Melissa Dubravetz, advertising writer

In last week’s column, I shared some ways to make the most of a small bathroom or cramped kitchen. This week’s column continues that theme, sharing ways to create more space in your laundry room, garage and home office, and suggesting places to look for more space in and around your home.

Tidy up your laundry room

While the laundry room area of a home is often overlooked when it comes to home design and space, it is a place you probably spend a good amount of time. It can definitely use some additional space, organization and a little TLC.

••• Invest in multiple laundry hampers on wheels to easily and quickly separate your laundry.

••• Add a long table or table top and rolling rack to make laundry hang-drying, separating and folding easier.

••• Add a shelf on your laundry room wall to keep your detergents, stain removers, fabric softeners and other products.

••• Try to keep up on your laundry, especially if your space is limited

••• Hang a bar from the ceiling over your washer and dryer for an out-of-the-way place to hang clothes. ••• Hang your ironing board on the back of your laundry room door so it can be easily and quickly accessed when needed without taking up a lot of room.

Guarantee more garage space

The garage is another part of many homes that is overlooked and ignored when it comes to storage space, even though we use them – like basements – as a place for keeping the stuff we don’t use all the time. When it comes to creating more storage space in your garage, look up and around for easy and quick solutions.

••• Use shelves to store cleaners and yard products.

••• Install heavy-duty hooks to hang tools on the garage walls and bikes from the garage rafters.

••• Use racks and tubs to keep toys, outdoor decorations and other items. Remember to purchase clear plastic tubs so you can easily and quickly identify the contents.

••• Keep trash and recycle containers outside, behind or beside your garage instead of in your garage to save on space.

Hone in on your home office

A home office can sometimes become a “collect all” for stuff we don’t know what to do with, from cameras and other electronics to office supplies, receipts and paper work. Having a home for everything in your home office is key to making the most of your small space. First you need to determine if everything in your office actually belongs there, then de-clutter and look at ways to maximize your space.

••• Look for desk systems that offer a lot of useable storage.

••• Invest in a few file cabinets that can fit in the space easily without taking up a lot of room.

••• Purchase desk drawer organizers to keep office supplies separated and tidy.

••• Consider placing a bookcase or two in your home office for books and other memorabilia that typically makes its way to an office because it doesn’t have a place elsewhere.

Like many other rooms in your home, look up and around for ways to use wall space for storage and dιcor. Consider investing in a rollout desk or one that has a cover to hide clutter, such as a roll-top.

Think outside conventional spaces

Perhaps the most affordable and best way to create more room in every area of your home is to make use of each and every space you can. For example, how can you best use the space under your stairs? How can you create more storage with shelving? Can the nooks and crannies around your home be used for chests of drawers or sliding door cabinets of some sort?

The backs of doors and cabinets can be used for unique out-of-the-way organization, while footstools, ottomans and coffee tables can double as organization chests. The point is to look for underutilized places in and around your home where the space can be maximized.

Let me know what you think. What are your tips for creating more space in the small areas in your home? I welcome your suggestions on making a decision, tales from your personal experiences or anything else you want to talk about. Send an e-mail with your name and phone number to homeownership@thebeaconjournal.com. For additional real estate information, visit homes.ohio.com, the key to hassle-free home hunting.