Great reference book on finding hidden storage

rosie07December 3, 2008

We currently live in a diminutive house and will soon be moving to another, slightly larger, but still small house. I am constantly looking for ideas on the best way to use existing space in a small house. You know, all those hidden nooks and crannies that we are not aware of and therefore are often overlooked as possible storage or display areas. Anyway, I originally checked this book out of the library, then liked it so much wanted to keep it as a reference so hopped on eBay and found it for under $5 (including shipping). The name of the book is "Making Room, Finding Space in Unexpected Places" by Wendy A. Jordon. I highly recommend it for all of those small house owners who crave that little bit of extra storage (and isn't that all of us?).

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Any tips from the book, that you used in your home, that you would want to share?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 11:09AM
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Hi Rosie ~ Sounds like a great book. I'll have to see if our library has a copy. Thanks for sharing your find with us.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 11:59AM
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I haven't used any of the ideas yet, but hope to show some of the ideas to our remodeling contractor to incorporate as we proceed on the remodeling of our new (old) house. One idea I thought was particularly clever is the use of space beneath a staircase. The house we will be moving into has a staircase up into an attic room. In the book, they use the space beneath the stairs in creative ways such as building regular or pullout drawers of various sizes tucked in under the staircase. Another idea I liked was using the taller part of the understaircase area as a small, but efficient home office. Other ideas include a small bookcase built in between the studs just above a doorway that I thought was very clever. There are many ideas in the book that make use of space between wall studs, thus diminishing the effect of having yet another piece of furniture poking out into already limited room space yet still providing storage or display space. For a couple of projects, she shows space that is shared by rooms on either side of the wall. She has one where there is a washer/dryer that goes through a wall in a sunroom and emerges on the other side as part of a covered bathroom vanity top (hard to visualize, I know). Another clever idea shown is a one-can width pantry covered by a sliding barn door type mechanism. One project in the book says you can have spacious undersink drawers beneath your kitchen sink instead of the traditional cupboard if you reroute your pipes and trap towards the back of the cabinet. If other posters have come across other innovative books on small house storage, I sure would appreciate sharing the titles.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 10:26AM
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None of those "ideas" are new. Old 19th century homes usually had drawers and doors built under the staircase. Putting shelving between studs has been used for decades. So have 'pass throughs' for kithen or laundry. Single can depth pantries? My house came with one and many of the homes in the area have them.

Thanks for the tip on this book but I saved my money not buying this book. Just another book with "inovative ideas" like hanging things from hooks on the wall or storing things in boxes under the beds.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Thank you for letting us know about the book. My local library has it and I'll be checking out a copy. There were 5 reviews of the book at and all were highly positive.
Dilly, The OP never claimed the idea in the book were "new". Sometimes when I see "old" ideas used in different ways it inspires me to find a way to utilize them in my own home. Perhaps there are other, more original ideas also included in the book. Or maybe someone else here isn't familiar with them. Maybe I live a sheltered life, but I've never heard of single can depth pantries. In any event, I don't understand the need to be sarcastic and dismissive of a fellow poster who is merely trying to pass on info they think might be useful to somebody.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 9:53PM
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Thanks for the recommendation, rosie07. I just looked up this book at, and there are plenty of used copies as low as .51 plus a few $ for shipping - not much of an investment.

I don't know if I would find anything new. I have used several strategies for making use of space - storage under stairs, shelves between studs. But there are things I haven't yet tried, like converting stair treads to flip up for storage. Also, according to one of the reviews I just read, they offer practical advice on adapting their strategies to one's own situation. Even if I find nothing new, the illustrations will probably be good for showing my contractor what I want (rather than trying to describe it all in words). Yes, I think I'll order one.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 1:16PM
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