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6 Ways to Maximize Your Storage Space

These organizational solutions will reduce clutter in every room of your home

These organizational solutions will reduce clutter in every room of your home

It’s been a while since we grown-ups only had to clean our bedrooms: now it’s a whole house or apartment to keep tidy. California Closets, the company that made space for all of our shoes and sweaters, has grown up too. Not just in the bedroom anymore, the company offers custom built-in storage solutions for the laundry room, mudroom, home office, entertainment zone and anywhere else clutter collects.

“Whether it’s a beautiful 100-year-old Victorian house with cramped little closets, or a contemporary downtown condo where views are more critical than storage, we’re space-challenged in Vancouver,” says designer Sue Lashmore. “So we have to create beautiful storage in places where it simply doesn’t exist.”

After 14 years of helping Vancouverites put their stuff away, the storage expert shares six places neatened up with California Closets.


“A side-by-side washer and dryer create a wonderful worktop you will not get with the space-saving stackers,” says Lashmore. “This laundry room is ideal for folding and sorting.”

“The more you can hide behind cupboard doors, the cleaner the look,” she adds, noting that even with a deep-brown finish, this traditional laundry room stays current with bright lighting and white floor.

Having a variety of storage options allows for visually appealing linens to be out in the open while hiding less attractive scrubbers and buckets behind doors.

“Basket-style drawers can even be used as a central place for sorting lights and darks,” says Lashmore.

California Closets offers loads of clever extras, such as a small ironing board for touch-ups, that unfolds from a faux-front drawer.

There’s more than one way to change an office into a guest room and back again. From Murphy beds to all-day reading nooks, California Closets has plenty of easy options for transforming multi-use rooms. With designer know-how, you can fit four workspaces—or gaming spaces—into a home office and still keep it neat.

“Here we mounted cabinets on the wall to keep the desktops as clear as possible,” Lashmore explains. “The family uses the daybed for reading and additional deep-drawer storage.”

Locker-style entryways are one of our most popular requests, says Lashmore of California Closets’ mudroom design. “Everyone gets a designated space, so sister’s stuff doesn’t get mixed up with brother’s.” She advises using overhead cabinets for out-of-season gear, and lower shelves to act as catch-alls for backpacks or laptop bags.

Accept reality; then build around it. California Closets’ custom cabinets make use of every awkward inch under stairs and other nooks.

“We’re really skilled at capturing unused storage spaces,” says Lashmore.

This mudroom works especially well for families, with lower hooks for children and higher ones for adults, she adds. Baskets are also great for kids. They can see where their other glove or soccer ball is without opening every drawer. But unlike open shelves, baskets keep all those bits and bobs contained.

“If it’s hard to put away, it’s probably not going away,” says Lashmore.

A fun trend in living-room storage is asymmetry, explains Lashmore. “People don’t want a functional kitchen-look with matching uppers and lowers, so we’re more playful in our design.”

Here a black panel behind the television allows the screen to melt into the background when not in use. Raising the storage cabinets nearly a foot above the ground gives the coveted feel of more floor space.


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