The Ideal Storage Set-Up: Great Heights Within Reach

June 14, 2017

If we could build the perfect room from scratch, what would it look like? What features would it contain? Let’s have ourselves a little daydream…

I am 5’2″ and 1/4″ inches tall.

I carry a folding step stool inside my work bag, alongside a special reachy/grabby tool.

I am intimately acquainted with the concept of things being out of reach, and can rarely access the second lowest shelf of any cabinet or closet without standing on seriously committed tippy toes. I have a finely honed radar detection for very-tall-men while shopping. I call upon this for the times when I don’t trust the lower shelves to hold my weight, and/or the aisle is jam-packed with jars and there’s no place for me to get my climb on, and/or there’s too many people around that might judge harshly a grown woman climbing on grocery store shelves.

Most of my clients are several inches taller than me, at least, and have no problem reaching whatever rogue items I’m unable to grasp. Plenty of people would have no trouble at all getting at the last remaining bottle of vitamin water zero on the highest grocery store shelf. Height is not, for lots of people, a limitation.

Yet the playing field is essentially leveled (ahem) when it comes to storage that spans floor to ceiling. Ain’t nobody that can reach all the way up there.

Time and time again, clients who possess vertical storage set ups lament the impracticality of it. They regret earnestly the fact that they aren’t able to utilize the storage space that is fairly theirs, albeit beyond their proverbial grasp.

What happens to the storage space nuzzling the ceiling? Either it remains empty, or it becomes the final resting ground for whatever item manages to one day ascend to its surface. The first scenario is perfectly fine, the latter, not so much.

But imagine a world where shelves at all heights could be accessed by all. Where dead zones were Simply not a thing. Where reaching that one cookbook, or pair of shoes, or salad bowl didn’t require the first-world-annoying task of dragging the step stool from its hook, unfolding its hinges, and ensuring its placement wouldn’t lend itself to your falling off and breaking your neck.

(Also, imagine if the solution was so darn chic you could barely stand it.)

The scenario described is not a dream world, my Simplifiers. In a word–or two–it’s a rolling ladder.

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: Lauren Liess via Country Living
Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: design by Amir Khamneipur for House Beautiful 

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: Styling by Megan Morton, photography by Annabelle Hickson via Inside Out

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: Jessica Helgerson

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: Little Green Notebook

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: Hayburn & Co.

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: BHG via People



Annie Traurig was born with the ability to see order through clutter. As a child, she spent playdates organizing friends’ closets and packing their duffle bags for summer camp.

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  1. SingOn on June 14, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    This is my dream type of storage

  2. […] Maximizing your vertical storage is definitely smart. So is having a reliable way to access said vertical storage […]

  3. Christal Sagan on September 12, 2017 at 5:47 am

    I love the ladders. There is an area in my kitchen that this could be very helpful. I would need to know where to get them and with dimensions. Thanks.

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