On-demand Storage Services: 9 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Them

on-demand storage hero

Numerous on-demand storage companies have sprung up in recent years. They all promise an easy solution to solve the problem of not having enough home storage space.

The business model of these companies is a creative evolution of the traditional self-storage concept. Instead of someone taking all of their extra stuff to another location for storage, these companies come right to the customer to pick it up.

On-demand storage is also known as “pickup storage” and “valet storage”. 

One of the common selling points of these companies is how convenient their services are for people to use. The longer you look at how these businesses work, however, it becomes quite evident that it just doesn’t make any practical or financial sense to use on-demand storage companies.

Why is there more demand for on-demand storage?

It’s not surprising that this type of service has gained traction in the home storage marketplace. A lot of us simply have too much stuff and don’t spend enough time paring down the number of things we own.

That makes what storage companies offer look a lot more attractive in desperate times when clutter has overwhelmed a household.

These eye-opening statistics shed some light on how our homes are organized:

  • Having a lack of storage space was the number one pet peeve of homeowners. (HSH.com survey)
  • Disorganization (not lack of space) causes 80% of household clutter. (Soap and Detergent Association study)
  • Having an untidy home was the fifth most common stress trigger for homeowners. (Huffington Post survey)
  • 25% of people with 2-car garages don’t park in them at all due to clutter. (U.S. Dept. of Energy study)
  • 61% of women who have a hard time finding anything in their closet end up buying new clothes. (OnePoll survey)
  • Only 20% of the things we own are actually used. (LexisNexis study)
  • 9% of Americans rent storage space, even though 65% of those homeowners have a garage. (Self Storage Association survey)

The very fact that on-demand storage companies exist and that people are using them is a reflection of the consumer culture we live in. The rise of e-commerce over the past 20 years has only added to the problem of our homes being more overstuffed than ever.

How does on-demand storage work?

Here’s how on-demand storage companies work:

  1. The customer contacts the company and tells them how much of their stuff needs to be stored at the company’s warehouse.
  2. A time is scheduled for the company’s empty lockable storage containers to be dropped off at the customer’s home. Some pickup storage services will allow customers to use their own storage boxes or bins and may offer packing help as well (the latter costs extra, naturally).
  3. When the storage containers are filled, a pickup time is arranged.
  4. All items being stored are inventoried and photographed before being shipped to the storage warehouse. Monthly fees are charged to the customer based on the amount of storage space they use.
  5. Whenever the customer needs anything from their stored inventory, the company delivers it to them upon request for a fee.

Most customers will use a self-service phone app or web portal to check and manage their stored inventory and arrange pickup and drop-off times.

If all of that extra time, work, and expense just to store your own belongings seems impractical and, quite frankly, downright silly, you’re beginning to see why hiring one of these companies is usually a bad idea.

Using a storage company on a short-term basis could be practical if you found yourself in one of the following difficult situations:

  • if you’re in a bind with a sudden job relocation to another city or country
  • a job loss that forces you to downsize
  • if your home is undergoing a major long-term remodel
  • a change in your living situation (like a separation, divorce, or end of a live-in relationship) that requires you to move

Otherwise, there’s no reason anyone should be wasting their hard-earned money on this type of service. Let’s take a closer look at why you shouldn’t use on-demand storage services.

1. “Out of sight, out of mind” isn’t a storage solution

If a home can’t fit everything a family owns, the home is too small or the occupants own more things than they need (or both). In most cases, it’s the latter.

The “kicking the can down the road” approach to dealing with clutter by just storing it remotely doesn’t solve anyone’s organization problems. “Out of sight, out of mind” simply isn’t a storage solution.

The biggest reason people avoid getting organized is the time it will require to get the job done. Somehow, they conveniently forget just how much time we waste from being disorganized. It makes no sense.

The only way to solve a storage problem is to address the root cause of the issue and put in some time and effort to declutter occasionally. Hiring a storage company to house the stuff their home should be storing only encourages someone to keep buying more than they need.

One day, all of that stored stuff will need to be dealt with anyway.

man taping storage box

Instead of shipping things you can’t find room for in your home to another location, just take the time to declutter.

2. On-demand storage drains your finances

That “one day” when someone finally gets around to dealing with their stored items is what these companies count on to make their money. It’s in these companies’ best financial interests for their customers to forget about their belongings or procrastinate on getting rid of them.

Derek Naylor, a former president of Storage Marketing Solutions (a self-storage industry marketing and advertising agency) told The New York Times, “Human laziness has always been a big friend of self-storage operators.”

This extra monthly expense naturally adds up if you have things stored for a long time. You’ll find plenty of cautionary tales online like this one from people filled with regret about using storage companies. In many cases, their story is the same: a plan to store some things on a temporary basis turns into a long-term period of using remote storage, which results in thousands of wasted dollars.

The pickup storage service model only adds another expense on top of the monthly storage fee when someone needs to have things delivered occasionally from their storage warehouse. Delivery fees varied anywhere from $15 to $35 for the various on-demand storage companies we looked at.

Read the fine print

Then there are the extra charges you need to pay close attention to in the service contract you sign. They may not exactly be hidden, but they’re certainly not easily identified in all of that fine print, either. Here are some examples of extra fees you can face:

  • heavy item charges for delivering bulky items that require more than one person to handle
  • mandatory insurance fees
  • penalty surcharges if you store less than the company’s minimum storage requirement
  • a one-time administrative fee when you open an account
  • hefty late fees if a monthly payment is missed or late

3. Why pay someone to store your junk?

Junk is defined as “something of little meaning, worth, or significance”. If something is so inconsequential in your life that you don’t even need to keep it under your own roof, chances are that it’s junk. If you’ve ever watched an episode of Storage Wars, you know that most of the contents kept in storage units is junk.

Feelings of nostalgia make it difficult for many people to part with their belongings. Others are reluctant to throw things away because it feels wasteful.

But as Ann Gambrell (founder of the National Association of Professional Organizers) explained to Consumer Reports about why people waste money on storage fees, “It’s typically all about procrastination. People end up spending money because they can’t make a decision.”

Holding onto junk and letting it take up space in a home limits the functionality of a living space. That’s not cost-effective. And it’s even less cost-effective for someone to ship away their junk and pay someone to store it.

Don’t waste your money on fees to store things you’ll end up selling or throwing away eventually anyway. There are two huge upsides of downsizing the number of things you own: you’ll save a lot of money and feel great after liberating yourself from the clutter that’s caused you stress for years.

4. Investing in home storage upgrades is a lot smarter

It’s ironic that the excess clutter that prompts someone to try and create more storage space in their home also makes it harder to identify where those potential storage spaces are. It’s like trying to find a parking spot in a crowded parking lot – finding that open space is much harder when everything is so congested.

The average homeowner who looks around their house or condo for more space to store their belongings also doesn’t have the experience of a home organization design pro. Companies like Organized Interiors, who specialize in storage and organization solutions, can leverage a home’s underutilized spaces for improved functionality.

Instead of falling into the bottomless pit of monthly storage fee expenses, it’s a lot smarter to invest your money in home storage upgrades that also add value to your home.

Skilled design professionals can improve existing home storage areas and find new storage spaces that most people wouldn’t have considered. Here are some examples:

  • a closet makeover that maximizes the storage space for clothing and accessories
  • converting an unused attic space into additional storage or living space
  • making better use of a spare room and converting it into a guest room, home office, walk-in closet, or hobby room
  • optimizing the storage capabilities of the garage
  • using dual-purpose furniture like storage beds, built-in wall units, and seating with hidden storage
Bed storage with bedroom cabinetry

Instead of wasting money every month on storage fees, invest in home storage upgrades. This custom cabinetry featuring a storage bed maximizes a bedroom’s storage space.

5. On-demand storage isn’t as convenient as it may seem

The “convenience” these valet storage companies promote makes rather selective use of that word. Is it more convenient for someone to have all of their extra stuff picked up and shipped off somewhere else so they don’t have to declutter and make more storage room in their home? Sure, that saves them time now.

It’s not so convenient, however, on a long-term basis when they need access to anything that is stored remotely. Then they’re dealing with the busywork of arranging a delivery time and waiting for the delivery to happen.

There’s nothing convenient about anyone having less access to their own belongings and getting charged a fee to have them delivered to their home. All of the on-demand storage companies we looked at don’t even have an option that allows customers to pick up their items from the storage facility when needed, even for a lower fee.

Even in a cluttered home, someone can probably find anything (even a misplaced item) in less time than it would take to arrange and wait for a valet storage company delivery.

6. Not all storage warehouses are safe and secure

All storage companies promote the fact that customers can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their belongings are being stored in a safe, secure storage facility.

However, we all know that there are plenty of shady companies out there who will promise one thing and actually cut corners with how they operate.

Anyone entrusting a company to store their belongings should be asking a number of questions about the storage warehouse where their things are being kept. This includes asking:

  • does the storage facility have 24/7 security personnel and monitored video surveillance?
  • how safe is the neighbourhood the facility is located in?
  • are strict pest control measures being used?
  • how carefully monitored is the warehouse’s climate control?

7. Storage companies avoid taking responsibility for lost and damaged items

Anyone considering using a storage company doesn’t only need to do their homework on how secure their stored belongings will be, they also need to get detailed information about how liable the company is in the event of damage or theft of their property.

Traditionally, storage companies will do everything they can to avoid having to pay you the full amount to replace damaged or stolen items.

Look at the terms and conditions page on the site of any storage company. They’re guaranteed to be the longest page on the site and filled with legalese that seems to absolve the company of virtually any responsibility for items that are stored with them…unless you have a protection plan. And even if you do have a protection plan, the level of coverage you get isn’t very impressive.

Here is a sampling from a couple of storage companies about what they won’t cover unless you have a protection plan:

  • loss or damage incurred in transit or during loading or unloading
  • loss or damage resulting from unknown or mysterious causes
  • damage caused by moths, vermin or other insects, rust, fire, water, changes in temperature, fumigation, or deterioration
  • loss or damage resulting from theft

And that’s only a fraction of what they list. Some companies protect themselves from any liability to such a high degree that they even list acts of war and nuclear accidents as events for which they’re not responsible for damage to property stored on their premises. Talk about covering all of your bases!

8. On-demand storage is bad for the planet

Using on-demand storage companies isn’t eco-friendly in a couple of different ways.

There are thousands of storage warehouses occupying billions of square footage across Canada and the U.S. That massive amount of space needs to be lit and climate-controlled, which leaves a large carbon footprint.

Valet storage companies are also part of the growing business movement that provides on-demand services to consumers who crave convenience. Nowadays, everything from Amazon packages to fast food to groceries to pet grooming services can come right to our front doors.

The trade-off for all of this convenience, unfortunately, is more traffic on the roads (including on-demand storage vehicles) and therefore more vehicle emissions.

on-demand storage companies increase traffic

Traffic congestion in the GTA is already bad enough. More on-demand storage company vehicles on the roads only adds to the problem and increases vehicle emissions.

9. There are restrictions on what you can store

It makes sense that storage companies would have some restrictions on what you can store in their facilities, including things like illegal items, perishable goods, and materials that are combustible, hazardous, and toxic.

Once again, you need to really read the fine print in their terms and conditions to ensure you’re complying with their storage guidelines and not breaking any rules that could result in a hefty fine. A number of things on the restricted items lists from a few different companies surprised us. Here are some examples of what can’t be stored:

  • heavy items like a piano, pool table, or large grill
  • vehicle tires
  • boxes weighing more than 70 pounds
  • some types of exercise equipment

Most storage companies will only store fragile goods under certain conditions, if at all. For example, furniture that incorporates glass and furniture made from particleboard needs to be disassembled. Electronics like a TV or computer need to be packed in their original boxes or in one of the company’s special boxes.

Even after complying with these rules, customers typically still have to sign a fragile items waiver that takes the storage company off the hook for any responsibility if the items are damaged, even if the customer bought the protection plan.

Make more space for your belongings at home, not a storage facility

By now it should be quite clear that hiring on-demand storage companies isn’t worth the hassle and expense.

Talk to Organized Interiors about how we can improve the storage functionality in your home. We offer more practical and cost-effective ways to solve your home organization challenges than storing your belongings in a remote location.

Schedule a free design consultation with us today.

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Supply Chain Challenges and How They’re Affecting Everyone

supply chain challenges hero

Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

You’ve probably noticed stories about supply chain challenges appearing regularly anywhere you get your news nowadays. That’s because the pandemic has tested the stability and functionality of our supply chains like never before.

What is a supply chain? In short, a supply chain is the system that allows products to get from where they’re made to where they’re sold.

You’ve surely heard the saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Well, that proverb has proven true over the past couple of years, on an epic scale.

Multiple weaknesses in the system of global supply chains we rely on for almost everything in our lives, along with other factors, have led to massive shortages of many products and manufacturing materials.

Organized Interiors knows you don’t need a reminder of how stressful things are in the world these days. However, we wanted to address the very important and relevant issue of supply chain challenges because they affect everyone, including you – our valued customers.

How does a supply chain work?

The supply chain is one of those things that consumers have never had to pay much attention to…until now, when it starts impacting our shopping habits in a major way.

How important are supply chains? The infamous failure of Target Canada is a perfect example of how essential it is for businesses to have a reliable, resilient inventory procurement system. All of those empty shelves in Target’s stores were largely the result of poor supply chain infrastructure, which was one of the key reasons for the company’s swift demise here.

Supply chains involve a complex network of resources, technologies, individuals, companies, and activities that are dependent on one another. They consist of five main components:

  1. Planning and purchasing: buyers like retailers determine their supply and demand needs and place orders for products and materials.
  2. Warehousing and inventory management: enough inventory is stored so orders can be quickly filled. A reliable inventory management system is used to maintain sufficient inventory levels.
  3. Manufacturing: goods are made to replenish depleted supplier inventories after their orders have been filled.
  4. Transportation: goods are shipped to the customer.
  5. Return of goods: products that the seller has an excess quantity of or don’t meet the satisfaction needs of a customer because they’re defective or low-quality are returned to the supplier via a “reverse logistics” system.

Canada relies heavily on overseas countries for our goods and manufacturing materials, which are shipped by sea, air, truck, and train.

When there is one disruption to any branch of a supply chain, it impacts the rest of the system. And there has been no shortage of disruptions and other issues impacting the global supply chains in 2020 and 2021 that are both pandemic and non-pandemic related.

supply chain quote

Thomas Friedman is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist who writes about foreign affairs, global trade, and globalization.

9 reasons there are supply chain problems

The pandemic exposed the fragility and shortcomings of our supply chains. Additional unforeseen factors only helped to push the entire system to the breaking point and create one big logistical nightmare.

These are the main issues (in no specific order) that helped create “the perfect storm” of current problems for supply chains:

1. Unpredictable consumer spending

When the pandemic began, panic buying quickly eliminated all of the inventories of retailers and their suppliers for many products. Online shopping purchases skyrocketed when lockdowns were put in place.

As lockdowns lifted, consumers were eager to make up for lost shopping time at brick and mortar stores and spend liberally. This out-of-the-ordinary spending behaviour has made it much more difficult to gauge supply and demand needs.

2. The just-in-time manufacturing philosophy

“Just-in-time” manufacturing is a process used by most businesses, including the biggest companies in the world like Apple, Amazon, Walmart, and McDonald’s.

It relies on companies forecasting demand for their products so they can make “just enough” of them and not have to carry a lot of extra inventory. That philosophy made it harder for supply chains to adapt when the world’s economies contrasted quickly during the early part of the pandemic and then expanded rapidly again in 2021.

3. Labour shortages and efficiency slowdowns

Things aren’t getting manufactured or sold to consumers as quickly as they normally would because workplaces have dealt with lockdowns, COVID-19 outbreaks, quarantines, and burnout by workers. Even when workers can perform their jobs, extra workplace safety measures are also slowing down efficiency.

4. Shipping delays

The shipping industry has been hit especially hard by labour shortages, which contributed to the unprecedented congestion occurring at shipping ports and train yards around the world. So did other factors like economies around the world reopening and the demand for goods increasing.

Shipping companies simply haven’t been able to keep up with that demand, which is a problem considering 85-90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea. The New York Times reports that Georgia’s Port of Savannah, for example, recently had 40,000 more shipping containers on-site than usual (which is twice as much as normal).

5. Shipping container shortages and higher shipping costs

Shipping containers have become scarce as manufacturers are producing more goods than they normally would to fill backorders. Naturally, that has driven up the cost to buy, rent, and lease the containers.

Many retailers have reported that their shipping costs to acquire inventory have tripled during the pandemic and even quadrupled in some cases.

6. Border restrictions and slowdowns

Goods being shipped across borders haven’t been moving as quickly as normal because of border restrictions, mandatory quarantines, transport workers having to wait on coronavirus test results, and general labour shortages.

Governments around the world have also had to implement more regulation and oversight measures to combat an increase in import and export fraud.

7. Inconsistent virus testing and vaccine standards

The lack of a global standard for COVID-19 testing and vaccines has been an ongoing issue. Vaccines that have been approved for use in some countries aren’t approved for use in other countries. Some companies have had mandatory vaccine requirements, while others haven’t. And many countries haven’t had as much access to reliable vaccines as Canada and the U.S. have.

All of these issues are magnified during a pandemic when they apply to workers who make a living by being constantly on the move from one country to another.

8. Shortages and rising costs of raw materials

Manufacturers have been hampered by ongoing shortages of raw materials like metal, glass, polymers (which are used to make plastic), lumber and cardboard, wheat, and coffee, just to name a few things.

China, the world’s manufacturing hub, is experiencing a coal shortage right now. Because coal is China’s main source of electricity, some manufacturing facilities are unable to operate around the clock as they typically would.

9. Non-pandemic factors

Geopolitical turbulence like the U.S.-China trade war and Brexit have contributed to our supply chain problems. So have severe weather events like last winter’s storm in Texas that affected production for the fuel and chemical industries (among many others).

And that container ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal (which handles 12% of the world’s maritime trade) for six days in March didn’t help matters, either.

This video does a great job of explaining the issues supply chains are dealing with:

How supply chain issues are affecting consumers

The three ways all of these supply chain issues are affecting consumers most is:

  • products aren’t as available as they normally are
  • it’s taking longer to get items shipped to stores
  • some products will cost more

At this point, you’ve probably dealt in one way or another with the effects of strained supply chain systems. We won’t soon forget the toilet paper-buying frenzy of early 2020 and shortages early on in the pandemic of products like PPE and other medical equipment, cleaning products, baking ingredients, and dry and canned food.

As we spent most of our time at home, products like home office furniture, gym and exercise equipment, and grills and patio heaters became almost impossible to find (and still are in some cases).

Worldwide shortages of microchips have impacted the production of virtually all types of electronic products. Everything from cars to appliances to electronic devices aren’t as readily available as normal.

Apple just announced that they were being forced to reduce the production of the new iPhone 13 by up to 10 million units. The CBC reports of one case where a customer has been waiting almost a year to get the new fridge she bought on Boxing Day in 2020.

A few more examples of shortages of essential items that are affecting consumers and businesses are aluminum cans, plastic bags, car tires, and building materials like lumber, roofing products, and drywall.

Some products have naturally seen price increases because of more expensive shipping costs. However, increased sales volumes have allowed retailers to absorb the higher costs they’re paying to their suppliers and keep prices on some of their products the same.

When will things return to normal?

As frustrating and difficult as things have been and continue to be with how our supply chains are functioning, normalcy will return. Not as quickly as we all would like, mind you, but it will happen.

They say that “you learn from your mistakes” and “every struggle makes you stronger”. These current challenges will lead to positive changes that will make our supply chains and quality of life better in the long run.

For example, countries like Canada will be better equipped to deal with a public health crisis in the future. And governments and businesses have begun to rethink how our supply chains run and already started to make some improvements. Some of these changes include:

  • more “supply chain diversification” (where companies rely less on sourcing their goods from one country)
  • an increase in domestic manufacturing
  • sourcing products closer to home
  • better contingency planning to make supply chains less vulnerable when events like health crises, extreme weather, natural disasters, and political instability occur

As you can imagine, there’s no blueprint for fixing something as complex and massive as our global supply chain system. These supply chain issues will continue well into 2022 and beyond, unfortunately.

For example, companies that make semiconductors (which are the main component in microchips) expect they’ll be able to fill the majority of their backorders by approximately next summer. Many of them have recently invested heavily to boost their manufacturing capabilities.

stacked shipping containers

Surging shipping costs, increased prices for shipping containers, and labour shortages are among the many reasons it’s taking longer for freight to move around the world.

How we’re dealing with supply chain challenges

Like most other companies, Organized Interiors continues to adjust to the strains on the supply chain systems we rely on.

While we construct our custom cabinetry in-house at our production shop, Organized Interiors does rely on outside suppliers for materials like melamine board, crown moulding, glass, mirror, and hardware. Another example of a product we get from suppliers is electric fireplaces, which are taking far longer to get than ever before, especially as the cold weather arrives.

Typically with just-in-time manufacturing, materials arrive shortly before a project’s installation date. Our suppliers have been reliable and efficient with deliveries in pre-pandemic times. Recently, however, we’ve seen a surge in shipment delays from them that have been above and beyond anything previously experienced.

Because these issues have had an impact on some of our projects, we have proactively introduced new procedures to adapt to these challenges. This includes:

  • on rare occasions, the installation schedule for projects may need to be adjusted and/or the estimated timeframe for some projects may require an extension
  • ensuring all production shop team members meet and exceed COVID-19 safety protocols

We remain committed to serving you

During this challenging period, Organized Interiors continues to work to the best of our ability to provide our valued customers with the highest-quality customer service. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we all do our best to navigate through this trying time.

Even with these ongoing global supply chain issues, Organized Interiors remains committed to helping you get the most out of your homes with the best organization and storage solutions available.

To find out more about how we can upgrade any part of your living space, schedule a free design consultation with us.

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16 Cozy Home Ideas for Maximum Comfort This Fall

cozy home den with white built-ins and window seat

As the days get shorter and the cooler fall weather nudges us back indoors for the next few months, it’s the perfect time to think about how to create a more cozy home.

A cozy home atmosphere makes the cold weather months a little easier to get through by upping our comfort level and allowing us to get more enjoyment from our living space.

It’s often the simple pleasures that make us feel more cozy and comfortable at home. It can be things like curling up under a warm blanket on a chilly day or reading a good book in a comfy chair while enjoying a hot beverage or glass of wine.

Feeling cozy and content is what the Danish concept of hygge is all about.

Creating a more cozy home with hygge

Until a few years ago, few people outside of Denmark had ever heard the word hygge (which is pronounced “hoo-gah”). Hygge has recently taken the world by storm and been embraced by anyone searching for ways to nurture their well-being.

Hygge is not just a trend – it’s a way of life that emphasizes maximizing your comfort level at home and allowing yourself to slow down and enjoy all the goodness that comes with feeling cozy.

The hygge concept isn’t new. The Danes have made it a foundation of their culture since it was introduced there well over two centuries ago.

Denmark is consistently ranked at or near the top of yearly lists of the happiest countries in the world, so clearly they’re on to something with this whole cozy thing. And remember, this is a country whose brutal winters rival our own!

How to make your home feel cozier for fall

Creating a cozy home that looks and feels warmer and more inviting can be done by making just a few simple additions and adjustments in your house or condo.

The autumn season’s beautiful colours and evocative scents are a perfect resource to tap into to immerse yourself in cozier surroundings.

Get some inspiration to create a more cozy home this fall with these ideas and tips.

1. Incorporate autumn colours into your décor

Almost everyone’s favourite thing about the fall season is the changing of the leaves and the amazing, colourful landscapes we get to appreciate for a couple of months.

Why not incorporate the many magnificent colours of the fall season into your décor to make your house or condo feel homier?

autumn colour palette in library

The extensive autumnal colour palette provides lots of flexibility and choices to coordinate with your existing décor. Add dashes of fall colours like red, gold, brown, olive green, burgundy, bronze, and orange throughout your living space by:

  • laying area rugs on hard surface flooring
  • adding throw pillows to beds and seating areas
  • using throw blankets and quilts with seasonal colours and patterns decoratively
  • hanging and laying out fall-inspired decorations
  • switching to bed sheets that reflect the season

2. Decorate with throw pillows

Using accessories like pillows and blankets that add appealing fall colour to the home is only one way they help make our living space feel cozier.

Placing extra throw pillows on a sofa, bed, or window seat makes these areas look more warm and inviting because we instantly make the connection that pillows are comforting.

cozy throw pillows on bed

Pillows add texture and depth to a space as well, especially pillows with covers that have more surface definition like chunk knit, ribbed knit, and textured velvet designs.

Decorating with pillows is one of the easiest ways to give your décor an instant refresh. There are so many pillow colours, patterns, and textures to choose from that the number of decorative combinations is endless.

3. Set up a hot beverage station

Enjoying a delicious hot beverage in the comfort of your favourite chair on a crisp October or November day is as much a part of the fall experience as raking leaves.

A good cup of coffee or hot chocolate just tastes better at this time of year. It’s not just about enjoying the taste of the drink, it’s the warming effect it has on our body and the comfort it brings, which puts you in prime hygge territory.

woman holding warm beverage

If you have some extra kitchen counter space, set up a hot beverage station with space for anything you use to make your favourite autumn and winter hot drinks.

Add a coffee maker, kettle, single-serve beverage machine, and an espresso or latte machine. Make room for spoons, sugars and sweeteners, and your coffee pod rack filled with a variety of flavours, including pumpkin spice coffee and pumpkin spice latte (naturally). Buy some fall-themed mugs to go with your fall-inspired drinks.

If space allows, dig out that rarely-used slow cooker and add it to your beverage station to brew up some tasty, ready-to-pour hot drinks that suit the season like cranberry apple cider, wassail, and mulled wine. Bonus: not only are these beverages a nice change from your usual hot drink fare, but their delightful scents also add to your home’s cozy atmosphere!

4. Change up your bedding

If you haven’t switched out your lighter summer bed sheets yet, now is the time to do so. Don’t just grab any of your heavier bedsheets, though. Use flannel, fleece, and duvet bedding with seasonal patterns and colours that tie into the season.

new cozy bedding

Since the bed is the focal point in a bedroom, the choice of bedsheets and coverings has a big impact on how a room looks and feels.

Lay out an extra blanket or quilt and pile some décor-complementing throw pillows at the foot or top of the bed to add a cozy touch to the space.

5. Add some area rugs

Few things kill a cozy vibe like your feet turning to icicles after stepping on a cold floor. To add warmth underfoot on hard floor surfaces like tile, hardwood, and laminate, lay out some area rugs that add decorative flair and soften up the space a little.

cozy area rug in condo

Place them in high-traffic areas and lounging spots such as beside the bed, in hallways, by your favourite reading chair, in the kitchen, and under the dining room table.

Layering textiles is an effective way to cozy up a room, especially during the fall and winter. Don’t hesitate to even put down a rug in a carpeted room if the rug’s design aligns with your decor – it’s not as uncommon as you might think!

6. Swap out your seasonal clothing

Swap out your spring and summer clothing to make your fall and winter wardrobe easier to manage by keeping your cozy clothes organized and easy to find on a chilly day.

closet storage

Follow these five seasonal clothes storage tips in the fall and spring when those bigger wardrobe changeovers occur:

  1. Pare down your wardrobe: clothing that doesn’t fit, is out of fashion, or is damaged beyond repair clutters up your storage spaces. Donate or get rid of anything that isn’t being worn at least a few times a year.
  2. Don’t use prime closet storage space for storing seasonal clothes: unless you have the luxury of owning a spacious walk-in closet, there are better spots than the bedroom closet to store your out-of-season clothing. A spare room’s closet, the basement (be mindful of moisture levels), or beneath your bed in drawers or storage bags are ideal spots.
  3. Wash and repair clothing items before storing them: seasonal clothing should be properly washed, folded, or dry cleaned before being packed away. Taking extra care with your clothes in the fall will leave them fresh and ready to go when spring arrives.
  4. Store clothing in a climate-controlled space: ensure your seasonal clothes are being stored in a climate-controlled area of the home (the garage is a no-no). Stable storage conditions with consistent temperatures (preferably cool) are recommended to keep clothes well-preserved.
  5. Use plastic storage bins: never store clothing in cardboard boxes. They’re not as sturdy as plastic storage containers, are more susceptible to infiltration from rodents and insects, and can cause clothes to develop white or yellow stains over time. Don’t overstuff the storage bins or pack clothing too tightly to allow some air to circulate.

7. Add some new plants and flowers

Fresh plants and flowers are a great addition to the home at any time of year and another way to add colour and texture to a room, as well as functioning as a natural air purifier.

One of the fundamentals of hygge is adding natural elements to the home, whether it’s using a wood picture frame, wool blanket, decorative mini pumpkins and gourds, or plants and flowers.

Fall-blooming houseplants like the amaryllis, Christmas cactus, goldfish plant, and African violets are perfect choices and will beautify your home with their attractive organic colours.

If you don’t have a green thumb, even getting some fake plants and flowers (or faux greenery, if you prefer) can help make your home feel cozier. There are lots of incredibly lifelike faux greenery products out there that require far less maintenance than the real thing – just dust them off periodically.

Put some extra thought into the colours and styles of the planters, baskets, and pots you use because they’re yet another home decorating tool at your disposal!

8. Treat yourself to a new sweater

If it’s been a while since you last added a sweater, hoodie, or fleece top to your wardrobe, treat yourself to something new for the fall.

We’ve been talking about “cozy surroundings” and it doesn’t get much more surrounding for us than the clothes we wear!

If wearing something makes you feel cozy, that’s hygge. Even wearing a ratty old pair of sweatpants qualifies as hygge. The Danes have thought this whole thing through so much, they even created a word to describe a less-than-presentable piece of clothing you love wearing at home, but would never wear in public – “hyggebukser”.

9. Add fall-themed decorations

Bring some natural fall decorative elements into your home to enjoy the sights and smells of the season from the warmth of your living space.

Attractive decorative arrangements using items like pumpkins and gourds in a variety of colours, pine cones, and dried grasses, leaves, and branches can be DIYed or purchased from crafting specialty retailers.

Use them as table centrepieces, in a wreath, or as fall accent pieces to adorn the fireplace mantel and windows of your home.

10. Enjoy the fall colours from a cozy window seat

The comfiest place to sit at home isn’t necessarily always on traditional furniture pieces like an armchair, loveseat, sofa, or upright in bed. 

Sometimes the coziest perch is on a window seat, where you can take in the glorious fall colours from the best view in the home.

Here are some of the benefits of built-in seating:

  • add extra seating anywhere in the home (it doesn’t have to be by a window) like an entryway, bathroom, bedroom, or living room
  • gain extra storage space below the seat with drawers or a lift-up top
  • they provide an alternative seating option
  • a window seat lets you enjoy more sunlight, which is an effective mood booster during the shorter fall and winter days
  • add a stylish design touch to an unused home space

11. Get baking and cook warming dishes

We can’t talk about all things cozy without bringing food into the conversation. After all, cozy and good food go hand in hand.

You don’t need to have Jamie Oliver-level cooking skills to enjoy all the goodness that comes from creating the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread, cookies, and pastries in your home.

Stick with easy baking recipes, buy high-quality frozen baking products, or simply reheat fresh store-bought baked goods to fill your home with pleasant smells and your stomach with some comfort food.

Fall is also the perfect time to enjoy warming dishes like soups, chilis, and stews. Try making some of these in your slow cooker. The slow cooking process really brings out the flavour in food and is another way to make your home smell fantastic. Try these three slow cooker recipes that will make your home smell like fall.

12. Make your living room more inviting

To make your living room more inviting, consider giving the décor a refresh to encourage more family time that can be spent in a well-appointed, cozy home space.

Add a comfortable new chair or sofa and give the walls a fresh coat of paint in calming, cozy-friendly colours like creamy white, clay beige, or sea green.

entertainment centre in condo

Watching movies and TV shows is one of the main reasons we spend time in the living room, so give your home entertainment hub an overhaul. Have a built-in entertainment centre custom-made to contain all of your audio and video devices and give the room a modern, upscale appearance.

To really give the living room a new, exciting look, also think about adding a feature wall with an electric fireplace.

13. Break out the blankets and quilts

When it’s cold and wet outside, what is cozier than curling up beneath a warm blanket indoors?

Break out your favourite quilts, blankets, and comforters when the fall rolls around so they’re at the ready when you’re feeling a little chilly.

Use them to make your home feel cozier by placing throw blankets on your furniture as decorative accents.

14. Organize the bedroom

If your bedroom is clean and organized, you’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep and feel less stressed. That allows you to enjoy your cozy home more, without wasting any of your brain bandwidth on worries about a looming bedroom cleanup project.

Make the best use of your bedroom storage space with a closet organization system, a standalone wardrobe closet, and bed storage cabinetry.

15. Soften up your lighting

Lighting plays a role in creating a cozy home feel, so think about making a few adjustments for the fall and winter.

Harsh overhead lighting isn’t ideal. Try to use LED lights with a softer, warmer glow in your rooms. Lean on table and floor lamps that use warm bulbs more to make your living space feel cozier.

Take advantage of the natural light your home gets as much as possible during the shorter days of the year. If you need to reposition some of your furniture to grab a little more sunlight, go for it.

16. Add fall-inspired scents and fragrances

Smell is another element that changes our mood, so if you’re looking to create a more cozy home, introduce some fall-inspired scents and fragrances indoors.

In addition to the other scent-related ideas we’ve mentioned (like foods and flowers), candles are an obvious choice. They have multiple benefits because they scent your home, add a decorative element, and create ambiance, all of which are effective mood boosters.

Here are some ideas for a few calming candle scents to try, along with some fall-scented candles that are ideal for this time of year:

  • lemon
  • clary sage
  • vanilla
  • acorn spice
  • pumpkin spice
  • amber and smoke
  • apple orchard
  • pumpkin pecan waffles

Cozy up your home this fall

Organized Interiors are experts at making homes feel cozier with our high-quality organization and storage systems and stylish custom cabinetry designs.

Schedule a free design consultation with us so we can get started on creating the custom solutions that will boost your home’s comfort level this fall.

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6 Sensible Reasons To Upgrade A Builder Closet

professionally designed closet

A closet designed by Organized Interiors.

There are several reasons why a closet space won’t function properly.

Most often, the issue is that the closet owner doesn’t declutter enough. Without this important maintenance routine, the closet will inevitably have too many clothes and accessories crammed into a relatively small space.

Another major reason we find it a challenge to manage our closets is that we’re still using the original builder closets that came with our house or condo.

These closets are too basic for most people’s needs, so let’s explain why you should upgrade a builder closet.

We all know what “builder closet” means

In most new homes (even expensive homes), only the bare minimum is done when the closets are installed. A builder closet typically includes one hanging rod and an upper shelf. If you’re lucky, there may be some additional wire or wood closet shelves (which probably aren’t adjustable). Having a closet light would be downright extravagant.

We all know what “builder closet” (also known as a builder-grade closet) means – cheap, low-quality, sub-par…take your pick of any word that is synonymous with “inferior”.

upgrade a builder closet

It’s not only closets, either. “Builder-grade materials” may sound very professional, but it’s also just a polite way of saying “cheap”. Virtually anything in a new home can be made with inexpensive builder-grade materials like kitchen cabinets, garage doors, faucets, and doorknobs, just to name a few things.

Homebuilders know that their clients have rock-bottom expectations for the closets they’re getting when they buy a newly constructed home. You can rest assured that if the builder is providing a bare minimum closet setup, the quality of the shelf/shelves and hanging rod will be sub-par, too.

We don’t mean to hammer (pun intended) too much on homebuilders here, but there’s a lengthy track record on the quality of their closets that’s impossible to dispute.

Why you should upgrade a builder closet

Relying on a basic builder closet to keep your clothes stored and organized makes your life more difficult and frustrating than it has to be.

Many of us do it, however. That’s partly because people tend to adapt to a situation that may not be ideal because it’s less work to try and fix it.

Others may not know any better that there are much better closet setups available than what their builder-grade closets offer. This could be because we’re so conditioned to expect that closets made by builders have traditionally had a very simplistic design.

Or you may be someone who isn’t that concerned with how efficiently your closet functions because you don’t have a lot of clothes, like Ryan Reynolds. The Canadian actor and entrepreneur told The New York Times he keeps his wardrobe so simple that his wife jokes he doesn’t even need a closet.

Even if you don’t own a lot of clothing, there are still plenty of reasons to rethink how you’re using your closets.

If you’re still getting by with closets that have barely evolved for the better since your home was built, find out why there’s no time like the present to upgrade a builder closet.

empty builder closet

A typical builder closet like this only offers a bare minimum level of functionality.

1. A builder closet lacks functionality

The biggest reason to upgrade a builder-grade closet is that they’re woefully lacking when it comes to functionality.

Sure, they technically function, but there’s only so much a no-frills closet space with a single hanging rod and a shallow depth upper shelf can do for you.

“One-size-fits-all” products rarely provide full satisfaction to anyone who uses them. Everyone has unique tastes and preferences, so anything built for the masses is guaranteed to leave a lot to be desired for a significant number of consumers.

You can try to supplement the limited functionality of a builder closet by adding things like hooks, additional shelving, baskets, plastic storage bins, and a shoe rack on the floor.

Although these extras will improve the functionality of a closet, the space will still fall well short of what a custom closet design can do for you.

2. Your closets are used every day

How many things do virtually all of us use every day, at least twice a day? We can think of the fridge, the kitchen sink, certain room light switches, the toilet (sorry, it had to be said), our phones, some furniture pieces, and our bedroom closets. We can’t even include the bathroom sink because apparently around half of us brush our teeth only once a day.

There are probably a few things we’re leaving out. It’s not a very long list, though. With every one of these things, we count on them to work reliably since they’re an everyday part of our lives.

If the kitchen sink or a light switch wasn’t leaving us satisfied every time we used them (as mundane as those interactions may be), we’d either fix them or replace them with a product that provided a better user experience.

Considering we have to get dressed and undressed every day, why do so many of us simply settle for using inadequate builder closets then?

full closet

Something all of us use twice a day like a bedroom closet should be easier to manage than what you see here. (Photo by Chris Scott from FreeImages)

3. A builder closet isn’t stylish

First and foremost, a closet should provide you with the storage space you need and be functional enough so that it’s easy to keep it organized.

Adding some extras to help with functionality can help you get a little more use out of the closet. A mishmash of products added over time tends to create a rather patchwork type of look and there’s no decorative cohesion, however.

While they may be a utilitarian space, there’s no reason a closet shouldn’t look stylish.

Attractive and stylish closet spaces are undervalued. Making your closet look as nice as possible should be a priority. After all, it’s something you’ll be looking at a lot, so why not make it as inviting and visually appealing as possible?

Interior design psychology and environmental psychology tell us that our mood can be affected by how a room looks. This includes things like:

  • lighting
  • wall and ceiling colours
  • textures
  • how much open space there is
  • clutter
  • the shapes and locations of things

A walk-in closet is considered a room and a reach-in closet is considered an enclosed space. If you style up these areas of the home to give them some personality and more visual appeal, it can make a world of difference when you use the closets.

Having a complete custom closet makeover is the best way to upgrade a builder closet and transform it from drab to fab. Other ways to add some style to a closet are to upgrade the lighting for improved ambiance, give the closet walls and ceiling a fresh coat of paint with a new colour, or replace the closet doors with new doors outfitted with stylish hardware.

4. Builder closets waste space

Here’s another compelling reason to upgrade a builder closet – they waste a lot of potential storage space.

Consider the upper shelf in one of these closets. It’s commonly at a height of around 5-6 feet, which allows for easy access to the shelf for most people. Now consider that the average ceiling height in a room is around 8-9 feet (and as high as 10-12 feet in some rooms). Most items that get stored on a closet shelf aren’t tall enough to reach the ceiling, so much of that useful vertical space isn’t used.

Unless you’ve added some helpful closet accessories like an extra hanging rod, a valet rod, or a tie rack and belt rack, a builder closet isn’t working as hard as it should be for you.

Leaving valuable storage space underutilized or completely unused ends up creating storage and organizational challenges (which is another way to say “headaches”).

5. Metal wire closet shelves aren’t ideal

It’s a wonder that metal wire shelving came to be used so widely in closets. Sure, it’s cost-effective, but it’s difficult to find any other things that wire shelving has going for it. Here are some of the drawbacks of using wire closet shelves:

  1. Aesthetics: metal wire shelving, which usually comes in white, isn’t very attractive. The look you get is rather bland and antiseptic compared to wood shelving, which has more character and design versatility.
  2. Stability: they can’t hold as much weight as wood shelves, so they’re more prone to stability issues.
  3. Crease lines: the wire grid design of the shelves tends to leave crease lines on clothing. That creates extra work to iron or steam away the creases when it’s time to wear the clothes.
  4. Storage versatility: those wire grids don’t allow you to use the shelving for much more than stacking folded clothes. Small accessories can fall through the gaps and it’s more difficult to stand things up because the top of the shelving isn’t flat.
  5. Durability: over time, the plastic coating on wire shelves can become sticky (higher humidity levels in the closet are one cause of this). The white coating may also discolour and start to have a yellowish look.
  6. Ease of cleaning: the grid design makes the shelves harder to clean than wood shelves.
wire closet shelving with hanging clothes

Metal wire shelves aren’t the best choice for a closet. They’re also not a good substitute for a proper hanging rod. (Photo by jswashburn from Pixabay)

6. (Your) time’s a wastin’…

The space in a builder closet isn’t the only thing being wasted. So is your time. As in the time wasted looking for misplaced items that don’t have a proper home and trying to work clothes storage magic with one proverbial hand tied behind your back.

Consider the following clutter and closet-related statistics:

  • 10% of women say they feel depressed every time they open their closet doors. (OnePoll survey of 1,000 American women)
  • It’s estimated we’ll each spend 3,680 hours in our lifetime searching for misplaced items. (The Daily Mail)
  • A study of 2,137 U.S. women revealed that their closets had an average of $550 worth of unworn clothing. (10 Yetis survey)
  • 47% of women struggle when it comes to deciding on which work outfit they should wear. (OnePoll survey)
  • 3 in 10 women say an organized closet would make their mornings less stressful. (OnePoll survey)

When you open a closet door, your immediate reaction shouldn’t be a feeling of anxiousness about having to deal with a disaster zone. You should feel a sense of calm because the space is so clean and organized. Or it should be no reaction at all because you’re so used to having a tidy closet that you take it for granted!

Upgrade a builder closet with a custom design

If you’re looking to upgrade a builder closet, the obvious solution is to have it replaced with a professionally designed custom closet.

The stark contrast between the average builder closet and even a relatively simple custom closet designed by a skilled professional is immediately obvious. Instead of getting the bare minimum out of your closet, a closet design pro cares about helping you get the maximum amount of storage room, functionality, and aesthetic value from the space.

The key difference is that the closet is designed specifically for the needs of the user. Shelves and hanging rods are located at convenient heights that make the most sense according to the height of whoever is using the closet.

If you need an extra hanging rod and a pullout pant rack, no problem. Have a storage tower with drawers and shelving added to expand your closet storage options.

High-quality storage systems and accessories that are strategically located to maximize the closet’s storage space can resolve any organization issues. The efficiency of your daily dressing routine will improve as well. Even in small closets, a good custom closet organizing system creates order within a confined space.

And because we know visual appeal matters even in the closet, give the space a modern look by accentuating it with:

  • attractive wood finishes
  • stylish decorative hardware and closet accessories
  • sliding closet doors
  • bright overhead lighting and cabinetry-mounted LED lighting for ambiance and additional illumination
organized custom closet

This reach-in closet is customized to maximize storage space, provide lots of functionality, and give the closet an attractive, stylish look.

Make the builder-grade to custom-made closet upgrade

In Organized Interiors’ 40+ years of operation, one of the common inquiries we receive is about upgrading builder-grade closets.

We’ve seen just about every type of closet there is, from basic builder closets to DIY closet installs that fall short of meeting the needs of our clients.

Let our talented designers apply their skills to transform one or more of your existing closets into stylish, highly functional spaces that will make your life a little easier. If you’d like something a little bigger for clothes storage than a reach-in closet and have the space, we can design a beautiful walk-in closet with a dressing area as well.

Schedule a free design consultation with us so you can bid adieu to your old builder closets and say hello to some amazing new custom closets!

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A Wall Bed With Desk: The Practical Study & Work From Home Solution

wall bed with desk hero

We’ve had to get more creative with how our condos and houses were used over the past couple of years.

Our homes have been not just a living space, but a fully-encompassing life space during the majority of that time. Most of us have done virtually everything in them including working, sleeping, relaxing, eating, exercising, entertaining ourselves, and socializing virtually.

Optimizing our homes for maximum functionality has taken on new importance. Furniture designs that saved space and offered more than one function – especially as everyone pivoted to studying and working from home – have been in higher demand.

A wall bed with desk setup turned out to be the perfect way for some families to study and work from home, without sacrificing too much functionality in one of their rooms.

What exactly is a wall bed with desk?

A wall bed with a desk comes in a couple of design styles. In this article, we’re mostly looking at the type that includes a wall bed with a side desk (and surrounding storage if desired) that is built-in to look like one large, integrated furniture piece.

The other type of wall bed with desk design is the kind that has the desk built right into the bed. The desk is attached to the bottom of the bed. When the bed is raised, the work surface is available to use. When the bed is lowered, the desk remains in a horizontal position and drops underneath the bed.

Depending on the manufacturer, the beds in both of these types of designs can be positioned horizontally or vertically. The biggest benefit of these beds is the significant amount of space they save in a room because they can be folded up into the wall during the daytime.

Some wall bed with desk models use genuine Murphy wall beds and hardware. The Murphy bed has stood the test of time since being introduced a little over a century ago. The highly respected “Murphy” name is as synonymous with wall beds as “Kleenex” is with facial tissues and as “Q-tip” is with cotton swabs.

Inventive furniture designers have improved on the classic, already-great Murphy wall bed concept by incorporating features in addition to built-in desks. You can even buy a wall bed that converts into a comfortable sofa!

A wall bed with desk saves space

Space-saving furniture designs have always been practical. When you’ve been confined to our homes for as much time as we have been during 2020 and 2021, our living spaces started to feel more and more cramped as each month passed. That’s made space-saving furniture even more practical and essential.

Built-in custom cabinetry like a Murphy wall bed and desk saves more space than freestanding store-bought furniture. It’s specifically built to the room’s dimensions, providing the highest level of space optimization.

Furniture like a wall bed with a desk is ideal for guest rooms, small bedrooms, condos, and any type of small living space.

Improve a room’s functionality

By making the most of a room’s space, you can upgrade its functionality and let one of your rooms work a little harder.

Wall beds are commonly used in guest rooms. Most of us only have guests stay overnight once or twice a year, however. Unless you live in a 30-room mansion and can afford to have one room in your home that will get used relatively infrequently, a single-purpose guest room may not be the most practical usage of your square footage.

A wall bed turns any room into a hospitable space in your home for guests in mere seconds. There’s no fussing around making up a rollaway bed, futon, or sofa bed that don’t provide a comfortable sleeping experience. Simply lower the bed from the wall and the fresh sheets put on the bed from the last time it was used make everything good to go.

For the vast majority of the time when the room isn’t hosting guests, it can be used as a home office and study space by having a desk included in the custom cabinetry design.

It’s a smart solution if you don’t have the square footage to dedicate an entire room for use as a home office and want to get everyday functionality from a spare room. Organized Interiors can design a highly functional home workstation that accommodates your family’s work and study needs.

bed pulled down and workspace

A wall bed with a side desk can be used in a guest room, bedroom, or small living space.

A dedicated workspace helps with productivity

Not having a stable work from home setup can hurt your productivity. It’s harder to focus and produce a good workflow when your work area is the dining room table one day and at the kitchen table the following day.

A permanent work setup with a proper desk, enough space, ample storage, and some privacy just may be your ticket back to better work productivity at home.

A wall bed with desk setup also creates a better study from home environment. Even if your kids resume in-class learning, a well-designed home study space provides them with an area that can be used for doing homework.

Triple-up on a room’s functionality

A spare room can do even more than function as a guest room with a home office, especially if it’s larger. Don’t just double-up on the room’s functionality by using it as a guest room and home office – triple-up!

Because a wall bed with desk takes up so little space, the room could be utilized in any number of additional useful ways. Here are a few ideas:

  • yoga room
  • exercise space
  • reading room
  • home library
  • music room
  • home entertainment room

The integrated furniture design featuring a wall bed and desk can be customized to include lots of surrounding open and closed storage for things like office supplies, bedding, books, and personal items.

Instead of a traditional wall bed, you could add a dual-purpose wall bed with a sofa and include a small entertainment centre in the room. Now you have the perfect home space to work, relax, and rest!

wall bed lowered

This room features a home office and sofa that converts into a wall bed.

The multi-purpose room provides the perfect space to work, relax, and rest.

4 drawbacks of a wall bed with a built-in desk

Wall beds with a built-in desk undeniably save space. They do have a few notable limitations, however. Here are some of them:

1. A small work area

The concept of a built-in desk and wall bed combo sounds great in theory, but take a look at any photos of them and you’ll immediately see one of their most glaring limitations – they have a very small work surface.

The tiny work area of a built-in desk consists of a single flat surface. There’s little surface space for a computer, printer, scanner, papers, office supplies, a desk lamp, and snacks and drinks. Forget about personalizing the desk with things like photos or plants.

2. A lack of storage and overall functionality

You’re not getting anything close to the “fully functional desk” that you’re being promised with virtually any desk that’s part of a wall bed. The furniture’s design simply can’t accommodate it.

The only functionality provided with a built-in desk is whatever you can do on the bare-bones work surface. We’d call that pretty one-dimensional.

There are no desk drawers and you can’t store things above the desk in overhead cabinets or on shelving. Extra storage would have to be added to the side of the bed/desk.

The wall bed’s bottom provides the backing of the desk and has a faux front that looks like cabinetry. The handles, which look like they’re meant to open cabinet doors, actually work as pulls to lower the bed.

3. Impracticality

One of the selling points of some bed/desk models is that you don’t even have to remove anything from the desk surface when you lower the bed. That’s because the desk stays in a horizontal position just off the floor below the lowered bed.

When you read the fine print on some product descriptions, however, they can say things like the lowered desk can’t have items taller than four inches left on it. With a clearance that low, you’d be forced to use a laptop instead of a desktop computer and have to be regularly clearing things off the desk when your workday is done (like you’re right back at the kitchen or dining room table).

Some furniture retailers even boast that you can leave a cup of coffee or glass of water on the desk when the bed is lowered. We’ll take a pass on drinking from either of them the next day, thanks.

4. Low weight capacities

The basic nature of built-in desks means they usually have fairly low weight capacities. Some models we looked at online had a weight limit of just 20 lbs. This is another example of the lack of practicality of using a built-in desk for a home workspace.

Be especially leery of buying add-on desk kits that can be attached to standard wall beds. They’ll likely underperform in the weight limit category for your workspace as well.

guest room with office

Even a small work setup like this is more practical and functional than what you’ll get from a wall bed with a built-in desk.

Get your home workspace design started

Talk to Organized Interiors about upgrading your home’s functionality with a custom-designed Murphy wall bed with desk and surrounding storage.

Our wall bed designs use genuine Murphy bed hardware for its superior quality and ease of use. The hardware is backed by a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Schedule a free consultation with us to start planning the design for your space for studying or working from home.

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