If you're anything like me, you can never have too much storage at home, but it's something that a lot of houses and flats lack and unless you like cluttered living, it's not something you can do without.
One room where storage is essential is the bedroom and while a walk-in wardrobe is the stuff of dreams, it's not something most of us have room for.
The next best thing is fitted wardrobes, as they provide acres of storage space and can be built in to alcoves to make the most of what could be dead space.
Fitted wardrobes are usually made to measure, so every inch of space is used, much of which is wasted with freestanding wardrobes.
The interiors of fitted wardrobes can be customised with drawers, shelves and hanging space, etc, depending on your needs, so they're a very bespoke storage solution.
The main downside of these wardrobes is the price - they typically cost thousands of pounds from a specialist company, although a local carpenter will often make them for a lot less.
Fitted storage is particularly useful in awkwardly shaped rooms. In a loft-conversion bedroom, for example, a freestanding wardrobe may not fit, but creating built-in storage under the eaves maximises the limited space.
If your bedroom already has fitted wardrobes but the doors belong to another decade, simply replace them with more up-to-date ones (as long as the wardrobes are fine internally). Lots of online companies offer standard-sized and made-to-measure replacement wardrobe (and kitchen) doors, so it's easy to get a new look for a fraction of the price of new wardrobes.
In the kitchen, lack of storage will drive you to distraction. A larder or larder unit is ideal, but in small kitchens, a larder is a luxury too far. That's why it's important to have a really well-designed kitchen.
Kitchen showrooms and DIY stores have all sorts of clever ways of making more of the space, including pull-out worktops and shelves/racks, carousels in corner units, drawers within in drawers, and pop-up knife blocks.
Away from the kitchen, there's potential to build in storage all over the home. Ideas include an under-stairs cupboard (if there's just an under-stairs space, a carpenter can create a cupboard), freeing up the airing cupboard by having a combi boiler fitted and so getting rid of the hot-water cylinder, window seats that double as storage, stairs that contain drawers, vanity and wall units in bathrooms, and bookshelves and cupboards in alcoves, even a desk - with a bespoke home office, the space can be tailor-made for your computer, books, files and more.
Some of the best storage is, of course, a loft or cellar. Cellars are generally easier to access, but can be prone to damp if not tanked.
If you want to use a loft for storage and need to access it regularly, fitting a large loft hatch with a built-in ladder, such as the Abru Blue Seal Complete Loft Access Kit, which is currently reduced to £98 at B&Q, will make it much easier.
You'll also need to board the loft, if it's not already boarded, before storing things there. Use big sheets of chipboard, or chipboard loft boards, which slot together (try the Pack of 3 Loft Panels, £6.98, B&Q) so you can quickly create very useful storage space.
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Water-based white wood paints are a much better choice than solvent-based ones because they're quick drying and low odour, are easier to clean off clothes, carpets and skin and, crucially, don't discolour over time.
Ronseal Diamond Hard Wood Paint in Pure Brilliant White (from £11.99 for 750ml, Screwfix) is a good one to use because it has all these advantages and more.
Up to twice as hard as traditional gloss paint, it's designed to resist chipping, scuffing and scratching, so it's especially useful in areas that take a lot of punishment, such as halls, stairs and landings.
It's nice to use, works well on all kinds of interior woodwork and is available in gloss, satin and eggshell finishes.
Boarding a loft (with chipboard) can cause problems with loft insulation.
The recommended depth for mineral wool insulation is 270mm (other types of insulation may differ), but if the joists on the loft floor aren't that deep, you'll have to use shallower insulation because compressed roll insulation doesn't work properly.
To ensure there's enough insulation, either use loft legs to raise the floor level so you can lay thick enough roll insulation underneath the chipboard, or fit sheets of rigid insulation on top of the joists, with chipboard on top.
This should produce a well-insulated loft, which will make a big difference to how warm your home feels, and a good storage area with room for a lot more than just Christmas decorations.