Living on a narrowboat is not for everyone, and those that do live on a narrowboat will appreciate that it is not always easy. There is a lot to take into account if you plan to live on a narrowboat all year round; the heating, fuel costs, insurance and breakdown cover – but also how you plan to store all of your belongings.
Narrowboats are typically narrow, with the clue being in the name. This can make storage difficult, especially if you have large belongings or are planning to downsize from a house or flat. Here are some useful storage ideas that might make living on a narrowboat a little easier:
Moving to live on a narrowboat on a permanent basis will not allow you any extra storage space. Narrowboats have only a handful of rooms, meaning you will really have to make the most of the space available to you. Don’t waste space by attempting to store clothes, kitchen equipment or other items which you haven’t used in a long time, or had forgotten you even owned.
Take anything you no longer want or need to your local charity shop and embrace becoming more of a minimalist. If you have items that you can’t take on board but aren’t ready to part with, you could also consider renting storage space. Storage spaces are relatively cheap and you will be able to access your belongings at any time.
The majority of narrowboats have a staircase leading down into the living area of the boat. One fantastic storage and space-saving idea is to convert your staircase into drawers. This is a simple and easy idea and will massively increase the storage space available to you. It won’t impact your day to day living as anything you don’t need can be easily stored, but with easy access.
A simple yet useful idea similar to building drawers into your stairs is to build drawers that slide under your bed. These should be totally concealed most of the time and will not take up any additional space, but can be easily pulled out if you need access to them.
Cupboard doors, wardrobe doors and walls are often useful when it comes to hanging clothes or utensils. Hooks can be easily added to doors to increase storage space, meaning you can hang pans or kitchen utensils if you’re short of drawer or cupboard space in your kitchen.
In addition to this, built in wardrobes and cupboards should also provide you with extra room to hang clothes meaning they aren’t an obstruction, and hanging clothes is a great way to have easy access if you are short of space to put free standing wardrobes or other items of furniture.
Similarly to hanging pans and other utensils, shelving units can be a great way to make the most of your wall space. Any food which doesn’t need to be refrigerated can be stored on a shelf, meaning you won’t have to add additional cupboards into your kitchen. Storing food in matching jars or pots can also add a sense of individuality to your kitchen whilst also optimising your wall space.
One of the most creative ways to save space on storage in a narrow boat is to build built in cupboards directly into the ground. It works the same way as a built in wardrobe, but it won’t make your narrowboat any narrower!
Built in cupboards under the floorboards can also be covered with rugs, carpets or furniture, giving you ample space to store items you do not need on a day to day basis.