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Narrowboat Space Saving Ideas

27th April 2021

Those who live on a canal boat will tell you that one of the hardest aspects of the narrowboat layout is finding room for all your stuff. That’s often why people often opt for narrowboat holidays rather than living on canal boats.

However, every boat owner will have their own methods of saving space – but we have a compiled a list of the very best ones to help you minimise your clutter if you’re currently living afloat. You can also find more tips from our guide on how to live on a canal boat.

Ways to maximise your narrowboat layout space

1. Declutter

The very essence of narrowboat design means clutter accumulates easily and rapidly. Decluttering is one of the easiest ways to save space. By sorting through your belongings and being meticulous about what you keep you can free up a lot of space very quickly. There are plenty of resources on how to declutter effectively with Marie Condo’s method being one of the most famous.

2. Roof boxes

Although traditionally used on cars, roof boxes make great storage for canal boats. These are best used for storing firewood or coal, or even bigger things like skis. If you decide to invest in a roof box, make sure you choose a lockable one, as these can be easily accessed when your boat is parked up.

3. Vacuum pack storage bags

With summers getting hotter and winters getting cooler, most of us now need two wardrobes. During the summer months, bulky winter wear can really diminish your storage space. Equally, in the winter, summer t-shirts and shorts can get in the way. The best solution to this is vacuum storage packs – all you need is a vacuum to remove the air and your clothes will be stored compactly.

4. Raise the bed

There is usually an abundance of space underneath a bed and people just don’t use it. The most obvious way to make this space accessible is adding drawers under the bed, investing in an ottoman or simply raising the bed and putting boxes underneath. This space can be used for those vacuum-packed clothes that you don’t need to access for long periods of time.

5. Folding furniture

If you’re the sort of person who entertains on their canal boat, you may constantly be battling with the need for extra furniture - but suffer with a severe lack of space. The perfect solution for you is foldable furniture. Almost any piece of furniture can be folded nowadays, from dining room tables and chairs to foldable bathtubs – you just need to find the right piece for you. We recommend everyone at least has foldable kitchen utensils to save some space.

6. Use the walls

As a canal boat dweller, walls become your best friends. There are a variety of storage units that can be placed on the wall such as floating shoe racks, hooks for coats and jackets, and key racks. Wall storage doesn’t need to be clunky, many pieces are very stylish and can be painted to match your aesthetic. Investing in wall storage should reduce clutter from the floor and other surfaces.

7. Saucepans with detachable handles

This tip is one of our favourites. It is amazing how much room saucepans take up – their long and bulky handles hang in the air and block you from placing anything underneath or beside them.  There is a very easy solution to this, purchase saucepans with detachable handles. These will allow you to stack your saucepans and put more kitchen goods in the same cupboard.

Narrowboat holidays with ABC Boat Hire

If you think living on a canal boat may be too cramped for you, that’s where we step in. Here at ABC Boat Hire, we offer canal routes across the country, so you can get to know your local area or the area you want to moor in. Browse our range of canal boat locations or get in touch with a member of our team today.

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