Renovation Project Ideas to Maximize Storage and Combat Clutter

Articles & Interest

You’ve heard of spring cleaning, but what about spring renovating? Here is a list of home renovation projects that will maximize storage and combat clutter in a way no deep clean could do alone! By implementing a thoughtful and customized renovation project, you’ll enjoy a more organized home all year round.

Tui Kanuka, Principal of Sitka Coast Construction in North Vancouver, British Columbia, and Morgan Gowland, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Ultimate Renovations in Calgary, Alberta, share their advice on how a home renovation can positively impact a homeowner’s ability to maintain a clean and organized home.

Why consider a renovation?

“Most clients who are looking to renovate their home love the location of their home but are looking to make it more functional for their lives,” says Kanuka. “Solving organizational and clutter problems is a huge priority with most of our clients. They are often looking to add some sort of customized storage to make their home function better.” While renovations vary in size and cost, they all add value to your home and are personalized to meet your individual needs.   


Office in a whole home renovation by Ultimate Renovations, a finalist in the 2022 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence.

Prioritize a permanent home office

Sure, make-shift home office spaces were great when we thought the pandemic was temporary. But if you’re now permanently working from home – even part-time – you will benefit from a designated space to get work done every day. Not only will you be less likely to take over the dining room table (or ironing board if you prefer a standing desk), and more likely to stay organized, but having a dedicated work zone will help you mentally disconnect at the end of your workday.

Whether you’re building an extension to create more space, redesigning a spare room, or transforming a nook for clever office space, a professional renovator can help your vision come to life.

Build the custom bookshelf of your dreams

A well-designed floor-to-ceiling bookshelf can instantly provide extra storage while elevating any room’s aesthetic. The trick is to have a plan for an organizational system while designing the shelving, so they don’t become just another place to collect clutter. Having a balance between open and closed shelves, will allow you to display your favourite belongings and tuck away other items until they’re needed.


Bedroom storage in a whole home renovation by renovation by Sitka Coast Construction, a finalist in the 2022 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence.

Maximize storage

Recessed storage – storage that’s built into your walls – gives you added storage without sacrificing living space like a buying a cabinet or hutch would. Depending on what’s happening behind your walls, you may be able to add recessed storage in your bathroom, bedroom, kitchen etc. – anywhere that could use more storage, without taking up any physical space with new shelving or cabinets.

If building into your wall isn’t an option, consider taking advantage of height. Put baskets on top of kitchen cabinets, add extra-high shelves in closets for items that aren’t used often, and evaluate the efficiency of your pantry or broom closet. Don’t forget to designate a space for a step stool if you’re not an NBA player.

And if you’re adding cabinets, consider drawers, which can “provide better options for storage and make it easier to access heavy or bulky items,” suggests Kanuka. 

Customize your closet

“My dream closet has a singular bar for hangers and one tall shelf that I can’t access easily,” said no one ever. And yet, most standard closets come with this setup – way too much hanging space and not enough drawers or shelves. Think about your needs, your wardrobe, and what would work best for you when getting dressed in the morning or putting away clothes on laundry day. Professionals will also be able to suggest all the best finishes and design systems that will help you stay organized and have a closet you’ll want to keep spotless. Gowland suggests that with master closets “careful planning will ensure you have a mix of full height and divided units for everything from hats and shoes to dresses and dress pants.”

Photo caption: Closet in a whole home renovation by renovation by Sitka Coast Construction, a finalist in the 2022 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence.

Break down that wall

Sometimes the layout and design of your home are not actually functional or strategic for the needs of your family. “Modifying your floor plan can be one of the most effective ways to reimagine your space and breathe life back into your home,” says Gowland. “One of the most obvious ways to do this is by removing walls; in doing so, you’ll be able to reorient rooms to improve flow and capitalize on otherwise underutilized or inefficient space(s).” But before you go swinging a hammer and potentially compromising the structural integrity of your home, consult a professional and get their opinion on what’s feasible with your existing floor plan and what all your options are. 


Multi-purpose space in a whole home renovation by Ultimate Renovations, a finalist in the 2022 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence.

Think outside the box with flex spaces or nooks

If you love to host, Gowland points out that “dedicated food and beverage areas can also help keep you organized when entertaining. From full-service bars, to feature wine racks, to cocktail and coffee areas, keep everything on display and perfectly in place.” You can also get creative with flex spaces which Gowland says “can serve multiple purposes at once or as your lifestyle evolves. Music/hobby rooms that easily transition transition into concealed storage space, or discrete entryways that also double as coffee bars and private mudrooms are inventive ways to make the most of your square footage.”

Kitchen renovation by Sitka Coast Construction, a finalist in the 2022 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence.

All the innovative kitchen techniques

Without a doubt the kitchen is the room with the most potential for cool ways you can maximize storage and get organized. Kanuka says the team at Sitka Coast Construction begins by identifying pain points in the existing kitchen and getting to know their clients’ day-to-day lives and how they use their kitchen. Then, says Kanuka, “We like to design the kitchen based around ‘work zones’ where you have a specific zone in the kitchen dedicated to each work task, such as cooking, prep, cleaning, non-consumables, and consumables.”

Kanuka shared ways to make a big impact on organization in the kitchen. “Adding a kitchen island with cabinets on both sides is a huge contributor to maximizing storage and organization,” he says. Other solutions “Panel-ready appliances give your kitchen a unified look and feel, which can inspire you to keep whatever is behind the cabinets clean and organized as well. Ceiling-high cabinets also provide extra storage with a clean look, and built-in pantries hidden behind the millwork with lots of shelving gives a seamless look while also upholding functionality.”


Kitchen renovation by Ultimate Renovations, a finalist in the 2022 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence.

Add a mudroom

Often clutter that piles up are items that could stay in a mudroom for easy access when heading out the door or coming home. By customizing a mudroom to suit your needs, you’ll have a place for all the shoes, clothing, and sports equipment that can take over an entryway. (Read our Four Stylish Mudroom Ideas You’ll Love here)   


This mudroom in a whole home renovation by Ultimate Renovations, a finalist in the 2022 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence.

Reimagine your basement

Too often basements are where clutter and sports equipment get stored. But it can become any space you’d like it to be: a home office, lounging area, guest bedroom, storage space, etc. If there’s a sore spot for clutter elsewhere in your home (such as gym equipment in your living room), consider how your basement could be helpful.


This basement renovation by Ultimate Renovations was finalist in the 2022 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence.

No matter the room, the key is personalized solutions

“By understanding how our clients intend to use their space, we can easily incorporate features or even new rooms altogether that will make living there easier and more enjoyable after the renovation is complete,” says Gowland. “Thoughtful design elements are the key to creating spaces that are both easy and convenient to keep looking photoshoot ready. We find the biggest impact comes from carefully combining storage solutions and functional accessories with the right mix of custom cabinetry and open shelving. The end result is a balanced space filled with personalized solutions that are both easy to use and look great too!”


Ready to start looking for a renovator?

“We hear all the time from our clients how much of an impact the renovation has had on their ability to keep things neat and tidy,” says Gowland. “From mudroom lockers, to handy kitchen accessories, to hidden storage spaces, we can bring function and style back to every room in the house.” If you’re ready to hire a professional, make sure you ask to see examples of their previous projects, ask for references, and always get a written contract.


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