photo by Seattle Municipal archives
Limited space can be a challenge. You might think you don’t have room to stock up on essentials when they’re on sale. You have to be creative and find the hidden storage areas in your home. The first thing to do is clear your rooms of clutter. Prioritize and swap out items that you haven’t used for practical, useful items that are helping you save money. And who says everything has to be hidden from view? Some items can be displayed as long as it’s done in an organized way. For example, you can use an over-the-door shoe organizer to hold soap, toothpaste, etc., in the bathroom. Or hang it on any door and fill it with supplies. The clear vinyl ones are nice because you can see what is in the pocket at a quick glance. Don’t overload it with heavy items because many doors aren’t made to withstand a lot of extra weight.
Here are additional storage ideas.
UNDER FURNITURE: The No. 1 area is under your bed. There are multiple organizers to help you use this space. Plastic storage containers work well for easy access. You can use bed risers for a little extra space, too. One reader, Laurie in Florida, says: “My husband brought home cement blocks, which we used to raise up the bed. We turned the blocks on their sides so the legs would stick into the holes. It took both of us to do this, as we adjusted it so the bed sat square on blocks. But it gave us a few more valuable inches.”
Add a dust ruffle to your bed if you don’t want anyone seeing your stockpile. You can use underneath and behind your couches for storage, too. Really pressed for space? Tuck a few items under your kitchen or dining-room table. Add a tablecloth and smile, and no one will comment. Don’t forget storage when shopping for furniture. Ottomans, coffee tables and chests can be found with built-in storage solutions.
CABINETS: Look in your cabinets. You’ll probably see some underutilized space. Invest in cabinet organizers and space savers. Many supplies can be placed in under-shelf baskets or caddies, on stepped shelving or in racks for canned goods. Or you can make your own organizers. Try baskets, or reuse baby-wipe containers to hold packets or a shoe box to organize spices. Use any space above cabinets. You can remove any knickknacks and replace them with items such as rice, dry beans or pasta in airtight containers. Some pots and pans can be moved to the oven to open up space, too. Some product packaging can be broken down, and the contents stored more efficiently.
CLOSETS: Install a second bar or use shelving, bookcases, plastic drawers on wheels or hanging organizers. If you are storing an empty suitcase, fill it up. Another reader, Amy B. in New Jersey, shares: “Try rolling your towels and then storing them on top of each other. That creates more space for other goodies you may need to store in there.” Move sheets from the linen closet to under your mattress to gain extra space, too.