How To Hide Storage Bins In Plain Sight (5+ Ways)

Finding enough storage space at home can be a constant struggle. From keeping our spaces tidy to housing extra belongings, storage is a necessity. However, bulky storage units like cabinets and shelves can make rooms feel cluttered and crowded.

The good news? There are clever ways to add concealed storage to any room without sacrificing style or taking up valuable floor space. Hidden storage solutions help maximize every inch of a home while maintaining a clean, uncluttered aesthetic. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore creative tips for hiding storage bins of all kinds throughout your home.

How To Hide Storage Bins In Plain Sight (5+ Ways)

Clever Places to Add Secret Storage

Hidden storage spaces allow you to neatly tuck away items when they are not in use. Here are some of the most popular areas in your home to discreetly incorporate storage bins:

Entryway

The entryway tends to collect shoes, coats, umbrellas, keys, and other items coming in and out of the home. Use hidden storage here to prevent clutter from piling up.

Living Room

Add concealed media cabinets and shelving to store DVDs, video games, stereo equipment, and remotes. Built-in storage keeps living rooms neat.

Bedrooms

Incorporate storage under the bed, inside the closet, and behind headboards to organize clothes, linens, and accessories out of sight.

Bathrooms

Hide bins under sinks or vanities to store toiletries and towels. Built-in medicine cabinets also help keep bathrooms organized.

Kitchen

Conceal spices, baking ingredients, appliances, and dinnerware inside cabinets, drawers, pantries, and islands to keep kitchens clutter-free.

Garage or Basement

Add storage racks, shelving units, and cabinets to neatly organize tools, sporting goods, seasonal items, and more in utility spaces.

Clever Hidden Storage Solutions

Here are some of the most innovative ideas for incorporating concealed storage bins throughout your home:

1. Storage Ottomans

Ottomans on legs with hollow interiors make excellent hidden storage bins. Use them to hold blankets, board games, arts and crafts supplies, or children’s toys. Place storage ottomans in living rooms, family rooms, bedrooms, play rooms, or dens. Look for ottomans made of durable fabrics that are easy to clean.

Benefits: Stylish extra seating + large storage capacity

2. Under-Bed Bins

Plastic under-bed storage containers slide neatly under beds with high clearances. Access them by lifting the bed skirt. Use them to organize out-of-season clothing, extra linens and bedding, or rarely used items like holiday decor.

Benefits: Affordable + easily accessible storage

3. Built-In Drawers

Custom built-in drawers, from narrow vertical spaces to wide chest-of-drawers-style units, can be incorporated between wall studs where renovation allows. Use them in dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways to store anything from linens to office supplies. Consider features like soft-close glides and locks.

Benefits: Seamlessly blends storage into room design

4. Hidden Media Consoles

Entertainment centers with cabinets and shelves behind closed doors keep DVDs, stereo components, streaming devices, and video game consoles organized while hiding unsightly cords. Place them in living rooms, dens, basements, and bedrooms. Look for ventilation to prevent electronics from overheating.

Benefits: Conceals media clutter in style

5. Storage Coffee Tables

Lift-top coffee tables reveal spacious storage bins to hide living room clutter like remote controls, books, blankets, and more. Look for coffee tables with interior shelves, removable bins, or file drawer dividers to keep contents organized.

Benefits: Stylish tables with instant storage access

6. Cabinet Door Storage

Mount storage racks, baskets, and bins on the inside of cabinet doors to take advantage of small unused spaces. Use them to organize spices, canned goods, baking ingredients, cleaning products, and more inside kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

Benefits: Easy DIY way to add storage

7. Hidden Bookcases

Bookcases that pivot, slide, or swing open to reveal secret storage spaces let you conceal valuables, home office supplies, or extra belongings behind a wall of books. Place them in living rooms, dens, bedrooms, and hallways.

Benefits: Clever way to hide prized possessions

8. Storage Benches

Benches with hinged lids or removable seat cushions make unexpected places to hide items of all kinds. Use them in entryways, bedrooms, mudrooms, or at the foot of beds. Look for lockable bench storage to safely conceal valuables.

Benefits: Seating + secret storage

9. Cubby Shelving

Wall-mounted open cubbies (sometimes hidden behind cabinet doors) make great customized storage. Use fabric bins to corral items like craft supplies, toys, books, folded clothes, shoes, accessories, and more. Work them into closets, play rooms, laundry rooms, and kids’ bedrooms.

Benefits: Affordable + fully customizable storage

10. Hidden Floor Safes

Inconspicuous floor safes disguised as wood floor panels, area rugs, or hollowed-out storage ottomans keep valuables secure yet easily accessible through a flush mount door with lockbox. Use them to protect important documents, jewelry, cash, small collectibles, and more.

Benefits: Very secure hidden storage. No matter which room you choose update, one or more of these clever solutions can help you conceal everyday clutter while maximizing your square footage.

Design Tips for Seamless Hidden Storage

When embarking on a hidden storage project, consider the following design tips:

  1. Blend It In: Opt for solutions like built-ins and lift-top coffee tables that seamlessly blend into the existing architecture and furnishings. Match colors and materials to other finishes in the room for a cohesive look.
  2. Think Vertical: Install vertical storage along walls, such as bookshelves or narrow cabinetry, to maximize space without taking up valuable floor space. Consider going floor-to-ceiling or adding discreet wall niches at various heights for added storage.
  3. Multipurpose Pieces: Choose storage furniture that serves more than one purpose, such as storage ottomans, benches, and coffee tables that also provide extra seating or surface areas.
  4. Maximize Space: Take advantage of every nook and cranny by placing customized shelving units into unused alcoves or turning awkward empty spaces under eaves and stairs into functional storage areas.
  5. Easy Access Is Key: While the storage may be hidden, it still needs to be easily accessible. Ensure that bins are easy to remove and replace. Incorporate lighting, dehumidifiers, or ventilation as needed to maintain optimal conditions.
  6. Know Your Lifestyle: Consider your family’s habits and what items tend to get left out when choosing concealed storage spots. Tailor the storage solutions to accommodate the belongings you most often need to hide to keep frequently used rooms looking neat and organized.

Common Places to Add Hidden Storage

Here is an overview of the prime spots in each room to cleverly conceal storage bins:

Entryway

  • Coat closets – install floor-to-ceiling shelving & hooks
  • Storage bench seating
  • Cubbies for shoes, bags, & accessories
  • Cabinetry behind decorative mirrors

Living Room

  • Media consoles & entertainment centers
  • Storage ottomans
  • Lift-top coffee tables
  • Custom built-in shelving & cabinetry
  • Repurposed hollow wall space behind bookshelves & artwork

Bedrooms

  • Under bed bins
  • Storage bench at foot of bed
  • Custom closet systems with shelves, cabinets & drawers
  • Cabinetry & shelving built into wall recesses
  • Behind headboards

Bathrooms

  • Medicine cabinets
  • Drawers built under sinks
  • Freestanding storage furniture that matches vanities
  • Corner shelving units
  • Cabinets mounted on walls or inside existing cabinets

Kitchen

  • Pantries & cabinetry – use interior organizers
  • Kitchen island with storage bins inside
  • Deep drawers to store small appliances
  • Slide out trays & racks inside existing cabinets
  • Open shelving with decorative bins

Garages & Basements

  • Storage racks & modular shelving units
  • Utility cabinets & tool chests
  • Overhead storage racks mounted to ceiling
  • Custom cabinetry built along walls
  • Repurposed closet space

Take time to analyze the layout of each room and identify “dead” areas like alcoves, under stairs, between studs, and inside existing cabinetry that could be transformed into concealed storage zones. This helps maximize square footage.

Hiding Everyday Clutter

Here are suggestions for the best hidden storage solutions for some of the most common household items:

  1. Media Items: Conceal inside full-sized media consoles with cabinets or shelving behind doors. For smaller components, use closed storage ottomans and coffee tables with hidden compartments.
  2. Linens & Bedding: Fold and store inside under-bed bins and storage benches. Utilize extra closet space or bathroom vanity cabinets for additional storage.
  3. Out of Season Clothing: Place in vacuum-sealed bags inside under-bed bins or hollow storage ottomans to save space and keep them protected.
  4. Sports Equipment: Organize bulky items like tennis rackets, rollerblades, soccer balls, yoga mats, and more out of sight using utility room wall racks, garage cabinets, and basement shelving units.
  5. Cleaning Supplies: Keep spray bottles, sponges, gloves, and cleaning products neatly organized inside bathroom and kitchen cabinets to maximize floor space.
  6. Office Supplies: Designate desk and file drawers for office materials or hide them altogether inside custom built-in bookcases and cabinetry with doors.
  7. Kids’ Toys: Corral toys inside storage ottomans, customizable open cubbies, and canvas bins on shelves in playrooms or bedrooms to maintain tidy family spaces.
  8. Seasonal Decorations: Store holiday wares neatly inside under-bed containers, on basement shelving, or on utility room racks during off seasons to free up space.

Take note of possessions that tend to make rooms appear cluttered on a daily basis. Tailor your hidden storage solutions to neatly conceal these items in optimal spots for quick access when needed, ensuring a tidy and organized living space.

Installing Built-In Storage

For the most seamlessly integrated hidden storage, built-ins can be customized to perfectly fit the space. Here are key steps for installing built-ins:

1. Check with HOA or Condo Board

If you live in a condo or community with a homeowner’s association, check guidelines regarding renovation policies before starting any built-in project. Get approvals when needed.

2. Create a Plan

Measure the space carefully to design units that maximize every inch. Sketch plans showing exact dimensions and layouts. Include details like shelves, drawers, and doors.

3. Mind the Architecture

Check for pipes, vents or wiring behind walls that could impact the design. Incorporate lighting and consider features like soft-close drawers.

4. Choose Materials

Pick materials like wood, laminate and metal that coordinate with the room’s existing architectural details. Durable easy-to-clean finishes are best for high-traffic areas.

5. Add Supports

Since furniture will likely go inside built-in units, reinforce with extra studs secured firmly to wall studs so the storage is sturdy enough for heavy items.

6. Install Storage Unit

Follow plans carefully, securing to wall studs. Pay attention to leveling shelves and drawers so everything operates smoothly. Use shims as needed.

7. Add Finishing Touches

Install hardware like drawer glides, hinges and knobs. Seal any gaps between unit and walls. Touch up paint/stain if needed so the built-in blends seamlessly into the architecture.

8. Add Storage Bins

Place matching decorative bins, organizers and baskets inside cabinets to help corral stored items neatly. Label outside of cabinet doors when helpful.For first-timers, work with an experienced carpenter or contractor to ensure the built-ins are expertly installed for safety and longevity.

Maintaining Hidden Storage

To keep concealed storage spaces well maintained:

  • Use organizers inside cabinets and drawers to neatly corral contents
  • Label bins and shelves so it’s easy to find items
  • Clean out bins annually and donate unused items
  • Vacuum dust and debris out regularly using attachments
  • Check for leaks, mildew or hardware issues and address immediately
  • Take inventory of items to ensure nothing gets lost or overlooked inside

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