Cupboard to cabinet: Storage solutions you need for a clutter-free home

We may all think of hoarding less and discarding more but Storage continues to remain the singular biggest challenge in Indian homes. A clutter free home is key to a clutter free mind and one must budget for appropriate storage solutions at home

Namrata Kohli | New Delhi

The more we have, the more we feel, we don’t have. We are talking of storage and organizational units at home which come in the form of cabinets and cupboards, chest of drawers and display cabinets or a unit to store luggage, art, artefacts, books.

“When I moved from a 3-bedroom apartment to a penthouse, I thought I will have enough place to store my stuff, but I still struggle to accommodate everything and my lofts, bed boxes, storeroom continue to remain overfull,” says 50-year-old homemaker Suparna Malhotra, who recently shifted with her family from Delhi to an upscale condominium in Gurugram.

Keeping things organized in every home, regardless of its size, is a challenge. According to Sumit Malik, Founding Principal of Design Consortia, a New Delhi-based, design house and architectural practice, “The key to solving this problem is to understand the various storage solutions available and use them strategically. Some storage solutions are essential for basic functionality. For instance, almirahs are perfect for storing clothes as they offer hanging space and protect garments from dust. Wardrobes, on the other hand, are more versatile, with modern shelving and compartments that can accommodate a variety of bedroom items. Other storage units cater to specific preferences or requirements. For instance, a trophy cabinet could be an athlete’s cherished display area, while a bookshelf could showcase a love of literature. Similarly, curio cabinets, or display shelves, allow homeowners to personalize their space with treasured artefacts.”

You could divide your need for storage units into three categories- the must have, the recommended and the optional solutions. The first includes almirahs and closets essential for storing clothing, and personal items and typically feature hanging rods, shelves, and drawers for organizing clothes and accessories. Kitchen Cabinets are necessary for storing cookware, utensils, pantry items, and appliances in the kitchen. Kitchen cabinets can be wall-mounted or floor-standing and may include features like adjustable shelves, pull-out drawers, and built-in organizers for efficient storage. Another essential is bedroom storage. In addition to almirahs, storage solutions in the bedroom may include bed frames with built-in drawers or lift-up storage, bedside tables with drawers or shelves, and dressers or chests of drawers for folded clothing and accessories.

Not so mandatory, but additional and recommended storage solutions include book shelves, display cabinets, storage ottomans. Bookshelves come in various sizes, styles, and materials, including wall-mounted shelves, freestanding bookcases, and modular shelving units and are ideal for organizing and displaying books, magazines, even decorative items in the living room, study, or bedroom. The display cabinets are suitable for showcasing collectibles, curios, and artifacts in the living room or dining area. They typically feature glass doors and shelves with interior lighting to highlight the items on display while keeping them protected from dust and damage. There could be multipurpose furniture like Ottomans and benches that provide seating as well as hidden storage space. These come with lift-up lids or removable cushions which are useful for storing blankets, pillows, and other items in the living room, bedroom, or entryway.

Chests and trunks, shoe racks and media storage are part of miscellaneous and optional storage units. Chests and trunks add character to a room and can serve as coffee tables or accent pieces in the living room or bedroom. Shoe racks are helpful for organizing and storing footwear near the entryway or in the bedroom. Shoe racks come in various designs, including open shelves, closed cabinets, and stackable units, to accommodate different shoe storage needs. Media storage units may include TV stands, entertainment centres, and wall-mounted shelves with compartments for electronics and media accessories. It is designed to store media equipment, DVDs, CDs, and gaming consoles in the living room or entertainment area.

Plan Your Storage

IKEA’s latest ‘Life at Home’ report highlighted that 9 out of 10 consumers are frustrated with clutter management and they focused on storage solutions. And they sold over 10 lakh pieces of SAMLA boxes in India- a box which is perfect for storing everything from smaller gardening tools to cleaning supplies. The transparent plastic reveals the contents inside so you can easily find what you are looking for.

The key is to plan for storage. When it comes to planning storage in your home, taking a thoughtful approach can make a significant difference in maintaining an organised and clutter-free space. Says Devika Khosla, Creative Director at The Works Interiors, Delhi NCR based design studio, “Start by making a list of the areas in your home that require storage. Consider the living room, bedroom, kitchen, utility area etc. For example, in a janitor’s closet, prioritise storage for cleaning tools, a toolkit, and other maintenance essentials. In the utility area, focus on shelving for groceries, cleaning supplies, and other household items. In the washing area, allocate storage for laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and other laundry essentials. Understand the primary function of each space to guide your storage decisions. Prioritise your storage requirements based on how frequently you use each item and how easily accessible you need them to be. Measure the available space in each area and consider any architectural constraints.”

Before you decide what to buy, know what to remove. Discard what you have not used for a long time. Before investing in storage solutions, declutter your belongings to eliminate unnecessary items. Remember, if you haven’t used something in the past year, it’s time to let it go.

Readymade & Built In storage

Is it better to have built-in storage or should one pick it up from manufacturers/retailers in the market.

When it comes to choosing between built-in and freestanding storage, the decision depends on the resident’s needs and the space available. Says Design Consortia’s Sumit Malik, “Custom-built storage can transform any area, making the most of awkward spaces and creating a seamless, integrated appearance. This type of storage is especially useful when maximizing storage capacity is a priority. Freestanding units offer greater flexibility. They come in different sizes, styles, and materials, allowing residents to find pieces that complement the existing décor. They’re also easier to move or rearrange.”

By understanding different storage options and using them strategically, residents can create a well-organized and aesthetically pleasing home. Thoughtful storage solutions not only declutter the space but also enhance its functionality and visual appeal.

In particular, built-in storage offers distinct advantages for key areas like the kitchen and wardrobe, says The Works Interiors’ Devika Khosla. She advises- “Customising these spaces allows for optimal use of available space, ensuring efficient organisation and storage. Every nook and cranny can be utilised effectively with built-in solutions, providing tailored storage solutions that cater to individual needs and preferences. Built-in storage options, such as recessed shelves or custom cabinets, can maximise space without sacrificing aesthetics. Consider factors like accessibility, visibility, and grouping similar items together for efficient organisation. Customised modular wardrobes offer flexibility and versatility, allowing individuals to design spaces according to their specific needs and preferences.”

Meanwhile, readymade market unit options like chests of drawers, buffet units, and consoles can enhance room aesthetics while offering practical storage solutions. Ultimately, finding the right balance between aesthetics and functionality ensures that your storage choices meet both your practical needs and design preferences seamlessly.

If you have a tiny apartment, you can still optimize space with these tips and tricks. Shailly Mandiwal, Home Furnishing Direction Leader, at IKEA India shares some advice – “Build vertically. When space is tight, use every inch all the way up to the ceiling. Use dead space like window sills, corners, or even walls for extra shelves to add anything from books to plants and collectibles. Use underutilised spaces, like under the bathroom sink, for example, for extra storage. Add a two-or-three layered trolley with wheels to make your toiletries well within reach. Bookshelves are visually appealing and the perfect relaxing nook, but they can also take up a lot of space. Use the walls for book storage instead if you have limited space. Choose furniture with hidden storage, like pouffes and footrests with storage. These pieces extend beyond comfort, offering additional benefits that help reduce clutter and make essentials accessible, therefore enhancing their value. For example, KJUGE by IKEA is three pieces of furniture in one – a comfy pouffe to rest your feet on, extra seating for guests, and smart storage to help you stay organised.”

There is no one size fits all storage solution. Storage units vary in size, design, functionality. From small bins and baskets to large cabinets and wardrobes, choosing the right size ensures efficient use of available space without overcrowding or wasting valuable square footage. Whether you prefer sleek and modern or rustic and traditional, there are options to suit every aesthetic. Consider factors such as colour, finish, and hardware details when selecting storage furniture or accessories. Storage units can be made from various materials, including wood, metal, plastic, and fabric. Choose materials that align with your lifestyle and design preferences while also considering factors such as ease of cleaning and environmental impact.

Which are the best brands in the market for buying storage units? In India, a number of renowned brands offer storage solutions to suit diverse needs and preferences. Brands such as Plusch Living and Quba Homes specialize in customised premium, luxury storage options. Brands like The Works Interiors have a team of craftsmen who craft customised storage solutions tailored to individual client specifications.

If looking for luxury, imported brands such as Molteni, Dall’agnese, Olivieri, Pianca, or Malebra can be considered, as these brands offer premium designs and materials. The price for storage units can differ significantly due to various factors, such as size, material, brand, and customization. Typically, built-in storage and high-end imported brands are more expensive. Conversely, freestanding units from domestic brands have a broader range of price options. For those preferring ready-made pieces from the market, Nivasa, Sarita Handa, Wriver, and Aux Homes, Magpie, Alsorg, and Ravish Vohra. Internationally acclaimed brands like IKEA, Pottery Barn, and West Elm offer an impressive selection of storage solutions with varying prices, ensuring options for different budgets and design preferences.

Finally, storage is not just about space; it’s about creating order and finding peace amidst chaos. Remember, a tidy home not only brings physical order but also contributes to mental well-being. So, embrace the art of storage and create a harmonious living space!


A well-organized storage space is the foundation of an organized life. The table below gives an idea on how to organize and budget for storage solutions for every part of your home.

Category Storage Solution Price Range (INR) Source
Kitchen Utensil Storage (Cabinet) 5,000 – 25,000 UrbanLadder
Wall-Mounted Spice Racks 500 – 3,000 Pepperfry
Bedroom Wardrobes 10,000 – 1,30,000 IKEA India
Chest of Drawers 9,000 – 40,000 IKEA India
Under-Bed Storage (Boxes) 200 – 8,500 IKEA India
Living Room TV Units 1,500 – 1,20,000 Pepperfry
Display Cabinets 10,000 – 45,000 Urban Ladder
Coffee Tables with Storage 3,000 – 20,000 Godrej Interio
Study/Home Office Study Desks 2,500 – 3,30,000 Urban Ladder
Bookshelves 1,500 – 75,000 Urban Ladder
Filing Cabinets 4,000 – 80,000 Urban Ladder
Bathroom Vanity Cabinets 700 – 40,000 IKEA
Wall-Mounted Storage Units 2,000 – 10,000 IKEA India
Entryway/Hallway Shoe Racks 2,500 – 11,000 Pepperfry
Storage Benches 6,000 – 18,000 Urban Ladder
Miscellaneous Storage Bins 250 – 2,500 IKEA India
Storage Crates 500 – 3,000 IKEA

Source: Business Standard

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