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Shrinking block sizes mean smart storage is a must for a growing number of homebuyers, not just those with bijou apartments.

"When designing a home for a small or compact lot, storage is an essential consideration," says Chris Riccadonna, New Product Manager at APG Homes.

"Given the limited land associated with smaller blocks, adding extra storage such as a shed after construction is simply not an option. Storage is something you really want to get right."

Thankfully, designers are on the ball with a host of ideas to help keep life clutter-free.

Chris says one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to storage is the roof space.

"Adding an attic ladder into the roof space, with a basic flooring and wall system, can give you a great amount of storage space," he says.

In the garage, shelves and racks are great but they can sometimes make it difficult to park the cars and move about. Chris says the answer is to use the space above.

"You can add a part-mezzanine level where you can store less frequently used items, or install hanging racks to store kayaks, fishing rods and leftover lengths of timber in the roof space over the cars," he says.

Inside the house, overhead shelves can work a treat, especially as the space at the top or the walls is largely unused. Stylish and practical, overhead shelves provide extra storage options without being an eyesore.

Chris suggests fixing them above doorways or in corners of bedrooms, living spaces and bathrooms.

A shallow mirror-fronted cabinet that's about 100mm deep and mounted above the vanity will also give you great storage in the bathroom. 

Chris says it's the perfect solution for hiding toothbrushes, deodorants, make-up and other toiletries. By raising the mirror away from the wall, you've also added a stylish design element.

In a two-storey home, consider how you can use the space under the stairs most effectively.

"This space is not just for boxes and buckets," Chris says.

"If the stairs back on to the kitchen you can use the area for a walk-in pantry or a second fridge recess

In the laundry, a front-loading washing machine can be placed on a plinth that includes a drawer for cleaning products and washing powder, and in the living room coffee tables with integrated shelves are a great way to store books and magazines.

For more information contact APG Homes, phone: 9441 5888.