published about 7 hours ago
I live in Chicago, a place known for its old buildings. And unfortunately, many of these aging structures have a startling lack of storage space.
When I was looking for an apartment, maximizing storage was something I always kept in mind. I either needed a closet, or a room big enough to accommodate things that could double as closet space. I eventually found a spot that had beautiful big closets throughout the apartment, but during my search, I also found few places that had expertly staged closet areas — without actual closets.
If you’re struggling to get rid of a place with no closets, or even just need ideas on how to use your current space efficiently, follow these closet-free tips from home stager Krisztina Bell, founder of No Vacancy Home Staging.
If you lack a closet but have any sort of nook space in your bedroom, try installing a closet organizing system into that nook. Put up shelving and wire racks and separate it from the rest of the room with a folding screen or curtain. Otherwise, if you have enough room, Bell’s go-tos are dressers, ladder shelving, bedside tables with shelves, the stackable shelving you can buy at IKEA, baskets, and rolling wardrobes.
“Some wardrobes are really cute, where you can zip it up and put a plant on either side of it and make it look like it’s blending into the wall,” she says.
If you have a television in your bedroom, find a piece of furniture with shelves or cabinets that you can put underneath it to store items. You can also use the space underneath the bed to store things like seasonal clothes or accessories. Bell even has a fabric mannequin in her bedroom that she uses to hold things like jewelry, scarves, and hats.
So you’ve got guests coming over, but no place to hang their jackets? Not to worry. Get yourself a coat rack and set it up in a corner to hold hats and coats. Some have umbrella buckets on the bottom. If you don’t have room for even that, get creative with the walls.
“I see more builders putting in hooks to the front entry, mudroom, and hallways,” Bell says.
Bell adds she recently noticed a home with entryway lockers, high school style. It can be a cute design choice to use in a smaller space.
A busy household can go through a lot of linens. Think: towels, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and even sewing supplies. So if you don’t have a linen closet, finding places to store all that stuff can be tricky. I had this issue as well — but I now have a built-in buffet in the dining room where I store those items.
Bell suggests using over-the-toilet shelving to stack towels, with smaller items held in baskets or bins. Blankets and sheets can be placed in shallow plastic bins and stored under the bed. You can even use a flip-top ottoman in the living room to stash them away.