There are 7 underused spots in your home perfect for storage – are you using them?

Expand your home storage without sacrificing style by taking advantage of these underused spots in your home perfect for storage

Underused spots in your home perfect for storage
(Image credit: Neptune / Dunelm / Roundhouse)

Limited storage is an all-too-common problem for homeowners who covet beautiful things or run busy family homes. Fortunately, there are several overlooked storage opportunities waiting to be discovered where you least expect them. 

The key to maximizing storage in every room is to adapt and utilize all available spaces, including high and narrow areas, awkward nooks and corners, and out-of-sight spots. By transforming these spaces with tactical storage ideas, you can not only declutter your home but also elevate its functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Our organizing and interior experts have explained how to make the most of underused spots in your home with plenty of untapped storage potential.

Underused spots in your home perfect for storage

'Many people feel that their homes lack storage space when, in reality, they simply need to make better use of the available space,' says Brenda Scott, professional home organizer and founder of Tidy My Space.

'Unless you plan to invest in an expensive renovation to increase the square footage of your home, adding closets or installing larger cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms, you are limited to the existing space and must, therefore, maximize it.' 

1. Under beds and sofas

Underbed storage ideas with cork underbed bags

(Image credit: Dunelm)

The area beneath beds, sofas, and coffee tables often goes unused. While the storage potential available under these furniture pieces varies depending on their design, if there is enough room underneath, it's worth considering how you could store items there in an organized and convenient manner.

You can maximize storage space by measuring the area under your furniture and finding custom-fit solutions. Look for shallow boxes, rolling carts, or baskets that can easily slide under the furniture.

Brenda Scott says: 'Using closed containers with rollers is an effective way of storing items in a space-efficient and safe way. These containers can be easily pulled out without damaging wood flooring or getting snagged on the carpet. Choosing containers with lids or the drawer version can keep the stored items clean and free from dust bunnies.

'Depending on how you use this space, this can be an excellent way to store essentials such as underwear and socks for bedrooms or books, blankets and tech in a living room, or seldom-used items, and seasonal clothes while keeping them within easy reach.'

brenda scott home organizing
Brenda Scott

Brenda Scott is passionate about home organizing, decluttering, and creating a safe home. At Tidy My Space, she helps people to keep their homes tidy when life gets busy. Brenda shares useful tips and gives practical help with sorting and editing her clients' spaces, leading them to feel less stressed and bringing the luxury of time to be spent with family, friends, or on themselves.

2. Backs of Doors

Under stairs pantry ideas

(Image credit: Future)

Over-the-door organizers can effectively transform the back of any door into a practical storage space that may have otherwise been wasted. Whether you want these to be discreet pockets inside closets or displayed for easy access, these versatile organizers can neatly store various items.

'Consider making use of the backs of upper kitchen cabinets for a spice rack, pantry doors for food storage, or a memo station,' recommends Brenda Scott. 'Optimize the bathroom sink base cabinets for waste baskets or towels, and on the back of closet doors a hanging pocket shoe organizer can hold shoes, makeup, or items needed for a quick grab going out the door. The list is endless.'

'This is especially useful If you rent or have doors that you don't want to damage, you can purchase an over-the-door version of hanging organizers. They're just as sturdy as the direct mount ones but their easy installation and removal make them a flexible solution.' 

Just remember, there has to be clearance at the top of the door and the door frame for the door to close properly.

3. Storage above doors

Bookshelving built around and above double doorway in room with white walls, wood floor, and striped rug

(Image credit: Future / Jody Stewart)

The space above door frames is often overlooked but if the clearance is big enough, it can be utilized for storage. Install simple shelving above doors to create room for displaying books, decorative baskets, or seldom-used items, making use of vertical storage to save space.

You can even install shelves in groupings of varying depths so you can store a variety
of objects without things getting lost in the back.

5. Customized closet solutions


(Image credit: Target)

In most homes, the basic closet setup typically includes a single full shelf with one long rod. However, this design tends to waste a lot of space. The best solution is to use some DIY to install a combination of closet organizers. This way you can create a closet customized to you and maximize any underused space.

'Tailor your closet to your needs with custom shelving, hanging rods, and drawer units,' recommends Jackie Pittman, Founder of Chez Nous Organizing. 'This not only optimizes space but makes finding and organizing items a breeze which can make a huge difference in your everyday routine.'

To do this, Brenda Scott advises:

  • Consider whether you need more long hanging space or stacked shelving in your closet. Do this by determining the types of items you have. Do you have mostly short items, like shirts, folded over jeans, or do you have long dresses and jackets?
  • Take a look at the height of your closet and see if you can add another full shelf above the original one. This underused space can be used to increase your storage capacity.
  • The floor of your closet is another useful space that is often overlooked. Stacked shoe storage can help eliminate the pile of shoes on the floor, making it easier to find what you need and preserving your footwear from damage.
  • If the closet is large enough, you can place a dresser inside the closet too. This is particularly useful for small children since their hanging clothes are very short, and a 3 or 4-drawer dresser fits nicely, freeing up space in the main bedroom.
  • You can also keep this space versatile by only having a hanging rod, instead of more permanent installations, but using hanging organizers to ensure all vertical space is utilized. 
Jackie Pittman
Jackie Pittman

Jackie Pittman is the owner of Chez Nouz Organizing, having started her business after making multiple cross-country moves and becoming familiar with the process of cutting back belongings and organizing the essentials of everyday life.

6. Ceiling storage

white rustic kitchen with beamed ceiling and ceiling storage above white island

(Image credit: JLF Architects / Audrey Hall)

If you can find a practical and aesthetically pleasing way to integrate ceiling-mounted storage into your home, this is perhaps the most efficient way to maximize space without taking up floor space. 

Here are some ways this can be done:

  • In terms of kitchen ideas, pots, pans, and utensils can be conveniently hung at eye level from a hanging rack. 
  • For laundry room ideas, consider installing ceiling-mounted drying racks. These can not only be used to dry clothes in a small space but also for storing folded linens when it is not in use.
  • 'Bikes take up considerable storage space and can easily clutter your garage or shed when not stored properly, so bikes can be stored on your garage ceiling with a standard ceiling-mount hoist rack or a more innovative electric pulley system,' recommends Ivo Iv, Founder and CEO of Decor Home Ideas.

7. Multi-functional furniture

Blue ottoman

(Image credit: Loaf)

'Invest in furniture that serves more than one purpose to optimize storage in your living areas,' recommends Jackie Pittman, professional organizer. 

For instance, for the best bed storage ideas, consider replacing standard bedframes with storage-friendly platforms or those that offer storage compartments in the headboard to stow items away. 

Similarly, Brenda Scott suggests buying tables or ottomans that have a storage compartment inside them. 'This creates storage without the need for additional furniture and works well in a living room, family room, bedroom, or dining area. 

'Ottomans, coffee tables, and side tables can also be used to hide items such as remotes, books, tissue boxes, and office supplies, creating a visually clutter-free home without needing more furniture or bins.'

Finally, if you have items that require more secure storage, consider under stairs ideas. The area underneath your staircase is often overlooked but can be transformed with pull-out drawers or elegant, closed cabinets to store your belongings. Additionally, stair risers can be used as hidden drawers, providing even more storage options. 

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.