don’t. Some boxes will last (or should last!) a lifetime, while still others will have been designed with a single move in mind. You can get boxes the right size and shape for your large, flat, widescreen TV and you can even get wardrobe boxes for transporting your clothes from A to B without getting them creased or dirty! There is almost an endless array of boxes for you to choose from, and we’ll help you decide which ones are best for you.
Finally, there is always the self storage option. Self storage is our preferred solution, not only because we love it, but because it’s a genuine off-site storage solution. Despite the description, self storage doesn’t mean storing yourself; what it means is you do the storing yourself. So instead of calling up some gruff warehousemen to come along and remove your belongings to a top-secret, undisclosed location where they will gather dust until you ask to have them delivered back to you, you get full control of the whole process.
You get your own personal storage unit. In it, you can place (pretty much, within reason and the law) anything you like. You have access to the room at any time for no extra charge, and so you can add or remove items yourself as desired. It’s a very flexible storage solution, because you can store what you don’t need right now and keep what you do need; and as your storage needs change, you can simply swap over what you’re keeping in storage. For instance, you might keep your Christmas Tree and all the decorations in storage until Christmas, or you might store your summer or winter clothes depending on the season. With many different unit sizes to choose from and complete flexibility, self storage is the best off-site storage solution for home or business.