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DIY space-saving projects

Expertly reviewed by Beth Allen

When you move into your first home or apartment, your primary concern is having enough stuff to fill the space. At some point, however, you eventually hit a tipping point because you have accumulated so much that your concern shifts to finding space for everything you own. It doesn’t matter if you have a massive home or a tiny apartment. At some point, we all need help finding more storage space.

The best part about home space-saving projects is that most of them are easy, one-day or weekend projects that you can accomplish with a minimum of tools.

In this video

BestReviews’ Beth Allen, founder of HIP Chicks (Home Improvement Project Chicks), joins Gary Gelfand to share insights on what people can do to save space in their homes.

What to do if you have limited storage space in your home

When you reach that point where your stuff is taking up enough space to be called clutter, you have two options: declutter or add storage space.


Decluttering isn’t a one-time task. To keep your home free of excess stuff, you need to declutter on a daily basis. If you do, there is less chance you’ll be overwhelmed. Decluttering doesn’t always involve throwing things away. It can be as simple as making sure there is a spot for everything, and everything is in its spot. 

However, it is possible that you can have too many things. At that point, decluttering is no longer effective. You have to start getting rid of items you do not use, digitize your keepsakes and make some hard decisions about what can stay and what must go. Either that or move on to option number two: add storage space.

Add storage space

If you’ve been managing your clutter, adding storage space doesn’t mean you need drastic measures, such as building an addition, buying a shed or renting storage space. Adding storage space simply means being clever. Purchase furniture that has hidden compartments, take advantage of unused space, such as the area behind a sofa, and really think about how to get the most out of every area in your home or apartment, including walls and corners.

Often, getting the extra room you need can be achieved by completing a simple home DIY project. You can add shelves, hang hooks and create an organized system, so everything you need is properly stored but still at your fingertips. 

Easy home DIY projects that can help increase your storage space

Add shelves

The right shelf can turn blank wall space into usable storage. “If you can’t hide it, display it,” says Allen. The benefit of shelves is they give you a place to put things but keep them available for quick and easy access. A shelf can be painted to match any decor or used to express your personality. You can install a shelf in any location that has a wall, whether it is a bathroom or the inside of a cabinet. Best of all, shelves are versatile. They can hold a variety of items and can be arranged to create a designer look.

Use Command hooks 

When you have limited drawer space, you don’t have a place to stash all those little items you need to use every day, such as keys, belts, pot holders and feminine products. 3M Command hooks are an ideal storage space solution because they can be installed in seconds and will not damage the surface when removed. While you can put these tiny adhesive hooks up on any wall, often they are best saved for creating additional space in hidden areas, such as inside a cabinet or behind a closet door.

Install a metal file rack

Even if you live in a mansion, chances are you don’t have room on your desk for a computer, printer, scanner, mail, bills, books, magazines and more. A metal file rack hung on a nearby wall can quickly solve this problem. Any clutter you have littering your desktop can be neatly organized in one or more hanging file racks, leaving you much-needed empty space to work (and think) at your desk. Metal file racks can also be installed inside cabinet doors. According to Allen, they're ideal for keeping “lost souls” —  food storage container lids — neat and organized.

Shop this segment

Ikea Bekvam Spice Rack

This set of two Ikea Bekvam spice racks is made of solid birch wood and can be sanded or treated as desired. It is 15 ¾ inches wide and 3 ⅞ inches deep. The versatile design makes it a suitable choice for storing a variety of items, from spices to kids’ books.

Sold by Amazon

3M Command Hooks

Each wall hook in this pack of 16 can hold up to one-half pound. The hooks are installed using a damage-free adhesive strip that works on a variety of smooth surfaces ranging from finished wood to laminate and tiles. These hooks can be reused with refill strips.

Sold by Amazon, Home Depot (12 hooks) and Staples (22 hooks)

Universal Metal Mesh Wall File

This lightweight metal mesh file pocket only weighs 0.73 pounds. It is ideal for storing important letters and papers that you need to access often. Installation is simple and multiple units can be hung if you want to create a complete filing system.

Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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