Forgotten Small Spaces




About: Builder, humanitarian, inventor and webmaster. Lived around, UK, Uganda, Rwanda, New Zealand plus work in Kenya and Tanzania, but now settled close to the beach in Asker, Norway.

There are probably spaces in your home that you don't even recognise as storage spaces. Maybe they are designated for something else, something specific. But that doesn't mean you can't hack them for your own stuff.

Step 1: Simple Storage in Forgotten Small Spaces

Right next to our front door is a big old box containing our electricity meter and fuseboard/consumer unit etc. Since it's so handy for the door and not used for anything else, we dumped our spare keys in it from day one, then came the torches (I mean everyone keeps a torch or two near the fuseboard right?).

Pretty soon, pulling a torch or spare set of keys out, pulled a load of stuff you didn't want out as well. Especially since nearly everything I own has some sort of paracord thingy attached to it!

Time to make this a proper storage space!

Step 2: Hook, Hooks and More Hooks

The solution in this case was to hang everything up in the dead space on the back of the door. In this box the dead space was around 9cm (3 1/2") or so, more than enough for some keys and small torches.

I found some cheap metal self adhesive hooks online, set out the back of the door in 10cm (4") rows and simply stuck the hooks on in rows 4cm (1 1/2") apart.

  • Don't forget to allow for any frame or stop beads if using a wooden door.
  • Don't forget to allow for the things living inside the space, some parts of the back of the door will have more space than others.
  • If you're using an electrical box, don't forget there are live 'bus bars' in there, don't hang anything up that can possibly get behind and hit the live bars unless you like loud bangs and hospitals.
  • Remember to open the door gently to avoid said items flying off. That's why I used metal hooks so I could press the hook part almost closed, no way these babies are coming off unless I want them too.

Step 3: Finding Small Usable Spaces

Some suggestions. I'll start this list off. Feel free to add more suggestions in the comments and I'll add the good ones here over time....

  • On the back of consumer unit/fusebox doors.
  • On the back of regular cupboard doors (kitchen, utility or bathroom units)
  • On the back of wardrobe doors (think ties, belts, scarfs, hats, gloves etc.)
  • Spare fridge space (think cells, valuables, certain glues etc.) Or just fill your fridge with food like everyone else lol!
  • Behind kitchen kick boards, alter them to make removal easy (think valuables or infrequently used stuff.)
  • Behind or underneath furniture (think secret hiding places).
  • Behind pictures on the wall, OK, it's a bit James Bond, but hey, it's easy to tape a large envelope on the back of a frame to store important docs in.
  • Ornaments with spaces in, or vases etc. Ours just gather dust in the cabinet, so keep stuff in them.
  • Pull all your books to the front edge of the book shelf and store stuff in the space behind them.
  • and so on....



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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    If you need heaps more space, think vertical. Eg, find a spare desk and put that on an existing desk and you have plenty of storage on top (gives an excuse to install some domestic lamps onto the frame of the top desk.)... If you dont fall out of bed then raising it can help (with the storage, raise it the other way if you do fall out!). Exposed wall frames? plenty of opportunities there.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I mounted an electric panel box on the wall in my sewing corner and fitted out the insides to hold all my spools of thread and bobbins. The one next to it holds other notions. Keeps them accessible, dust free and of no interest to my young (at the time) children.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    You could add a secondary inner door (acrylic or similar) to either protect the electrics or secure the hanging stuff in place (depending on whether it is attached to the door or the box). I'm glad you said the fuse box was outdated, I didn't think Norway (or ANYONE) was still using that style of fuse!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Sadly, or fortunately if you are an electrician here, it costs around fifteen hundred bucks to change the board, and of course the law makes it impossible to do yourself. Result, many hundreds of thousands of electrical systems getting steadily older and more dangerous. $100 an hour seems to be the minimum.....


    4 years ago

    Great to make people think. But I warn against using the mains switchbox. Clear, free access to the box without clutter is essential for safety.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    I know, that's why I cleared it all out and put it on the back of the door lol!

    To be honest the box is way oversized and outdated. I'll get around to replacing it with a modern version some day, but then where will I keep my spare keys.........