Around the House: Maximize Inadequate Storage Space

Around the House: Maximize Inadequate Storage Space

By Yehudit Garmaise

The key to stashing more stuff neatly out of sight is to use every square inch of available space, both inside closets and out.

1.      Pare down: The first step to finding places for everything is paring down belongings. Every so often, when an extra hour or two becomes available, look at each item in each closet, one at a time. Ask whether each item still fits, is in good condition, and is still regularly used. If not, give unused items away or store them in labeled boxes.

2.      Use space-saving hangers: Instead of hanging each pair of pants or each skirt separately, squeeze more items of clothing into your closet by investing in space-saving coat, pants, and skirt hangers in which six to eight items of clothing can neatly hang off the curved top of one hanger.

 3.      To double your hanging space: hang an extender rod below your main hanging rod to double the available hanging space below.

 4.      If your ceilings are high, build another shelf or two above the existing shelves in your closet to store infrequently used items, such as boxes of important papers, costumes, suitcases, and any off-season belongings.

 5.      If your closet already has a sturdy higher shelf installed, you can double your shelf space by hanging baskets made of fabric or wire to store things underneath your shelf.

 6.      Create more space for sweaters and other articles of clothing that get folded by hanging a vertical row of five shelves made of fabric or metal wire storage baskets from the curtain rod.

 7.      Buy a set of six simple, matching, and floating shelves and mount them on any empty wall space inside or outside your closets. Use shelf dividers so everyone’s stacks of clothing do not regularly spill over onto each other.

 8.      Buy a multi-level shoe rack to store off-season shoes and most shoes that are not worn daily. Children who share rooms should each get their own special shoe shelf labeled with their names. Women can line up their different pocketbooks, purses, and totes on the top shelves.

 9.      Hang things like belts, costume jewelry, and hats on hooks and over-door-closet organizing devices inside closet doors.

 10.  Moving out of the closet and into the bedroom: use a dresser or an armoire where more clothing can be hung, folded, or put into drawers. Each child should get a few of his or her own specially labeled drawers.

 11.  Group small, similar items, such as socks, stockings, scarves, and accessories. Unless smaller items are stored together in contained storage spaces, our tiny necessities will create clutter or get lost. Buy little organizers to create designated spaces so that items in each category can be stored together.

 12.  To use the space under beds, tucked into the backs of closets, and on high closet shelves, buy a few flat storage boxes that zip for off-season clothing, saved hand-me-down clothing, and extra blankets and sheets.

 13.  Repurpose bedroom wall space by placing freestanding garment racks, installing built-in shelves, and hanging matching hooks to keep everything neat, tidy, and off the floor.

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