Vertical storage is an important yet often overlooked way to better organize your home – by thinking vertically, you can not only save on floor space but also keep items organized at eye level, making it easier to find what you need.
The best way to use vertical storage is by assessing your needs and planning accordingly. This can entail anything from space saving ideas for small spaces to inventive storage solutions that conveniently keep items organized and out of the way.
'We all feel that pinch of not having enough room to move around in our busiest areas like kitchens, laundry rooms, or home office,' says Max Mattes, owner of Max Paint and Restoration. 'By creatively using the vertical real estate around you, you can free up valuable counter, cabinet and floor space.'
Below, some of the best vertical storage ideas to help you organize any space.
Ways to use vertical storage to make your home better organized
When organizing with vertical storage, maintain clear pathways and ensure that items are stored securely to prevent tripping hazards.
1. Wall-mounted shelves
These versatile additions not only maximize vertical space but also serve as display areas for decor, books, and storage bins. You can choose floating shelves for a sleek, minimalist look or bracket shelves for added support.
Choose a style that complements your home's aesthetic for a functional and decorative solution.
'In kitchens, these shelves can store spice bottles, small pots or pans, cups, mugs, and more,' recommends Melissa Engelke, owner and lead interior designer at ME Design. 'In the bedroom, you can store folded clothes and or personal items, and in the living room, you can store your family photographs, travel souvenirs, and more.'
These can utilized for keeping items easily accessible and at eye-level.
2. Over-the-door storage
Over-the-door hooks and racks provide a convenient, renter-friendly storage option that, unlike other wall mounted options, require no drilling or adhesion.
They can be used on the back of doors to avoid blocking pathways, or within cabinet or cupboard doors to keep items stored out of sight.
In the kitchen, you can use your pantry door to install shelves to store spice bottles or other essentials. In your closet, you can use the over-the-door storage and hooks to store shoes, hats, scarves, coats, bags, and more. In a laundry room they can be used to dry laundry in a small space with over-the-door drying racks.
3. Wall-mounted furniture
Wall-mounted furniture can be easy to fold or tuck away when not in use, making them a great way to maximize the functionality of a small room while saving space.
'No matter the size of your house, wall-mounted furniture allows you to make use of vertical storage space effectively,' says Melissa Engelke.
'For example, wall-mounted tables are a perfect addition to your home office. This gives you a dedicated space to work and allows you to fold the table and store items when it’s not needed, creating more space. The same goes for wall-mounted tables for dining areas, beds for bedrooms, drying racks for laundry rooms and more.'
4. Hanging hooks and pegs and strips
Hanging hooks, pegs and magnetic strips are a simple and convenient addition to any space that can take up as little or as much vertical space as your storage needs require.
Install these in entryways for coats and bags, in kitchens for pots, pans, and utensils, in the garage for sports equipment and tools, or in bedrooms for accessories. It's a simple yet effective way to keep frequently used items within easy reach.
'Hanging hooks work great in small homes or apartments where every inch matters,' says Judi Kutner, founder and CEO of Virtual Staging. 'By putting hooks on walls and doors or even in cabinets, you free up floor space and counter space. It helps cut down on clutter a lot.'
'Pegboards are an excellent option for flexibility to get your space organized. You can place them in your kid's room for that playful feel or at the back of your main door and switch the pegs to hang different things, such as umbrellas, coats, hats, and bags,' recommends Bella Zinti at The Homey Space.
'You can even place a wooden board where you can place small objects like sunglasses and water bottles or a small flower pot to serve as wall decor. These versatile pegboards work across the home and add an industrial-chic vibe to your area.'
Finally, magnetic strips can turn any vertical surface into a sleek storage opportunity for metal items like knives or beauty tools.
5. Under-stair storage
Make the most of the underused vertical space under your stairs by adding built-in drawers, shelves, or cabinets to store shoes, books, or other items that may otherwise clutter living areas. These can be used in alongside with storage baskets or bins for easy accessibility.
6. Tall cabinetry
Tall cabinets or bookshelves use vertical space effectively, especially in rooms with limited square footage, such as those with awkwardly sized alcoves. They offer ample storage while also serving as a visual anchor, drawing the eye upward and enhancing the room's verticality.
This approach makes use of otherwise wasted space and adds to the sleek appearance of the room.
You can opt for cabinets with doors to maintain a clean and streamlined appearance if you are using it primarily for storage or choose those with open shelves for a more decorative storage option.
Consider those with adjustable shelving to cater to your changing storage needs.
7. Hanging racks
'If your home has a high ceiling, you can use it as a vertical storage space, such as with hanging racks,' says Melissa Engelke. 'Ceiling hanging space can not only give you extra storage space but also give your home a modern and chic interior.'
'The kitchen is a popular place for ceiling-hanging storage. It's a smart way to hang and store your pots and pans while making it look like decor at the same time,' says Bella Zinti. 'To avoid your space looking crowded, these can be hung above your kitchen island.'
'But why gatekeep it only to the kitchen? You can use ceiling hanging in other areas of your house, such as in the living room; you can create a hanging garden with your favorite plants. For the bedroom, you can hang your smaller nightstands to create a cleaner look. Or, use a ceiling-mounted drying rack in the laundry room,' adds Melissa Engelke.
How do you ensure your wall storage is secure?
To ensure your wall storage is secure, Roman Zrazhevskiy, founder and CEO at Mira Safety recommends: 'Begin by securing heavy items and ensuring that wall-mounted shelves or hanging organizers are properly anchored to studs or sturdy supports. This prevents accidents caused by shelves falling or heavy items shifting unexpectedly.
'When installing vertical storage, carefully follow manufacturer instructions and weight limitations to avoid overloading shelves or racks, which could compromise their stability.'
Regularly inspect and maintain the stability of wall-mounted storage solutions to ensure they remain safe and functional over time.
You can also use tiered or hanging planters indoors to grow herbs, small plants, or succulents. These can be used on walls or hanging from your ceiling. Hanging indoor planters at eye level can add visual appeal while utilizing vertical space effectively.
You can find this SCANDINORDICA three-tiered window planter at Amazon.
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Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.
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