Often overlooked, storage should be an essential part of any home as it can revolutionise not just the look and feel of a space, but how you use it, too.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking ‘out of sight, out of mind’, but hiding things away under the bed or in the cupboard beneath the stairs is only half the solution – storage isn’t about simply concealing clutter, but about creating an organised system that allows you to find items quickly and effortlessly, making for a stress-free experience.

With this in mind, before investing in any type of furniture, it’s essential to thoroughly sort and categorise all your possessions. A good place to start is to separate items into those for immediate use and those for occasional use – this will help you to decide what things should be stored where and the type of furniture you will require. The most efficient storage systems are those designed specifically to fit their contents.

Period home storage

With their odd-shaped rooms and peculiar angles, many old houses are a challenge to furnish, as are small spaces. In this case, investing in built-in cabinetry from experienced local carpenters is a fantastic option.

Alternatively, freestanding pieces can be easily repositioned if you need to create extra room for entertaining, or just fancy a change around. What’s more, they can be taken with you when moving house. Likewise, opting for multifunctional pieces will maximise the floor space and potential uses of a room.

light blue low cupboards in hallway bench

The hallway is the first room guests see when entering your home, so it’s important to keep the space tidy and welcoming. The Dormy House’s triple storage bench in Mid Blue with seat in Annie Rose 2 fabric, H59xW123xD40cm, £295, and triple storage peg shelf, H38xW99xD23cm, £242, come in a variety of colours and finishes

clever alcove wall storage with a book shelf and wine store

Make the most of slender alcoves by filling them with bespoke shelving. These were custom made by Hill Farm furniture as part of a bespoke kitchen, from £20,000

under bed lifting storage

Invest in an elegant storage bed, such as this model from Furl. With an easy-to-use mechanism, the mattress lifts to reveal a 1,000cl/D33cm cavity, perfect for storing away your winter wardrobe or items you don’t need to access day-to-day. Priced £1,245 for a double

flexible modular storage boxes

For a flexible, affordable solution, hang a selection of wooden crates on the wall in an arrangement of your choice to create rustic and quirky open shelving. You can pick up old crates at fleamarkets, or buy these walnut Marvin designs, H20xW50xD32cm, for £79 each at Lilly Loray

curtained off worktop storage with vanessa Arbuthnott storage

For an affordable utility solution that can be finished in a weekend, fit an empty corner with reclaimed timber shelves and a work surface, and conceal the area beneath with a curtain made up in a pretty fabric, such as this Flora & Fauna cotton/linen-mix design in Raspberry, £46 per m from Vanessa Arbuthnott

built in kitchen larder pantry storage

If there’s one place that requires ample storage, it’s the kitchen. Larders fitted with shelving to the backs of doors as well as inside – a hot trend in kitchens right now – offer maximum space for tins and jars. This bespoke larder was made by Smallbone to fit snugly into an alcove. From around £11,800

freestanding stainless steel kitchen island unit

With a lightweight design, open shelving, hooks and drawers, Ikea’s Rimforsa work bench offers quick access to pots and pans and can be easily positioned anywhere in the kitchen. Made from stainless steel with a bamboo work surface, it measures H92xW120xD63cm and costs £350

clever alcove sliding shelving storage drawers

If space is at a premium, you need to think cleverly about how to make the most of it. These alcove sliding shelves make use of a would-be wasted area and are perfect for keeping herbs close to hand when cooking. Included as part of a bespoke kitchen by Tom Howley, from £35,000