Part 2: Declutter your home and get on top of your storage needs

This is the second part in our two-part series about decluttering your home and making the most of the space created by your loft conversion or home extension. In Part 1, we gave you 10 creative ideas to help you declutter your home to make it more spacious and liveable. Now we’ll discuss storage solutions so that you can make the most out of the new space in your home and ensure that your home remains a clutter-free zone!

So, using the ‘12-12-12 Method’, the ‘Closet Hanger Experiment’ or one of the other interesting suggestions we posited in Part 1, you’ve managed to get rid of all of the clothes that haven’t fit you since secondary school and you’ve donated all of the kids’ old toys to charity. Congratulations! Your home will most likely already feel like more of a ‘home’ and less of a ‘zoo’. But what do you do with all of those items that you need on a seasonal basis, like the Christmas tree or your ski gear? If you’ve cleared out your loft to make way for an extra bedroom or bathroom, what on Earth are you supposed to do with all of the ‘junk’ that you used to hide up there?

We sat down with one of our in-house Design Consultants, Aneliese Deane, and came up with 6 great ways you can incorporate storage solutions into your loft conversion or home extension, and make the most of every millimetre of space.

  1. Utilise every nook and cranny. This includes the eaves space – that is, the space where the roof slopes down to the floor. A lot of people label this space as ‘redundant’ because it is usually no more than 1m high at its highest point, but it’s nooks and crannies like these that are perfect for fitting custom-built cabinets, cupboards, drawers and even desks! Aneliese is also a fan of big, clear boxes fitted on runners, which can be stored under desks and in the eave space. If you are on a tight budget, storage solutions like these are perfect, neat, simple and can even be fitted yourself.
  2. Consider installing a stud wall. A stud wall is an internal, non-load bearing wall that is faced with lath and plaster or plasterboard. Depending on the size of your loft or the blueprint you’re working with for your home extension, you can add a stud wall to separate the bed from the home office or bathroom and create what Aneliese describes as a ‘walk through’ room. The stud wall can even be turned into a feature wall, fitted with a mirror or some artwork, and if it’s thick enough it can be equipped with cupboards to cater for your storage needs. If the space behind the stud wall is going to be used for a home office, for example, you might choose to build a stationary cupboard into the back of it!
  3. Opt for walk-in wardrobes. These are the most popular storage solution for clients who are converting their loft or extending their home because they don’t take up any additional space – rather, they utilise the existing space in a loft or home extension and can be built into those wonderful nooks and crannies.
  4. If there isn’t room for a walk-in wardrobe, install a wardrobe with sliding doors, as opposed to doors that open outwards, to maximise the space in your loft or home extension. Aneliese recommends using industrial-style rails that run along the length of the wall and enclosing them with simple doors that are fitted to runners on the floor and ceiling.
  5. Make use of natural light. Aneliese generally recommends that homeowners paint their new space white and the finish the doors with a white, high-gloss finish so that the natural light can bounce around the room and make it appear even bigger that it actually is. A white base also makes it easy for you to incorporate a clear colour scheme in your finishing touches and make your decorations and furnishings really stand out.
  6. Look at the structure of your home carefully. You might think that you only have a small section to work with, but you could be sitting on an extension and storage goldmine! Aneliese recently had some clients who wanted to extend their rear dormer – that is, remove the back slope of their loft and build it into a box shape to create more space. After her initial assessment, Aneliese asked the homeowners if they had ever considered taking the loft conversion even further and building behind it, on top of the L-shaped section of their Victorian home. They were thrilled at the idea and were able to convert the space into two rooms instead of one, with huge, full-length walk-in wardrobes along opposite walls!

Once you have worked out where all of your ‘storage hotspots’ are, you can set about assigning your seasonal items to drawers, cupboards, shelves and hangers and make your new space the envy of your friends and neighbours.

If you would like any more information about storage solutions, or of you would like to book a consultation with a Design Consultant, contact us!


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