Clever home storage ideas

Having tidied your home for the festive season, it can seem like there's another mountain to climb once all those gifts are unwrapped. All of a sudden there is more stuff and the same amount of space in which to put them. But these days there are plenty of home storage solutions that just might help you find room for all the extras.

Shelves and armchair
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Okay, so it sounds obvious but shelving can fit in areas that you probably never thought of. The kitchen is a good example - shelving that fits behind the door or alongside your cupboards affords valuable extra space, particularly if you've received lots of foodie gifts. It enables you to store dry goods, such as cereal and baking products, freeing up space in cupboards. Alternatively, it can serve as a storage area for related items, such as baby food, bottles and formula.

Behind-the-door hanging pockets aren't just for shoes. They are perfect for everything from the bathroom (flannels or shampoos and shower gels) to the children's bedrooms, where they (or more likely, you) can put away nick nacks and toys that litter the floor. Similarly, if there are video games strewn across the living room floor, pockets provide a handy place to store them away.

Under stairs
If you are lucky enough to enjoy the luxury of under stairs storage, it's time to make the most of the space. Those items that gather dust, or the surplus already-read books that you're loathe to throw out can be properly stored under the stairs if you install some shelving. DIY stores often offer flat pack, free-standing shelving units to a range of heights that could maximise the space.

ShelvingClothes storage
If your wardrobe is already bulging think about re-organising the available space. Hooks on the inside of the wardrobe doors allow you to hang ties, belts, scarves and such but if you are desperate to create more room, try putting away those summer clothes until warmer weather returns. Spacebags are a fabulous way to minimise the clothes you don't need - by placing your summer wardrobe into the bags and using your vacuum cleaner, you'll free up valuable winter wardrobe space.

Again, try your local DIY superstore for pigeon-hole style shelving. These allow you to store ornaments, books and picture frames while the messy bits and pieces can be put into baskets and concealed.

There are many areas in the house which are often unused - so get creative and consider how you can use those corners, nooks and crannies to de-clutter your home.