9 smart ways to save space (and add functionality) to your home

Anna Hecht, CNN Underscored
Mon July 30, 2018

Story highlights

  • Storage items, furniture pieces and more will save you space at home
  • With these top picks, your home will feel bigger, tidier and more functional

Have you ever bought a genius product that changed your life? For many homeowners, a well-functioning storage unit or a cleverly designed piece of furniture can do just that. Typically, there's a "Why didn't I buy this sooner?" reaction as you enjoy the new acquisition.

If you're like us, making effective home improvements is a game of strategy. We genuinely enjoy tracking down the very best storage units and furniture pieces that can make life easier. And we're also sure to keep budget at top of mind and compare prices to avoid overspending.

For our latest home goods hunt, we decided to attack one very common problem faced by homeowners: space — or a lack thereof. We gathered a whole list of products that open up space and bring order to commonly crammed and cluttered areas of the home.

1. Ellington Home Storage Ottoman/Foot Rest (starting at $35.98; amazon.com)

This stylish foot stool also acts as a storage unit. The foldable tufted ottoman comes in three different sizes and 12 colors to complement your living space. Over 250 people gave it a 4.6- out of 5-star rating, which means you can feel certain that it's been tried and tested.

2. Zingz & Thingz Lakeside Linen Tower ($124.07, originally $199.95; wayfair.com)

Our team of editors tested out this linen tower and, to our delight, it's every bit as stylish (and functional) as it looks online. The top and bottom cabinets have two roomy shelves each, for linens and towels. Below the top cabinet, the sliding drawer holds smaller things like medications or cosmetics. Our only point of caution would be to follow all the steps in the instructions when you're assembling it. The very last step involves securing your cabinet to the wall, which adds stability to make it 100% wobble-free. The tower is now on sale, so you'll save 38% if you buy it today.

3. Organize It All Mounted Chrome Bathroom Shelf with Towel Rack ($14.98, originally $25; amazon.com)

This towel rack mounts on the wall to provide shelving that will save you counter space. With over 700 reviews from satisfied customers, this bathroom shelf — with its modern chrome finish and clever design — is a purchase you can feel confident making. As an added plus, it's now priced at 40% off, for just $14.98.

4. Neu Home Over the Door 6-Basket Hanging Storage Unit ($30.99; amazon.com)

Need more storage space in your bathroom or pantry? This over-the-door storage unit will do the trick. With six separate baskets, it's easy to keep items organized and readily accessible. More than 700 Amazon buyers gave it a 4.4- out of 5-star review and many commented on how quick and simple it was to assemble.

5. AmazonBasics Closet Storage Organizer with Bins ($17.37, originally $21; amazon.com)

A lack of closet space is a common complaint among homeowners. For those who need an extra couple of shelves and drawers, this is the perfect option. This organizer, an Amazon's Choice, costs just $17.37, so getting organized doesn't have to mean breaking the bank.

6. Pro Board Racks Birch Bike Rack Shelf ($68; amazon.com)

For the city dweller with a small apartment, or the homeowner with a crammed garage, we've found a stylish way of getting your bike up and out of the way. The Pro Board Racks birch bike rack shelf holds the frame 12 inches out from the wall, so you won't have to worry about marking the wall with your wheels. As for the shelf, it's the perfect place for your helmet and other biking accessories.

7. Coavas 4-Tier Folding Bookcase/Storage Rack ($89.77; amazon.com)

The possibilities are endless when using this best-selling set of shelves. We immediately noticed its smart design with extra-tall shelving spaces. This feature makes it convenient for storing large kitchen appliances, like standing mixers and Instant Pots. Also a great piece for the living or dining room, its stylish design would serve as a stunning display for books, speaker systems, plants and more. It comes ready to assemble, with wooden shelves that sit down into a sturdy iron frame.

8. Coavas Nesting Coffee Tables (Set of 3) ($65.99, originally $99.99; amazon.com)

This is Amazon's No.1 best-selling nesting table set, and we can totally see why. For one, this set of three is easy to assemble (but you can refer to the video tutorial if need be). Secondly, the tables are stackable, so you can store them compactly to save space. And if there are children at your house, you'll also notice that the corners of each table are rounded, making them a safer option around little ones. As an added bonus, this set matches the Coavas 4-Tier Bookcase (above) for a uniform look to your furniture collection if you purchase both.

9. The Berry Ave Broom Holder and Garden Tool Organizer ($13.97; amazon.com)

This organizer may seem like a simple idea, but for those with brooms and mops stuck in corners around the house, it's a total must-have. With five slots for holding rake- or mop-shaped handles (up to 1¼ inches), this is your new, smart solution to cluttered bathrooms, kitchens or garages. Easy to install (and with over 2,000 reviews from satisfied customers), it's the user-friendly home hack that everyone needs.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed prices at the time of publication.