Although "quaint" and "cozy" are typically ways for home sellers to mask the small stature of their homes, you may be one of the many buyers in the market for a more intimate living space.

Maybe you're trying to downsize your life with simple furnishings or save on maintenance and energy costs. Whatever the case, small homes come with their perks, but the storage constraints may become more noticeable over time. Even if you're watching your spending for knick knacks and unnecessary furniture, you may come to acquire stuff over time.

Although a home inspection can tell you about the house's frame, foundation and roof, you're on your own when it comes to determining how you can maximize the space you have. But don't worry, as there are many fun and creative ideas for how you can get more storage.

Shelves, shelves everywhere

A home of any size can never have too many carefully placed shelves. Every room can benefit from this storage option. Here are some ideas:

  • In the kitchen, shelves can hold spices, cookware, small appliances and other stuff. Additionally, the items you store can also serve as decoration for the room if you take a few moments to strategically place each one and throw in a few knick knacks.
  • For some homeowners, a walk-in closet is non-negotiable, but you can get by in your cozy closet with shelves to hold clothing and shoes. You can also use shelves to hold storage bins for small accessories and other items.
  • Bathrooms can easily become messy with grooming tools, soaps and perfumes. Rather than cluttering your vanity, place some of these things on a shelf.

Furniture: More than meets the eye

While shopping for couches, love seats and a bed for your room, check out some options that come with built-in storage. Many stores sell ottomans for your living room that include storage space. You can use them to stow away throw blankets and pillows when they're not needed. Storage bed frames include cubby holes for your belongings. Individual items or storage bins can be placed in these spaces to give you more breathing room.

Saving precious closet space

In a small home, there's a good chance your closets hold more than clothing and linens, especially your hall closets. This means you'll need to free up as much space as possible. To achieve this goal, relocate some of the draping coats and jackets to a freestanding or wall-mounted coat rack by your front door. Not only does this free up closet space, but it also helps you avoid forgetting your jacket on a windy day.

In addition to shelves, closets can also benefit from removable storage systems. They give you a template for organizing your belongings and maximizing your space.

Making your home more cozy

Given that a small house can already be a little cramped, you're probably not looking for ways to make it feel more imitate. An open floor plan, for instance, can make your living room and kitchen appear bigger. However, consider placing an open, freestanding shelf between areas to separate them. You get more storage that can be used for books, knick knacks and whatever else you can find that doesn't have its own space. Again, strategic placement can add a design element to your shelf.

Stake your claim under the stairs

The space under your stairs isn't a place reserved for dust bunnies. This area can fit more built-in storage, a bookshelf, a small office space or even a bathroom - building structure permitting, of course.