Thursday, January 26, 2012

Outside the Box Storage

Continuing our Small Home Living series...

Storage is a real concern when you have an above average amount of people living in your below average sized home. I have been on a purge-the-stuff mission for the past year, but let's get real: 6 people PLUS their stuff condensed to a 3 bedroom 1041 sq ft doesn't leave much space.

I used to fight against the space, thinking if we just had bigger closets or more practical storage furniture OR if we moved every one's stuff into the garage! Yeah, that's the answer! Well, that really doesn't work if you actually need the stuff for daily living. Right? Small spaces can only handle so much furniture.

I am still purging, it's an ongoing process of weeding out what isn't being used, has worn out it's welcome or is no longer needed. I have at least one bag for donation per week. However some items are going nowhere because they are useful.

Blankets and comforters for instance. We have a small linen closet that holds towels, sheets, a few table cloths and hand towels and a stash of cloth diapers (until I decide what I want to do with them and they are still in use as great towels/hot pads/oven mitts!). Comforters tend to mysteriously make their way out of the linen closet onto the hall way floor, regularly from being shoved in tight.

I love the look of pillows on my bed, LOTS of them. However, I don't have room to store pillows on my bed that won't even be used. I certainly don't want to spend $$$$ for an item that won't even be used either!

I store unused blankets in pillow shams instead. This works perfectly, I get the look I want, save space, and the blankets are easily accessible at all times. Take a look.

This can work for any size blanket depending on the size of the sham. I found small square, decorative, zippered pillow cases on clearance last year at Michael's art and craft store. They were under a dollar each. They are the perfect size for baby blankets! Yes, baby blankets are still in use by the toddler and a few were hand made that have sentimental value and I hope will become heirlooms.

You could leave them on the beds and sleep on top, only using the blankets you actually need to keep warm. Also double the fitted sheets on your bed and when you need to wash, only remove the top sheet. Another option is to use them in decorating your home. Having throw blankets across the back of the couch or love seat is nice and cozy. Or even on the edge of a bed like this:

Don't forget that gold mine of space *under* your bed. Sure you can purchase slim under bed storage boxes BUT you can also purchase bed risers. There are plenty of styles to choose from. They raise your bed quite a few inches and it makes all the difference in the world! I have my daughter's bed positioned on a sturdy set and it provided just the space we needed for a full sized piece of hard luggage to fit under. She stores both her 18" inch dolls and all their accessories, in it.

If you are so inclined, you could use solid wood beams, and make your own risers like the picture below.

I love my neighborhood so much, I never want to move. We are blessed with super cheap rent and everything is within walking distance: two grocery stores, a fabulous thrift store, two parks, the post office, the library, a mall, craft and fabric stores, and even an entire street of restaurants. It's worth it for me to appreciate what I have instead of dreaming of something that may never be what we truly need. I'd rather stay here and *make* it work!

Come back next Thursday for another post in our Small Home Living Series, featuring another guest post: Maximizing your Square Footage!

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  1. Yes, yes, yes!! Love your attitude towards small living, and I love the idea to store blankets in decorative pillow cases. I must give this a try.

  2. Oh I love this idea of blankets in the shams as well. Does double duty - stores the blankets and eliminates the need to buy pillows to fill the shams. Beautiful - thanks for joining our Link It Up Thursday party.

  3. I would love to get to a more simple, smaller way of living!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  4. the blanket inside a pillow sham is great

  5. I love this series, cause we live in the smaller home, and storage is definitely an issue. I so can relate to your fight against the space, I dream of bigger closet, and more more more closets, but what's the use. Dreams don't provide me storage. Love your idea of stuffing shams with blankets. Your creativity suits you living in a small space perfectly. Thanks for sharing you creative inspirations over at Sunday's Best.

  6. I never would have thought of that, but it makes SO much sense!! I'm having one of those "why didn't I think of that" moments!! :)

    Thanks so much for linking up!! I love this small space series.


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