How to Create Space Where There is None … Say What!?!

Beside the Fridge Storage 001

One of the things I hear often is “My house/apartment is too small … I don’t have enough storage & cupboard space and need a bigger place”.

Sound familiar!

I’ve even heard myself say the same thing but I’ve also learned, that’s not always possible and instead, I have to make do with the space I have available.

So one of my best tips for getting organised is to find and create space where previously there is none.  In other words, finding storage solutions for some of the smallest and least obvious places.  How is that possible, I hear you ask!  Let me give you an example.

I have a double door fridge in my kitchen at home that measures 930 mm and fits into a fridge space that measures 1110 mm.  Until recently, the fridge took pride of place in the middle of the space leaving an unusable 90 mm on either side of the fridge.  When I recently decluttered and cleaned out the pantry, I wanted to find a more practical solution for storing cereal to ensure valuable pantry space wasn’t taken up by large cereal boxes.  And that’s when I realized, I already had the perfect solution, literally staring me in the face.  So, I moved the fridge closer to one side, which created a more usable space of 165 mm on the other side giving me more room to work with.

 Beside the Fridge Storage 002

I searched for few days with no luck and eventually visited my local Howards Storage store where I was thrilled to find a 3-tier set of wire shelving on casters that measured 162 mm and fitted the space perfectly.  I couldn’t have found a better fitting set of shelves if I’d tried and having the shelving on castors meant it glided in and out of the space easily which was an added bonus.  This wasn’t a particularly cheap solution, with the tiered wire shelving costing $64.99.  I normally wouldn’t spend quite so much but I had a $50 Gift Voucher that had been given to me for a recent birthday and I’m sometimes prepared to spend a little more to achieve a perfect result.

 Beside the Fridge Storage 003

While at Howards, I managed to solve both problems and found these great containers by Snapware to store the cereal.  They are airtight and come with a Lifetime Warranty.  These particular containers hold 5.4 litres or the equivalent of 23 cups.  Made in the USA they are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, freezer safe and BPA free, so they tick a lot of boxes.  I especially love the large opening on these containers.  At $24.95 each, they were also not cheap but again, I’m willing to spend a little more for the right solution rather than buy something cheaper and then have to replace it later because I’m not 100% satisfied.  Two of these containers fitted the top basket of the 3-tier rack perfectly, almost like they had been designed with that specific purpose in mind.  I usually only keep two types of cereal on the go at any given time so that it gets replaced frequently and therefore stays fresh.

 Beside the Fridge Storage 005

The second and third shelves I’ve used to store additional canned goods particularly when I can take advantage of a special on these items at the supermarket.

 Beside the Fridge Storage 004

So the lesson here is that even the smallest space can be well organised and functional with the right storage solution.  It’s a matter of getting creative, being prepared to do the legwork and having the patience to find exactly what you need.

So tell me, do you have much unused space at home that could be converted with a bit of imagination?

Please Note:  This is not a sponsored post and all items were paid for independently.

Comments

  1. OMG I need to do EXACTLY this because I have so much space around my fridge but I haven’t been able to fully utilise it properly thanks for the idea!

    • Hi Daisy, if you have some space around the fridge, grab your tape measure and let your imagination run free … you’ll be surprised just how much space you have!

  2. I’m obsessed with finding storage because we live in a tiny apartment and there is never enough! At the moment my next project will be under the sink. It’s ugly down there!

    • The space under the sink can get a little scary … stay tuned because very soon I will be sharing how I have organised this space in my home with heaps of great tips and ideas!

  3. I used to live in a tiny 7 square worker’s cottage, so believe me if there is a way to utilise space better I know it! Must do a post on it actually …

    • I’m sure you’ve got loads of fantastic ideas because living in such a small space would have needed loads of creativity … can’t wait to read your post!

  4. I love hearing ideas on how to find storage solutions – this one is great for beside the fridge :-) It could even be the “breakfast trolley” to be wheeled out in the mornings with all the cereals etc on it!

    • Love that idea, Petra … not only could it store all the cereal, it could also store all the bowls, glasses, plates and spoons! What do you think?

  5. Fabulous idea, love it. I love finding ways to maximise minimal space. I find the ‘under the bed’ plastic storage containers with wheels to be very handy. I also use the ones without wheels on top of our kitchen cupboards to store bags of herbs for herbal tea ( as we buy in bulk).

  6. This is such a great idea! Kitchens in Singapore here is generally tight, except maybe those old houses/flats, I need to re-look my kitchen and find solution to optimise the space. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for visiting … all the way from Singapore! I’m in love with Singapore after hubby and I visited last September! So much to see and do and I’d love to visit again some time in the future. Small spaces can be tricky but I’ll be sharing loads of ideas on how to overcome some of those challenges.

  7. Brilliant!

  8. This is awesome and we have the perfect gap beside the fridge! I’ve usually hidden the ironing board in that gap (yes totally weird to have an ironing board in the kitchen I know).

    • Sandie says:

      Hi Toni and thanks for visiting … storing the ironing board beside the fridge is a fantastic idea and I have done that when I’ve lived in other houses. Even the tiniest space can be put to good use, it just takes a bit of imagination … thinking outside the square!

  9. Chantel says:

    Nice idea!!!! I love things that fit into small spaces :)

    Hello from #teamIBOT

    • Sandie says:

      Thanks Chantel and welcome! Yes I agree because I find if I can store things well and get them into cupboards and off benches, cleaning is so much easier and quicker!

  10. LOVE it – my OCD heart is singing your praise right now. I do love Howards, SO many fabulous solutions to organise ANything! xx

    • Sandie says:

      Thanks Sonia … this little project proved to me that no space is too small to utilise! Howards definitely came to the rescue this time.

  11. Oh that is such a cool idea! Love when you find something that fits so perfectly :)

    • Sandie says:

      Thanks Jess, it was wonderful to find something that was just made for the space. It also means I’m now checking out other “nooks and crannies” in my house to find some other sneaky storage solutions. I’ll let you know when I find some more!

  12. I love this kind of stuff! I’m doing a blog series right now called “Tiny Apartment Tips” and so far have done the kitchen and bathroom. Feel free to leave a comment to this post on my kitchen post (http://vickilesage.blogspot.com/2014/04/tips-for-tiny-apartment-kitchen.html) – this is exactly the type of stuff that helps people get – and stay – organized in a tiny space. I have some space around my stove but I think I’m just going to have to let it go because it’s probably dangerous to pack stuff too tightly around it, plus I think the total empty space is only 10 cm or something similar. Hrm.

    • Hi Vicki and welcome to the blog. I’ll definitely pop over and read your article as I’m always looking for new ideas! I do agree you will need to be careful and not store too much in the tiny space beside the stove. It could, however, be a good place to put spare oven racks or wire cooling racks as these things would still allow cool air to circulate and prevent overheating but safety comes first.

  13. I love Howards Storage, I could get totally lost in that shop for hours!! Thanks for the great ideas and linking up to Stumble Into The Weekend.

    Mandy

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