Narrowboats are renowned for being picturesque and quintessentially British, but they're not exactly renowned for having much space! This means that, unless you’re lucky enough to own a wide beam narrowboat, you need to get creative with your storage.
Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and collated our favourite creative narrowboat storage solutions. Whether you’re holidaying on a boat short term or you live on a narrowboat full time, here are 7 ways you can utilise every inch of room to make your life a little easier.
1. Hang it up
Just because you have less floor space to work with, doesn’t mean there aren’t other areas that can be used for storing your bits and bobs. Hooks on the ceilings and walls are great for chunkier items such as your pots and pans. By fixing a few hooks to the wall or sides of your cupboards and hanging up your pans, it’ll free up some vital cupboard space that would’ve been taken up otherwise.
Image credit: Not on the High Street
2. Seek out dead space and use it!
In every home, whether it’s a narrowboat or not, there’s invariably going to be dead space that you’re using. For example, you’re likely not making use of the inside of your kitchen cabinet doors which could be used to store a whole range of things such as cutlery, spices or cleaning utensils. We particularly like the example below…
Image credit: Jenna Burger
Another area of dead space that’s likely not fulfilling its potential is your walls. Making the most of this area will free up a lot of floor space and surface space that would’ve otherwise been used. This can go far beyond a shelf or two. Wall pockets are great for narrowboat storage and organisation - they could even be your chance to get crafty and add your personal touch.
Image credit: Ali Express
3. Under the bed
A double bed takes up a lot of room on a narrowboat, but that doesn’t mean this space can be completely written off. If you’re able to raise up the bed, it will create more than enough space for some large storage boxes. Even if you’re unable to raise your bed any higher, there still might be room underneath for some drawers or shoes!
4. Make use of your roof
As well as inside space, it’s undoubtedly worth turning your eye to your boat’s outside space as well. The roof, in particular, will have plenty of room that’s worth using. Many narrowboaters use roof boxes, which are large shallow timber boxes that are designed to be kept – as the name suggests – on the roof.
They’re perfect for storing anything that you don’t mind keeping outside, and you can get a range of varieties to suit your style of boat. However, be sure to take care that the boxes’ height won’t affect your boat’s ability to pass through a tunnel or under a bridge.
5. Stairs can be more useful than you think
Stairs are often seen as nothing more than a necessity that we need to get above and below deck. However, it turns out you can combine this requirement with the need for extra space for a winning storage solution.
If you’re an avid reader, incorporating space into your boat’s stairs will provide a perfect home for your collection of titles. Alternatively, if you’ve invested in a Kindle as a means of saving room, you could store just about anything that’ll fit inside!
6. Expand your shelving
You’d struggle to find a narrowboat without at least some shelves on its walls – as mentioned earlier using wall space is vital - however, shelving is usually confined to one or two shelves at a time, but this doesn’t need to be the case.
Why not find an area where you can install a floor to ceiling shelf? You could use it to store glasses, condiments, books or even a few trinkets to make your boat feel like home.
Image credit: Apollo Duck
7. Baskets and boxes
Baskets and boxes can be your best friends for keeping your interior space organised. You can buy some rustic baskets which will be equally as attractive as they are useful. They’re extremely handy for storing bathroom belongings such as towels, toiletries, or toilet roll in particular.
We hope you found this list of narrowboat storage solutions useful! Have you got any storage hacks that you use on board? We’d love to hear about them on Twitter or Facebook! Remember, if you’re heading out on Britain’s canals soon, be sure to check out our narrowboat insurance.