Find storage space just by going sailing

Storage Design

Nobody knows how to maximize storage like a sailor!

A few years ago we were invited to join relatives on their sailboat in the British Virgin Islands. In planning for the trip, we were cautioned to minimize what we brought as space was limited.

Storage under stairs During our week on that boat, it became painfully obvious that sailors know how to limit the amount of stuff they keep and utilize every possible place for storage.

On the boat, there is a place for everything and everything needs to be in that place

This same advise can be utilized in your own home.

Get organized in 4 easy steps!


Not necessarily to throw things out but decide what you need and don’t need. Here are two simple ways to help you decide what to do:

•   If you never use it donate or sell it.

•   If you never use it, but must hang onto it, then move it to a hidden spot somewhere else in the house or storage facility.


Seldom needed items can be stored deeper, lower or higher in storage spaces.

Be Creative

Find every opportunity to create storage areas. Woohome had some great ideas on unique places to find storage, quite unique!

•   Cargo nets on the ceilings- We seldom look up to find opportunity to store items. Hanging a small cargo net on the ceiling can make a great place for smaller off season items.Storage behind mirrors

•   Behind large mirrors- large mirrors in closets add function and style but the space behind the mirror and between the walls can provide room for accessories like jewelry,ties and other smaller items. Build the frame, cut the hole, install hinges on mirror…done!

•   Floors offer great storage. Remember that your floor is at least 7.5” deeper than it seems. If you are a little bit handy this area makes a perfect hidden storage area and can be created below the carpet. It makes a great spot to store off season clothes in vacuum sealed bags.

•   Shoes on a shoe rack can easily be behind hanging clothes.

•   Built in benches offer great storage space under the cushion.

•   Attic spaces are often accessed through closets, consider if there is an opportunity to store light boxes inside the attic space. To protect from rodents or any other crawlies I would use plastic containers with good lids.

Put the squeeze on!

store shoes in stairs•   Vacuum bags can really maximize space and work well with large blankets or off season clothes.

•   Vertical shelf dividers or baskets keep clothing separate and organized.

•   Multi item hangers for your less used shirts or pants. These provide huge space savings.

•   Lots of hooks, on back of doors, open walls, behind hangers.

•   Roll out cabinets in deep closets.

•   Rather than just a shelf, install a drawer and shelf, for above shirt area.Individual baskets to keep each person’s belongings

What we learned from this trip?

We came home from our time on the boat with the best plans to organize our house like that of a sailboat, that plan is still a work in progress. We did learned to keep what we truly need, prioritize location and look for every opportunity to find great hidden or storage places. A great site for additional information is the National Association of Home Buildings website.

There is a lot of information for this or any other home renovation project and it is important to have things well organized. is a free service that will help you with that, proving an easy home renovation planner tool you can get peace of mind that anything about your projects is available at anytime. Get all your projects in one place using the home improvement portfolio tool.


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