Storage Spaces To Look For When House Hunting

By:

Liz

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Storage spaces to look for when house hunting!

Let’s talk storage spaces when house hunting! I can’t tell you how many times we go to unpack a client in their new home and there’s nowhere to store half of their things. This can often mean people have too much stuff but there are basic items that need homes and there’s nowhere to go with it. The grandest foyer doesn’t help when you need to hang up a coat…

We really encourage our clients who are building or house hunting to make looking at storage spaces a priority and not get wowed by the beautiful countertops that will get covered in stuff if there’s no place for them to be stored.

Why the heck is it that way?

Builders often don't build for function...

Many times designers and builders are going for the wow factor when they put a house together. The grand entry, the huge living room, spacious primary bedroom, the open floor plans, etc. The issue is that this takes away from places to actually put the stuff you use. 

What should you look for?

Start with looking at your current space and your current stuff. If you’ve got a full storage space like an attic or closet – those items will need a home in the new place whether it’s the same type of storage or not. And if there’s no place for them to go, then you’ll end up with clutter. When you’ve already got clutter due to lack of storage in your current home, less storage in the new home will cause major challenges. Some of the key storage zones:

organized basement

Not so good storage...

Not all storage is created equal...

Sometimes storage space is misleading and seems like it will be useful when in reality it is not especially if it is really deep, super shallow, awkward to access, or really high up. The good news is that you can usually add shelving, hooks, door racks, or closet rods as long as you’ve got the depth & height so even an unfinished space can be made functional. 

Pro tip: Look for accessible, full height storage that has shelves at least 14-20″ deep.

Our least favorite storage spaces...

Bad storage is that closet under the stairs with the space behind the coats that you have to crawl into to access so things just go there to die. The attic with ductwork blocking access and no plywood flooring that is also not insulated so it’s broiling in summer and frozen in winter. The attics that are half doors and run the length of an entire room with only 1 or 2 small access doors. The crawl space that gets mucky and gross and you have to crawl on your hands and knees to access. The tiny cabinets at the top of the kitchen that are useless and hard to reach.  The ginormous bathroom with a tiny or no linen closet, or gorgeous vanities with only a few drawers and lots of open space beneath. Closets that have really deep spaces to each side and only a small access point – we see this a lot in kids closets or bonus room closets. These can be used but definitely not ideal.

What can you do about it?

If it’s a new build and you have the option to reduce floor space to add storage – this is your best bet! If you are doing a remodel, talk to your designer or builder about how to sneak some accessible storage in. If neither of these is an option – then adding free standing or built in storage is the way to go – and a professional organizer can make it fabulous!

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