June 28

The Best Storage Spots You Don’t Know About

Organizing

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Have you ever looked up storage on Pinterest and seen some of the storage spots people have? It not only makes you envious, it can make you a little skeptical too.

I mean, some of these storage spots look nicer than other people’s homes.

A master closet – just for the lady of the house – bigger than anybody’s 3 bedrooms put together, along with custom cabinetry and lighting? Sure. I can find a way to use that.

Or the pantries! Don’t get me started on those! Everything put into matching containers with labels that look like a caligrapher did them.

For those of us who live in real houses with real life storage problems, I’ve got answers.

And not just answers. I’ve got five storage spots that I bet you’ve never thought of!

Ground Rules

Before we get started on those five fabulous storage spots, let’s begin with some basic rules.

Storage containers: NO cardboard – they can collect damp and attract bugs.

Also, large sized totes are for large sized items. Yes, you can fit a ton of stuff in them, but how will you find what you need when you need it?

Which brings us to the next point: make sure you are storing things that are worth keeping. Things you use, will need soon – as in a year or less- or things that are important.

Make use of those ziplock bags meant for storage. You can put clothes, blankets, or other soft things in them and then use your vacuum cleaner to shrink them down to nothing.

Label everything. It’s also a good idea to keep a record in your household planner of what is in each container and where it is.

One: Under the Beds

This one should really count as two, but I guess you get a freebie here.

Using the space under the bed as a storage spot isn’t exactly news. I get it.

But how are you using that space? Are things just shoved under there?

Under the bed storage spotIdeally you would want to use storage containers that are half the width of the bed. That way you’ve got storage on both sides, no wasted space, and nothing stored in the middle.

Be sure to measure so that the containers are just a little bit shorter than the space under the bed.

If you can store items in each bedroom that belong to that person, that’s perfect. Out of season clothes or clothes your kids will be growing into soon are good for this.

By the way, you can store smaller ziplock bags under sofas too. And loveseats and chairs.

The bed is not just a great storage spot underneath it; there’s also good storage in it.

For instance, an extra set of sheets: put the folded flat sheet plus one pillowcase at the foot of the bed between the mattress and box spring. The folded fitted sheet and second pillow case go on the other side.

Blankets can be laid out on the box spring as though you were putting them on the bed.

When we purchased a new mattress set, the company offered a huge discount on our next mattress if we bought their mattress cover and kept receipts. We did and stored them between the mattress and box spring. No need looking for the receipt when the time comes!

Two: Behind Furniture

You may need to get a little more creative with this storage spot, but you can put that space behind your furniture to good use.

Those ziplock bags that I love so much can stand up or lean behind some of your furniture.

Got a headboard on your bed? I bet it could cover up some storage bags behind it.

Your dresser, or chest of drawers? Those work.

Your tv stand might work. And your couch, dining room hutch, or a bookcase.

i have an old Army trunk that I stand on end and use as a side table in my living room. There’s a box behind it that holds papers for the charity I volunteer for. Hidden storage.

Do you have a nice full set of drapes, maybe in your living room? You might be able to hide a few things behind them.

Or what about the space between the fridge and the cabinet? In our old house, I could store a folding step stool in there.

What about the space between the wall and the furniture that you have against that wall? Most upholstered furniture is slightly smaller at the bottom than the top. If you have something narrow (a ziplock bag, a picture or poster) that is a little shorter than that piece of furniture, then you’re all set!

Three: Inside Other Items

Using the insides of other things is a simple way to find more storage spots.

My neighbor has a dishwasher that has never worked. It was old when she moved in and she didn’t mind doing dishes, so they never had it fixed. It’s just perfect for pots and pans and extra dishes.

A friend of mine collects old suitcases. She is an artist, so she paints them or otherwise decorates them and then stacks them at the foot of her bed. Extra storage! And pretty, too!

Inside the army trunk I mentioned earlier (that I use as a side table) is where I keep our pictures and photo albums, as well as framed pictures that belonged to my mom.

I have decorative baskets all over the house that store different things: books, planners, jewelry, blankets, sweaters, and more.

Take a look on Pinterest for some more storage spots.

One good one is using cereal boxes for storing magazines or papers. You cut one corner off, cover them in pretty scrapbooking paper, contact paper, or whatever, and then fill them up.

You can find ottomans just about anywhere that also double as storage.

storage spots basketsPillow covers are also great storage spots. Or you could just use pillow cases in some instances.

For example, when my kids were younger, I could use the decorative pillow sham that came with their bedding (or a pillow case) to store another blanket or pajamas.

You might use throws during the winter for warmth, but don’t need them in the summer months. Fold them up into a nice pillow cover and use them as throw pillows.

Four: Build a Wall

This solution is mainly for garages, sheds, and basements, but you could adapt it to fit the living area of your home.

The basic idea is that you get a number of storage containers that are all the same. That way, you can line up or stack as many as you need to add storage spots. It looks neat and organized and if you keep track of what is inside each one, you will be able to find what you need easily. You may want to label them in a place where they won’t easily be noticed.

Here are a few ideas when it comes to labels:

  • Use something that will stand up over time. A lot of people seem to use Sharpies to label things – which is great, because they’re permanent. But what happens if the contents of the box change?
  • A better idea is to use a system of letters and numbers. When we moved from Michigan to Indiana, each child packed what they were bringing in boxes. Then each box was labeled with the first inital of their name and a number. They kept track of the contents on a piece of paper. This way, there’s no problem with a box labeled A1. If the contents change, you change your record (household planner), not the label on the box.
  • Add your label to more than one side of the container. At least the top and one side, or the top and two sides: one narrow side, one long one. You want to be able to find it easily if you need to.

If the “wall” you need to build has to be in the house, then look for containers that are more attractive and don’t scream “storage”. Although, really, what’s wrong with that?

There are a lot of boxes, cubes, and bins that you can find in colors meant for a kid’s room. And if you stick with a basic color like white, your storage will fit in almost anywhere.

Five: Go Up

I’ve seen pins on Pinterest where people made storage spots on their garage ceiling. You can hang bikes and ladders, put boards across the rafters and add storage bins, and more. You could probably do something similar with a basement ceiling.

In kids rooms, you could hang a hammock for stuffed animals. You could also use hanging baskets anywhere for extra storage. I think the bathroom would be ideal, but you could also put them in the kitchen, the bedrooms, anywhere.

I’m also a fan of small pieces of furniture that have multiple levels. I don’t know what they’re called. I have a wire stand in my bathroom that holds three baskets. One for toilet paper, one for extra hand towels, and right now the third one is holding nail stuff.

Hanging bookcase, storage spotWe also use hooks as storage spots. I have a double sided over-the-door wreath holder on my basement door. The side that faces the kitchen has a wreath on it and the side that faces the basement stairs holds a mesh laundry bag for my dirty kitchen towels.

We have a super tiny “master” bathroom; I can touch opposite walls by extending my arms. We have a wall mounted rack with four hooks for towels and a second one that hangs over the door.

Have you ever seen those bags for traveling that are meant to hold things like toiletries and hang on the bathroom door? They are super useful, not only for the bathroom, but other areas as well. For instance, you could use one for jewelry, scarves, socks, and underwear in your closet.

What about the top of your refrigerator or microwave? You might already be using this area, but does it look like a mess?

I have a large red cake tin (round metal box with a lid) that holds my sewing supplies. It has lived on top of my fridge forever. I also happen to have an old kitchen scale (also red) that I put up there for decoration. The two tie together, look nice, and I have extra storage.

My neighbor has a couple of more smart storage solutions in her kitchen besides her dishwasher. She hung a basket on the side of the cupboard by the sink. The bottom of the basket is attached to the cupboard and she stacks her dish towels in it.

She also has a small island that projects out from the wall. The wall there is covered in wood and is used for hanging small items that she uses in her kitchen.

Above the island is a decorative ladder the same length as the island itself. With some S hooks, she can use it to hang additional pots and pans. And she can add a small tray to the top to store other things.

Also, don’t forget things like pegboard. You often see them in use in a garage or basement workshop, but you can put them to use elsewhere. The kitchen would be a great place for one.

 

 

About the author 

brenda

My name is Brenda and I was born without the "clean gene". I believe that you can keep your clean and tidy in minutes a day and still have time for yourself.

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