Savvy Storage Ideas

Fall – the return to school and routine after the carefree days of summer is the perfect time to get things organized with design ideas that solve every busy family’s needs. There are so many clever storage solutions that go beyond organization and functionality that will blend seamlessly into every décor. Combined with current colour trends, and a little elbow grease as your re-organize will enhance your home and your lifestyle!

Of all the elements within in each room, the most essential for me, is its storage. Whether a simple chest of drawers, or an entire room elaborately dedicated to storage, no room should be without. Having a place for all of the things that make your life – your life, not only keep things well organized, but it will allow you to enjoy your décor, and have a ripple effect on all others areas of everyday life.
Think about it for a moment – every single day we open closets, drawers, and cabinets to get things that we use daily; our clothes, dishes, towels etc. But how many times do you dig under a pile of papers to find that one that you need, look for those shoes that might be upstairs, downstairs or on the stairs….or have you ever had to buy a new item because you simply cannot find the one that you know is ‘somewhere’ in the house? Most of us have been there, but with the right storage, those days can be gone and we can be spending time on more important things!
The best thing to do is get rid of any extra clutter if you live in a small space…..or a large space for that matter. But for what’s left, categorize and containerize, and then allocate to storage. Keep like things together and keep them some fun and fashionable baskets, boxes and bins.


Organizing closets is one of the best places to start. You’ll be amazed at how much extra space you actually have! First off, remove that one rod that’s at eye level, and create double hanging in half of your closet, making use of all that empty upper space. Once that is done, designate the other half with shelving. By using all of the vertical space, you will have really maximized every square inch. Everything will sit neatly in rows on each shelf, and the hanging will all be easily within reach.
An extra closet can easily be turned into a home office by removing the doors, and retro fitting all those home office things that end up on your kitchen counter or dining room table. Slide in a desk or have a full width counter built in with a drawers for files and stationery, and perhaps an open shelf for a printer and, a bulletin board and open shelving above. Have an electrician install a couple of outlets and directional lighting and you will have a perfect spot for important household papers and doing homework. Leave the doors off so it becomes a picture perfect little office niche….or if you tend to be a tad messy, keep the doors and close when not in use!

Office in a closet image, photo source: Pinterest, Pottery Barn

If possible, built-in storage offers a much better solution than free-standing wardrobes or bookshelves, as you can store so much behind the doors of what’s essentially a blank wall. If you want the look to be a little more interesting, designate a portion of the wall with shelving or drawers so you can display art books and décor items.

Photo source: Janice Fedak

Storage Benches

Benches under windows are one of my favourite spaces to fill. It’s usually a pretty narrow space, but by adding ready-made or custom built, a window bench will add a multi-functional storage and seating to an otherwise empty area.

Window Bench Image, photo source: Pinterest, Pottery Barn

I also adore cubbie storage as it perfectly and neatly divides open shelving into manageable squares that can be filled with baskets, boxes, books, toys and clothing. A few per each family member or each group of things.

Furniture with Hidden Storage

When selecting furniture, find pieces that also serve as easily accessible or even hidden storage. One of my favourite pieces is the bed. When you think of how much room a bed takes up in a room, even if a single size, it takes up a lot of valuable space! There are so many great solutions out there with drawers and lift-up options beneath the mattress exposing a huge open spaces! And if you have a traditional bed frame, you can use those functional zip bags or boxes for out of season items, memorabilia, or even extra blankets and linens.

Storage Bed Casalife Image, photo source: Casalife

And don’t be afraid to use pieces of furniture to creatively store specific things. For example, a china cabinet in the entrance way can be re-purposed for all those extras that go in and out daily; the drawers for scarves and gloves, the shelving below for shoes. And decorative hooks artfully placed on a wall will provide a spot for jackets, backpacks and bags…..keeping floors, chairs and banisters clear!

Living an organized existence creates peace of mind, allows you to focus more clearly and enjoy the open spaces in your home to the fullest. Remember, it doesn’t matter the size of your home – it’s how the space within in your home is allocated!

So have fun finding the space you never knew you had and then dress your home in colours that create calm and a sense of peace and semblance to everyday living. Now that’s a whole other topic……..stay tuned!

Plus See Janice Fedak at the Toronto Fall Home Show
Sat. Sept. 16 | 7pm & Sun. Sept. 17 | 1pm
Savvy Storage & Colours for your Home
Janice shares clever storage solutions that go beyond organization and functionality by combining current color trends with design ideas that reflect today’s busy family’s needs!

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