When I moved into a new residence this 12 months and established about filling the closets, stocking the shelves and if not occupying the place, a person issue immediately grew to become distinct: My stuff wasn’t all heading to healthy.

The home has four closets, an attic and a garage — not unconventional for a 1,400-square-foot, three-bedroom Seattle cottage. But apparently it’s not roomy adequate to comfortably house all of my family’s possessions. In Seattle, a lot of more mature residences and more recent townhomes put up with from the identical difficulties — little or couple closets, cramped garages and tight quarters all close to.

My present-day approach — stacking plastic tubs to the ceiling in a Leaning Tower of Pisa-variety sculpture — is not sustainable. To retrieve my vacation ornaments from the stack of bins, for instance, I’ll have to unstack them all 1st, factors out Lynnwood-based mostly expert organizer Linda Deppa

I of course need to have to glance exterior the box for my storage alternatives.

Deppa recommends that I employ the confined room I have not by stacking objects in just one location, but by including cabinets and repurposing rooms, nooks and other areas in my home.

Listed here are more tips and suggestions from Deppa and other Seattle-space organizers on how and where by to retail outlet our belongings when area is limited.


If you have a bedroom closet with a solitary, lonely hanger rod, Deppa implies taking away the rod and putting in shelves in its place. The closet can then be applied to retail store a selection of objects and not minimal to hanging outfits.

Prepared-manufactured kits are readily available from big-box shops like Property Depot or Lowe’s, or you can get tailored support from a closet corporation that will measure and put in a shelving procedure.

At a bare minimum, incorporate a second hanging rod, additionally a basic row of cabinets. “You can set footwear or folded clothes on shelves,” Deppa says, and keepsakes and other goods that require infrequent obtain can go on the maximum shelf.

Other deep shelves or cupboards in the dwelling may gain from a rotating lazy Susan, which provides products from again to front quickly, Deppa states.

Recessed spaces between wall studs can be used for shelves to accommodate cooking spices and other small items that you want to have handy, yet out of sight. (Courtesy of 1AD Studio)

Val Sporleder, the operator of 1Advertisement Studio in Seattle, specializes in maximizing area in accent dwelling units — or ADUs — and more mature city houses. She claims folks often forget about storage in their remodeling strategies. Compact-scale storage solutions make sure things are in which you need them, when you have to have them, she suggests.

Recessed closets created in between wall studs can hold guides, cooking spices, brooms and other tiny goods that you want to retain helpful, nonetheless out of sight. Sporleder will take gain of tall ceilings in tiny spaces by including storage for seldom-employed products (such as luggage) up superior and accessed with rolling library ladders. 


This storage system by California Closets corrals all of the various items in a garage using a combination of shelves, cabinets and wall mounts. (Courtesy of California Closets)

“Garages have develop into much more popular than typical currently [for storage],” states Seattle-centered designer Michelle Gion of California Closets, which designs and installs custom cabinetry for each large and modest areas. 

In garages, Gion claims her consumers typically want storage methods to include crafted-ins like a workbench or a position to wax a snowboard. Cabinets are created on footers to aid ward off dampness and flooding that can manifest in garages.

Seattle’s beneath-quality garages are significantly prone to dampness or drinking water. Eric Koho, who functions at Lynnwood-dependent Garage Logix, recommends tests for dampness and, if necessary, waterproofing just before adding new storage. He claims new flooring supplies for the garage consist of a vapor barrier to maintain floors dry. 

If you choose to generate your personal shelving or cabinetry in the garage, Koho warns that low-cost elements might warp in Seattle’s damp local weather and in some cases are unable to take care of significant amounts of weight.

In an unheated, uninsulated garage, moisture and mould can hurt precious products. If you’re storing critical or meaningful things there, Deppa implies using airtight containers to assist retain them protected. 

Wall- or ceiling-mounted storage is suitable in a smaller garage where by the car or truck or other objects occupy the ground room. Deppa suggests the black, powder-coated shelving or ceiling-hung racks that are available from Costco. They can accommodate bikes, holiday getaway decorations and other things applied seasonally, sports gear and, of system, containers. But they are big, and you might will need to deliver in a specialist to put in them. 


For added elevated storage, look further than the ceiling rack and into the attic. Attic sizes vary relying on architectural models, and some households simply just do not have usable place at the top rated. But for those people with attic room, it can be a valuable place to squirrel away specified belongings. 

One particular of Deppa’s clientele placed plywood in excess of the rafters to shop almost never utilised bins and installed a ladder for accessing the area via a hole in the ceiling — as nicely as a admirer to keep the area from receiving way too sizzling. 

Even with a admirer managing, the attic is possibly however the warmest part of your household, Deppa suggests. “Don’t retail outlet nearly anything there that can deteriorate or soften,” she states.

Other areas around the property

A lazy Susan can add usefulness to awkward cabinets by easily bringing hard-to-reach items to the front. (Getty Images)

Fairly than acquiring hats, scarves and shoes scattered throughout the residence, Gion suggests storing them all in a small, freestanding “mudroom” by the front door. Charges for custom made mudroom setups can assortment from $2,000 to $10,000, she suggests, and include mounting cabinets that match the aesthetics of close by home furnishings and decor.

A laundry area is a further underused  storage location, Gion suggests. Closets set up there can retail outlet and hide objects this sort of as linens, cleansing materials and cat litter packing containers. 

If you have an extra bed room that is only utilised by guests a few situations a year, Deppa recommends “refunctioning” the place for day-to-day use. Swap the mattress for a higher-end inflatable product that is saved when not in use, and outfit the area for use as an workplace or reward place.

Household furniture can provide a number of reasons — assume about that footrest that you also use as overflow seating or as a flat taking in floor when you’re binging Netflix. Another goal can be for storage, these types of as an ottoman that’s intended to stow additional pillows or winter blankets. An unused nook beneath the stairs can be a clever spot for adding bookshelves, a closet or a food items pantry. 

When you have operate out of room inside your dwelling, a rather simple and expense-efficient resolution may be offered outdoors. Sporleder says one particular storage-challenged ADU renter she worked with extra a prefabricated drop from Home Depot in the yard to maintain their camping products.

Deppa suggests each homeowner should be ready to take pleasure in a peaceful, muddle-no cost living place, regardless of the dimension of their property. And that contains not worrying about when that leaning tower of tubs may at last idea over.