As humans, we tend to collect stuff. Some of it is stuff we need, others are things we want, but one thing we constantly struggle with is storage. Where do you keep those board games you use once in a while? Where do you hide the Christmas decorations until December?

None of use likes clutter hanging around for no reason, and putting things away holds a great deal of importance to us. For some things, the question becomes “Where is away?” When we have filled all of our conventional storage in a place, we look for less conventional solutions. Here are five stylish storage solutions for your home.

Chest as a Coffee Table

Having a coffee table in the living room, a place to set all of our books, magazine, remotes, and drinks when we watch television is important, but the right coffee table can also be a great place for storage. You can keep that blanket you use to cuddle up in the winter in there, along with movies, old magazine collections, and more.

Some coffee tables come with door storage under them that enables you to do this kind of thing, but not all do. One solution is to get an old-fashioned chest, one that is flat on the top, and use it as your coffee table. This has a number of unique advantages.

These chests often have a lot of character and may be covered in leather or made of unique woods or other materials. The other advantage? They often lock, like old luggage often did, and you can even secure things of value inside with a certain amount of discretion.

If you need some extra storage in the living area, a chest as a coffee table can be a great solution.

Dresser as a TV Stand

With the advances of flat screen TVs, it is common to hang them on the wall or use rather spartan TV stands instead of the old-fashioned entertainment center. While this does make for a sleeker looking wall, it creates a storage issue unless you want to stack DVD’s and other times on the shelves themselves where they will be visible and can be perceived as clutter.

There are also those cables you need, the owner’s manuals for all of those gadgets, and extra batteries that are hanging around. Where do you keep it all? One solution is a common set of drawers, a dresser, as a TV stand. The height and width of a dresser is often perfect for holding your television (and your Apple TV or other streaming device if you have one).

The dresser can be painted or stained to match the theme of your living room, and give it a unique, mid-century modern look. The drawers will hide all of that extra clutter that would otherwise be sitting out in the open.

Look around at second hand or consignment stores, find the right dresser and decorate it to blend with your living room theme, and you’ll have a great TV stand at an affordable cost.

Stylish Bookshelves

Bookshelves are a great storage solution. From books to nick knacks, they offer a surface to both store and display a variety of items. The danger is that they can look cluttered, but for them to be stylish, you need to follow some tips.

  • Experiment with book orientation
  • Be sure to add objects of art
  • Group books by size and color
  • Add photos to break the monotony

Besides just storing your books and other items, bookshelves can be a stylish addition to any room.

Ottoman Underfoot

Remember the old ottomans that your parents (or maybe grandparents had) that went with their chairs? Not only were they a great place to put your feet up that was not the table or the sofa, but they also held a secret storage spot.

The empty square space of an ottoman can hold a variety of household goods you want to stay out of the way. Because they sit inside, they are not exposed to extreme heat or cold, so even fragile items like photo albums or small art pieces can stay there. In many cases they were used to hold decorations for various holidays.

The good news is that you can get creative with these spaces. Nearly anything will fit, from books and magazines to glassware, extra kitchen supplies, and even blankets and pillows for that hide a bed couch. They are all stored neatly under your feet most of the time and can be pulled out when needed. Some people even rotate the decorations for different seasons in and out of ottomans.

Used correctly, these can be truly stylish storage spaces in your home.

Drink Me Under a Counter

Booze is often a problem. Unless you have a full bar somewhere in your home, you don’t want your bottles out all of the time, but you want them to be accessible. Because of children (and your alcoholic uncle) you also want to be able to lock them up securely.

The solution is often under the counter storage. This can be in the form of a counter you have added to the dining area that has locking cabinets underneath, or cabinets you have added under a breakfast bar off the kitchen or dining area. The key is that the bar also provides you with counter or dining space that you can use for other purposes, and only bring out the liquor when you are having a party or are using it yourself.

This can be a stylish way to store liquor, mixing materials and bar tools, and even your glassware. Use your kitchen space both creatively and wisely, and you can hide your drink under a counter (or even a table).

It seems like we often need more storage in our homes, but sometimes if we look around, the solutions are right beside us or even under our feet. We can add some simple things that will give us more room to put away clutter, and that makes everyone feel better.