More Space, Please: 6 Ideas for Storing Large Items in Small Spaces

When you’re renting, square footage is something to be savored, not squandered. It’s hard enough finding a home for your everyday must-haves, let alone bulky, infrequently used, or offseason items like snowshoes,  pool toys, and holiday decorations.

Whatever your hobby or collection, there’s an organizational hack to help you store it. Here are some clever storage tricks for six of the toughest, bulkiest space-takers you may own.

Offseason wardrobe

Tuck those bulky winter sweaters (or shorts and flip-flops) in plastic bins under your bed. If your bed’s too close to the ground, lift it up with sturdy wood blocks. Even a few extra inches create enough space for a sizable storage container.

If elevating the bed isn’t an option, maximize your closet space with a few sets of cascading hangers. Put blouses on one set and T-shirts on another, and you’ll most likely double your closet space.

Extra linens

Extra pillows, comforters, and bedsheets are great for guests, but not so great for your small space. Try vacuum storage bags – stack your items inside, and use your vacuum cleaner to remove the air. Your items will shrink significantly so you can store them under your bed or on a shelf.


A burgeoning shoe collection can take on a life of its own if not properly corralled. Take it back to dorm-room days with an over-the-door shoe organizer. These college favorites are popular for a reason – they store a dozen pairs of shoes or more, plus scarves, baseball caps, belts, and chunky necklaces.


Bikes can be one of the most difficult belongings to stash, especially if you don’t have a deck or basement. Try installing a strong hook in the wall, and hang your bike by the front tire. Pro: It’s a great way to get the bike off the floor. Con: It still protrudes into the room.

For a less invasive option, hang your bike flush against the wall – like you’re hanging a piece of art. The hardware can be as simple as two wooden dowels that support the bike’s horizontal bar. )(Just make sure you anchor the supports in the wall’s studs so they can hold the weight.)

Exercise equipment

An inflatable exercise ball is a great workout aid – and a real space suck. You could always deflate it, but the hassle probably isn’t worth it. So, why not get creative and make it a usable piece of furniture?

Repurpose medium or large exercise balls as dining room chairs, and store them under the dining table when you’re done.

No room for a dining table? The bike trick applies here, too. Install a couple of dowels high up on the wall, and set the ball there until you’re ready for a crunch session.

Decorations and keepsakes

Have a collection of things you just can’t get rid of? Maybe old photo albums, holiday decorations, or crafting supplies? Strategically placed shelves are your storage lifesaver when seeking space for infrequently used items.

There’s often a wealth of unused space above and behind your hung clothing in bedroom and hallway closets. While shelves in these locations may require a footstool or flashlight to access, it won’t matter if you only need the items a few times a year.

Top photo from Zillow listing.


3 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Space Feel Big

Do you have a small space in your home that you’re unsure what to do with? Or is your cramped apartment forcing you to be creative in your living arrangements? You’re not alone.

Make your small room or living area fit your needs with clever solutions that will streamline your life and maximize your space.

Paint can work wonders

Choosing the right paint color for your small room can instantly give the impression of more space or emphasize it’s cozy feel. Traditional neutrals like whites, creams and light grays are a great choice because they provide a clean and streamlined look, while making the room feel brighter and more expansive.

Painting the ceiling white to draw the eye upward is an easy way to create visual openness overhead. You’ll have an airy and inviting space in no time.

paint it white
Courtesy of Orlando Soria.

Conversely, if you want to play up the small space vibe even more, go bold with dark colors. It’s a fun and unique design choice to emphasize the smallness of a room by making a cozy den-like atmosphere with colors like black, dark gray and navy.

paint it black
Courtesy of Allison Lind.

Whether you decide to go light or dark, adding paint to your small space will help you get the effect you are going for in a quick and budget-friendly way.

Savvy storage

With tight spaces, there isn’t always room for all the storage needed for belongings, clothing, office supplies and more. By incorporating creative and flexible storage solutions, you can easily keep clutter out of sight, while still keeping everything you need handy.

For example, the kitchen is a great place to implement clever storage. Roll-away islands and pantries create an adjustable cooking area to fit your needs.

kitchen storage
Courtesy of Sandra Bird.

Add storage by using the space beneath your cabinets for hanging spices or wine glasses, and attaching holders to the backs of cabinet doors to keep foil and cleaning supplies neatly out of sight.

Don’t forget about uncommon spaces like ceilings for hanging items like bicycles out of the way, or adding shelving high up in closets for rarely used items.

Multi-tasking furniture

When you have limited floor space, it’s important to make your furniture work double duty. Choose pieces that have hidden storage and multiple functions, or can be compacted and stored when not in use.

Photo from Zillow listing.

If you can’t fit a dresser in your bedroom, try using drawers or crates under the bed for clothing and extra linens. A pouf or leather ottoman can easily transition from a seat to a footrest or side table.

Add function to your entryway by employing a bench with storage inside to hide extra shoes, gloves, and scarves. And if you have wall space to spare, hang a fold-down dining table.

folding table
Photo from Zillow listing.

Using modular pieces that can serve different purposes or fold out of the way frees up room to make your space comfortable and livable for you and your guests.

Limited square footage doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice function and style. Small space living is a great way to lead a simplified and streamlined life. With creative thinking, you can go from a cluttered, cramped mess to an organized and inviting space with room for all.

Top image from Zillow listing.


Introducing Our Newest Contributor – Sarah from The Created Home

Sarah- The Created Home - New Contributor

I’m so excited to introduce you to the newest talented contributor, Sarah from The Created Home. Her DIY blog focuses on woodworking and anything that needs doing around her home. Sarah has amassed a wealth of knowledge from renovating her home with her husband, Eric. What started with her asking him to teach her how […]

The post Introducing Our Newest Contributor – Sarah from The Created Home appeared first on Pretty Handy Girl.

Pendleton Woolen Mills Factory Tour


The history of Pendleton Woolen Mills is literally woven into the fabric of American made manufacturing. There are very few companies (especially in garment manufacturing) that still produce product in America and even fewer that have been doing this for more than 100 years.

Last week we were in Portland, Oregon where Pendleton Woolen Mills is headquartered and we had the opportunity to take a tour of their factory in Washougal, WA which is just across the Columbia River. We were honored to have sixth-generation founding family member, Charles Bishop, as a guide to the factory that his family established in 1912.


You can find more of the rich heritage of Pendleton Woolen Mills on their website where they also give you the background on their relationship with Native Americans who were their first customers and to this day remain their most treasured patrons.

The Washougal Mill
“We live where we work, and we love what we do.” This quote by Mr. Bishop rings true. Many Pendleton employees have been with the company for generations. A third of the Washougal mill employees have been with them more than 25 years! He even mentioned a guy who has been working for Pendleton for 50 years and has about 12 immediate family members who have also worked there.

I noticed that during our tour Mr. Bishop mentioned everyone we came across by name and because Pendleton is a vertically integrated company (unlike most apparel manufacturers), employees are cross trained on the myriad of steps involved in the manufacturing process of its products. From treating and dying raw wool to spinning and combing it for fabric.

12 second video of the weaving machine

Pendleton shared a great archival exterior photo of the mill and below that we’ve posted our photos from the tour. You can view the complete set on our Facebook page.
















Concrete Crack Filler Stops Cracks in Their Tracks

You don’t have to live with unsightly concrete cracks in your patio or walkway. Sakrete Concrete Crack Filler is a ready-to-use, polymer-based repair material that is designed to fill and seal cracks in concrete. By using this product you’ll prevent existing cracks from getting bigger.

We’ve been living with concrete cracks in our backyard for years. In some areas, we have them covered with an outdoor rug, but in most spots, we have just resigned to living with them. We’ve noticed over the years that they have widened and in some places the concrete is starting to chip away, which is a really bad sign. The best way to prevent cracks from getting to this point of deterioration is to fill them, which seals the crack, preventing water from eroding it even further.

Honestly, we have some cracks that need Sakrete concrete filler because they keep getting worse, but most of the others can be repaired using the crack filler. The process can be done by anyone, but it’s important to read the label and follow the instructions to achieve the best results.

Sakrete crack filler can be used on cracks with a maximum width of ½-inch and a maximum depth of ¼-inch. The width to depth ratio should be 2-to-1. If your concrete crack is larger than that or on a vertical surface, then you should check out the Sakrete Non-Sag Sealant, which can fill a larger sized crack and won’t run or pool as it is a strong adhesive. It remains tacky for four hours but you can walk over it after 24 hours, and it fully cures in seven days. It can also be painted with latex paint after it cures.

Not only does Sakrete offer products that fill and repair cracks, they also offer concrete and cement repair products that any DIYer can use. These include Sakrete Mortar Repair, Sakrete Top’n Bond® Concrete Patcher and Sakrete Fast Setting Cement Patcher. All three of these products have been created to solve a myriad of concrete problems.

Sakrete Mortar Repair is a siliconized acrylic latex for repairing mortar joints and cracks in concrete and masonry walls. If you’ve got mortar in joints that has deteriorated or worn away from a block or brick wall or chimney, then the mortar repair product is what you need. It can also be used to repair cracks in concrete or masonry walls and only requires a standard caulking gun to apply.

Sakrete Top’n Bond Concrete Patcher is a magical product. It’s a polymer modified sand cement repair mortar that only requires clean potable water to mix. It can fill cracks up to ½-inch to a and once cured has an incredible strength of 5,000 psi. It’s ideal for repairs to cracks in driveways, sidewalks and concrete slabs, but it can also level uneven concrete surfaces, ramps or stairs from ½” down to a feather edge. Like the Sakrete Concrete Crack Filler, it can be used indoors or outdoors, but do not use it with any bonding agent.

When you’re faced with a larger repair, the best option is Sakrete Fast Setting Cement Patcher. It comes as a pre-blended mixture of cementitious materials, additives and sand that sets in 20 minutes. It’s designed to quickly repair concrete or masonry substrates of ¼-inch to 2 inches.

It’s got the 5,000 psi strength and indoor/outdoor use qualities that Sakrete Top’n Bond Concrete Patcher has, but it can also be used on vertical as well as horizontal surfaces. It’s fast drying properties make it ideal for high traffic areas, as it is open to foot traffic in just four hours and vehicular traffic in 24 hours.

These product choices might seem confusing, but fortunately Sakrete has developed a great website that can show you the recommended product to use based on the project you are doing. It’s also extremely important to read the label of the product and make sure you that you understand how to apply it and in what type of conditions. The Sakrete product calculator is extremely helpful in determining how much product to buy.

Check back next week to see our concrete repair results, which will hopefully inspire you to make your own repairs instead of living with a shoddy looking patio.


This post is sponsored by Sakrete. All opinions are our own. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.