15 Crafty Storage Solutions for Filling Awkward Spaces

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated December 14, 2021
A living room with a fireplace and shelves on both sides
Photo: bmak / Adobe Stock


  • Add shelves, decorative baskets, and hooks for additional storage.

  • Fill vacant floor space with end tables, floor lamps, and corner shelving units to make the space more inviting.

  • Declutter and evaluate your household items on a regular basis to avoid keeping things that don’t spark joy.

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Have you ever looked at the strangely shaped or impossible-to-fill spaces in your home and wondered, “Who designed this place?” You wouldn’t be the first. Still, there are tons of crafty storage solutions to help you fill those awkward spaces and avoid stuffing more items into your overflowing closets. From the impractical to the seemingly impossible, here are 15 strategies to work with what you’ve got.

1. Don’t Sleep on Shelves

A TV unit with floating shelves
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

In our humble opinion, shelves are an underrated tool for filling unused areas and creating extra storage space, all while making the room look more modern and put together. Need extra storage in your closet? Add a shelving unit to stack your jeans and sweaters. Want to fill the vacant wall space around your entertainment center? DIY or hire a local contractor to construct built-in shelves. If you can dream it, you can shelf it. 

2. Pack Empty Spaces With Decorative Storage Baskets

Is there any space or surface in your home that wouldn’t look better with a wicker basket—or any basket for that matter? These practical items can create extra storage on top of your fridge, below your end tables, underneath your coat rack, on top of your kitchen cabinets, and wherever else you may need them. Storage baskets also come in a practically endless variety of sizes, colors, and styles, making it easy to match this storage solution to your home’s aesthetic.

3. Fill Vacant Floor Space With a Tall, Skinny End Table

A tall and skinny end table is a space-filling wild card that can save small gaps between furniture and empty walls below windows. Since they’re taller than they are wide, they won’t block foot traffic or make it difficult to maneuver around the room. Plus, it’s the perfect spot to display a vase of fresh flowers, a photo of your dog, or other decor pieces that deserve front-and-center billing. If you need extra storage, look for a table with an additional drawer or two. 

4. Hook It Up

Hooks on a bathroom door for towels
Photo: vladdeep / Adobe Stock

Let’s face it: We’re all tired of looking at the blank walls in our laundry room or entryway. Luckily, hooks are a surefire way to fill empty wall space and create additional storage. They’re also useful for more than just coats and handbags. Consider adding hooks to hold everything from mops and brooms in the closet to hair tools and towels in the bathroom. Anything hangable is fair game.

5. Get an Over-The-Door Organizer

If you have an impossibly shallow cabinet or pantry, consider adding an over-the-door organizing rack as a simple storage solution. These organizers come in narrow depths, so you’ll likely find a model that fits your space while still allowing the door to close fully. Most organizers also have hooks on the front, so it won’t send your items crashing to the floor every time you open the door.

6. Don’t Neglect Those Empty Spaces in the Corner

Corners can seem awkward and challenging to fill, but don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of the space. A tall table in a corner can provide an extra surface for your handbag, gloves, and other on-the-go necessities. Floor lamps can also fill empty corners in your living room, plus many styles include shelves that free up room on your end tables. You can also add corner shelving units, which create ample storage while visually softening the sharp edges of the room.

7. Build Your Small-Space Design Up, Not Out

 A shelving unit decorated with plants in a living room
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

When working with limited square footage and floor capacity, uninhabited wall space is your best friend. The trick is to add tall bookcases, media consoles, and shelving units that allow you to build up instead of out. That way, you’ll increase your storage space without blocking off more of the room. You can even add decorative storage cubes to organize and contain items, so the space doesn’t look cluttered.  

8. Invest In a Baker’s Rack for Your Long, Narrow Kitchen

If your kitchen feels more like a hallway with a whopping total of one drawer, three cabinets, and three feet of counter space, consider adding a baker’s rack for extra kitchen storage. This handy tool is a wide, tall, and skinny shelving unit that offers tons of real estate for small appliances, recipe books, and other kitchen tools. Plus, since it doesn’t come out very far from the wall, you’ll still have plenty of valuable floor space for entertaining.

9. Say Yes to Multipurpose Furniture in the Living Room

A futon with black and orange pillows
Photo: Photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

Thanks to the increased number of people working from home, multipurpose furniture is more relevant than ever. In particular, living rooms are now fair game for working, eating, lounging, and entertaining.

Maximize your living room space by adding a comfy futon to score some hidden storage below, plus an extra sleeping place for guests. You can also use an ottoman with inner storage to keep blankets, books, board games, and anything else you need to tuck away.

10. Add Pull-Out Shelves to Narrow, Awkward Spaces

Anytime you’re dealing with a deep, narrow space, pull-out shelves can make your life a whole lot easier. These work like a charm in spots like skinny kitchen cabinets, under-the-stairs storage cabinets, and narrow pantries. That way, your items aren’t taking up valuable counter space, but they’re still readily available.

11. Don’t Fall Victim to Out of Sight, Out of Mind

One of the most common storage mistakes is storing things out of sight and then forgetting about them. Stashing items in the back of your closets or cabinets can make you feel like you’re hoarding rather than storing smart. 

For example, if you’re into crafting, don’t store your supplies in a dark drawer or closet. Instead, keep them in a clear, rolling storage unit or in easy-to-access baskets. Use your less-visible storage space for seasonal clothing, luggage, camping gear, and other items you only use once in a while. 

12. Stack Labeled Storage Bins in Empty Spaces

If you’re limited to a narrow, awkward space for hidden storage (such as a closet), you can milk it by filling storage totes or boxes with items and then stacking them on top of one another. The final step is to add labels to each box, so you know exactly where everything is when you need it.

13. Consider These Small Bathroom Design Ideas

A suction cups shelf in a shower
Photo: vladdeep / Adobe Stock

It’s easy for a small bathroom to cramp your style, but don’t let that stop you from having all the tools and toiletries your heart desires. Here are a few ways to maximize your bathroom’s storage capacity.

Install an Above-the-Toilet Shelf

If you have limited floor space in your bathroom, an above-the-toilet shelf can take advantage of the empty wall space above the toilet. These shelves add extra surface space for toothbrushes, washcloths, and other everyday items. Plus, they make the room look much less sparse, so it’s a win-win.

Add a Freestanding Toilet Paper Holder

Just because you don’t have the cabinetry to hold extra rolls doesn’t mean you have to be out of luck when the TP roll is empty. Freestanding toilet paper holders are easy to sneak into unused crevices—plus, they’re very convenient. Some models even include a facial tissue holder on the top, which is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to saving counter space.

Shower Shelf

Shower caddies are a well-known solution for bathtub storage, but it’s not fun to get splashed in the face whenever you reach down for your soap. A floating corner shower shelf is a more practical way to score that much-needed surface storage, so you don’t have to line up bottles on your bathtub edge or shower floor.

If you have trouble affixing your shower shelf to the wall, look for wreath-hanging suction cups at your local craft or hardware store. These suckers can typically support up to 25 pounds, so they’ll do a great job at holding your shampoo collection.

14. Declutter on the Reg 

It’s no secret that it’s important to declutter small spaces regularly. After all, every inch of your home is valuable real estate, so you can’t afford to waste it on things that don’t spark joy. Make decluttering a regular part of your weekly (or monthly) cleaning routine. If you’re picky about what items you keep around the house, you won’t need to worry as much about storage space.

15. Consider Hiring a Professional Organizer

If you’re at your wit’s end with finding storage solutions, there’s no shame in asking for help. No matter how unworkable you think your space is, a professional organizer near you has the skills and know-how to transform it within a few hours. 

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