It’s a well-known truth that no matter how big your room is, how much space your flat has, and how many sets of drawers you buy…you’re probably never going to feel like you have enough storage.
So take this truth and shoehorn it into the ‘just enough space for a double bed’ room you’re hypothetically renting in your current flatshare, and what we’ve got is the space of storage nightmares. Things are spilling out crammed drawers, there’s nowhere to keep your bike, and the Marie Kondo book about decluttering you got for Christmas last year is sitting atop a pile of other junk in the corner, ironically gathering dust.
What the hell do you do? Well, we’re no Marie Kondo but we can help you start to streamline your stuff with a few clever storage hacks to make the most of your space.
1) A case for baskets
Otherwise known as the more stylish way to disguise your hoarding problem, pretty storage baskets are the ideal home for ‘useless crap’. You know, things like the payslips you’ve held onto for two years because you don’t know if you’re allowed to get rid of them, and the 18th birthday cards you can’t bring yourself to chuck. These badboys will slot neatly underneath your bed, at the bottom of your wardrobe, or wherever else you can stuff ’em – but that doesn’t mean you have to opt for ugly designs. H&M home has a great range for more than reasonable prices, like the achingly on-trend millennial pink wicker-look basket above.
2) Let’s get trollied
Although largely associated with aeroplane travel, dinner ladies and cheese selections in really fancy restaurants, a well-utilised trolley could actually be your shared kitchen’s best friend. Use it to store anything and everything, from your Tupperware and crockery collections to non-perishable goods you can’t squeeze into your cupboard (looking at you, spice collection). Or if you’re going for a more #chic vibe, pop it in your bedroom and use it for your artfully arranged bric a brac, plants, beauty products, or alcoholic spirits. We’re in LOVE with this Urban Outfitters beauty, but if you’re not sure you want to spare £200 there’s a range of more affordable options at Argos waiting to be carted around. Stuff on wheels = endless fun, btw.
3) We’re hooked
This is a true story: when I moved to uni and into my first ever rented room (which actually was the size of a double bed), over the door hooks saved my life. The true extent of my coat collection made for a difficult battle with my tiny ‘double’ wardrobe, and once I’d finally stopped sobbing at the potential prospect of actually having to throw some clothes away, I made a beeline for Wilko to find some storage solutions. £5 later, I staggered home with a (sinfully ugly) four-hook hanger, and the rest is history. Now I’ve got a bigger budget, I’d be more likely to invest in something aesthetically pleasing like these wooden Dunelm hooks, and let my coats live in the luxury they deserve.
4) Get drawer-ganised
Your drawers are just over a quid away from a lifetime of organisation, and it’s all thanks to Ikea: king of storage solutions. These handy dividers can be cut to fit and slot together easily to suit your drawer-dividing needs. It’s literally the PERFECT way to separate underwear from belts, vests from tees, sunglasses from purses… the list goes on. The next challenge: remembering which section you’ve stored everything in.
5) Feel the tension
And for the grand finalé of genius storage hacks, we give you tension rods. Install a few of these into every spare nook and cranny and let the magic happen. Curtain hanging aside, tension rods have got SO many uses: hang shoes on them for a makeshift shoe rack (above), use them to create mini shelves in your kitchen cupboards (perfect for small spices and bottles), install them across windows to hang herb baskets off… Just search ‘tension rods’ in Pinterest if you’re after some inspo. Invest in your first rod for as little as £2.50 from Wilko and embark on your new life of blissful landlord-friendly storage. As well as the sheer novelty of having your entire shoe collection as wall art.
Whether it’s a big space, small space or just any space you’re after – you can find that perfect flatshare on SpareRoom. With over 90,000 rooms and flatmates on offer, there’s a LOT of bedrooms waiting for tension rods…