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Storage space always seems to come up short in Arizona homes, especially since we are in the desert. In part that’s because we don’t have basements. As a result, our garages are jammed with stacks of cardboard boxes and our closets are bulging.

Homeowners often ask if they can store things in their attics. But heat in the average attic could destroy your books, toys, photographs, and clothing. Most attics are also highly inaccessible because you can reach them only through a trap door overhead in a closet and once you store stuff there, you’ll forget all about it.

Critters, including rats, could invade your valuables in an attic as well. In addition, moving boxes of stuff up to the attic can disturb your attic insulation, making that insulation less efficient at protecting the downstairs from summer heat. Hooking up a fan to cool the attic may seem like a promising idea, but it could actually create negative pressure and cause cooler air from inside the living space down below to be drawn up into the attic.

So we have put together this list of 10 ways to add storage in your home – some involving remodels, and some less costly:

1 | Go vertical in your bathroom

That master bath with lots of wall space and giant mirrors could be a place to create more storage. Replace big mirrors with smaller ones and fill some of the space with taller cabinets that go from floor to ceiling. Or build small cabinets on counters between two sinks. You could have a cabinet with a sliding door with an electric outlet inside for recharging phones and toothbrushes. Old-fashioned medicine cabinets are being replaced with larger units that can hold hair-dryers and other appliances.

2 | Improve the garage and go vertical as well

You need to do a major cleaning, but should provide sturdy cabinets and maybe a work table. Buy longer lasting cabinets with laminate or melamine surfaces inside and out. Have the cabinets installed about 4-6 inches off the floor so you can clean underneath them. Your garage ceiling is often pretty high; so, you can use some of that space to hang bikes and perhaps other sports equipment from the ceiling. But just like your attic, your garage can get too hot for you and your belongings. So, if you can afford it, install a mini-split air conditioner. You also want to insulate the overhead garage door. Putting a fan in the garage just won’t work.

3 | Remodel the kitchen

Install more cabinets, including lots of pull-out shelves and bigger drawers. Just as in the bathroom, you may want to put taller cabinets into the room for the sake of storage. Some homeowners make lists of everything they want to store in the kitchen so that cabinets can be designed to suit their culinary requirements.

4 | Turn your carport into a garage

If you don’t have a genuine garage, it’s time to convert that carport into a garage with plenty of storage shelves, areas for hanging rakes and brooms, and cabinets that you can quickly fill up. Not only will you have more space, you’ll also feel more secure about your car and possessions.

5 | Go vertical in your laundry room

Install floor-to-ceiling cabinets in your laundry room if you have the space. You can easily store spare towels for guests, consolidate cleaning supplies, and much more.

6 | Update the home office

Buy a tall desk with shelves and cabinets above and below to use in your home office area. Be sure to add a shredder and a scanner to efficiently manage paper documents.

7 | Organize the small items

HGTV Smart Home 2017 in Scottsdale, AZ

Buy storage containers or shelves to put under bathroom and kitchen sinks. It would also be good to buy liners for flooring under cabinets below sinks to make it easier to clean up spills.

8 | Update the closet(s)

Add extra shelves in any walk-in closet. Maybe you even want to hire a closet designer to work on that master bedroom closet.

9 | Update the furniture

Replace some furniture with items that feature storage space inside, like beds with drawers’ underneath, benches for the kitchen table, or coffee tables and nightstands with drawers and shelves. How about a cabinet that holds a murphy bed or an armoire to store less used items like tablecloths, blankets and quilts?

10 | Make quality use of open space

Provide better cabinets in powder rooms or smaller baths. Switch from having a pedestal sink to having a vanity with cabinet space.


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