Many properties around Avalon, Clareville, Bilgola and surrounding suburbs were built in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s – a time before double garages and walk in wardrobes were standard features in every property.

These days, storage is a huge factor when it comes to the value of your home. A property with plenty of functioning storage solutions will be more attractive to buyers and therefore is likely to sell faster and achieve a higher sale price.

However, just because you have an older home or one lacking in built-in storage doesn’t mean you’re at a disadvantage. It’s possible for all home sellers to create additional storage solutions that will make your home more functional and more desirable. Take a look at some of the following options for improving storage in an older house.

Kitchen storage solutions

Kitchens can make or break a property when you’re trying to sell. Your kitchen should be up-to-date and modern, and be a functional space that is pleasurable to cook and spend time in. Kitchens are particularly important for families as they’re often considered the “heart” of the home.

A small kitchen can be made more desirable with smart use of space. While many buyers claim to want a large farmhouse-style kitchen, a small kitchen is easier to clean and can be a great selling point if well designed.

If your kitchen looks outdated and is inefficient to work in, it may be a good investment to upgrade your cabinets and layout before putting your home on the market.

However, if you don’t want to go to the hassle and expense of a whole new kitchen, there are many small kitchen storage solutions, which help maximise functionality:

– Update your pantry with a pullout system instead of deep shelves you have to dig around in.

– Consider a shelving unit with a butcher’s block top, which can roll away and be stored under a bench. This can be used for extra preparation space and then stored away when not in use.

– Mount shelves on empty walls to hold extra crockery or utensils – vertical space should be used as much as possible in a small kitchen. Alternatively, mount a pegboard and use it to hang pans and utensils. You can buy hanging hooks for this purpose from Ikea and kitchen shops.

– Utilise the inside of cupboard doors by attaching lid holders or spice racks.

– Add rails in the space under your cabinets and hang baskets to store fruit, spices, or utensils.

– Use stackable shelves or under-shelf baskets inside your cupboards to double your space.

Bedroom storage solutions

Older homes on the Northern Beaches often have basic bedrooms without integrated storage options. While furniture can provide sufficient storage, built-in cupboards and walk-in wardrobes are a great selling point and avoid wasted space such as that on top of wardrobes.

If you have enough room, talk to a local carpenter about built-in wardrobes. Bespoke storage can suit the size and shape of the room you have and make the most of awkward corners. Built-ins can also square off an unusually shaped room and turn ‘dead’ space into storage areas.

While you have your carpenter, ask them to put up a few shelves so you can store books and knick-knacks. Wall shelving is preferable to a bookcase as it doesn’t touch the floor and will help the room to look bigger.

Some more quick ideas:

– Wheeled tubs under the bed can act as a storage solution for clothes and spare bedding, and are a way to both maximise storage and keep items out of sight so the room looks neat and uncluttered.

– Find an ottoman which doubles as a blanket storage box. This not only acts as handy storage and additional seating but also adds a touch of hotel-style luxury to your bedroom.

– Use ‘over the door’ hooks for robes and coats (available from Bunnings and Howard’s Storage World). These can be a better option than drilling into a plywood door and ending up with a hole a lot bigger than you intended.

Outdoor / garage storage solutions

A small shed in the back yard can provide a tidy storage place for tools and sports equipment. You can have one custom made or buy a flat pack from Mitre 10 in Avalon/Mona Vale, or Bunnings in Belrose or Narrabeen.

In the garage, use shelves and racks to keep things off the ground and make room so you can actually park your car. A garage is worth more to a potential buyer than a workshop so even if you use the space for woodworking or other activities, make sure there’s plenty of wall storage to keep the space tidy.

Nowadays, there are plenty of solutions for storing equipment like paddle boards, kayaks and bikes. These are a must for the outdoor lifestyle that buyers will be looking forward to enjoying in the Avalon Beach area.

If your garage is tiny, you can look into an ‘over bonnet’ locker. This is a cabinet on stilts, which allows room for the front of your car while giving you a place to keep equipment and tools out of sight.

Laundry Room Storage

If you have the budget, built-in shelves and cabinets will clear all the clutter from your laundry. An interior designer can show you how to optimise the space you have around the sink, washer and dryer.

For less pricey options, visit Bunnings or Fantastic Furniture for some basic free standing cupboards and shelving units. Remember that the key to making the most of a small space is to use vertical space as much as you can – you can mount shelves right up to the ceiling for items that aren’t used very often.

Mount baskets over your washing machine to store laundry powder and soaps. Keep them out of the way but still within reach and convenient as you’ll be using them every day.

The laundry room is usually the smallest space in a house but often the one that attracts the most clutter. Keep cleaning and laundry items such as irons, brooms, and cleaning supplies out of the way by mounting hooks and racks for them to hang on.

Adding clever storage solutions to your home will add value when it comes time to sell.

As a real estate agent, I am always approaching properties with a keen eye, wondering how I can help the owner to bring the price up by five, ten or even fifteen percent. Having been in many stunning modern homes and plenty of well-renovated period properties, I’m able to see how old and new can be combined so the character of a home is maintained but the convenience factor is increased.

If you own one of Avalon’s beautiful original beachside cottages, get in touch and let me show you how simple changes can dramatically impact its value.

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