Storage Tips and Ideas All Around the House

When it comes to storage, I don’t think there is a house out there that has enough and that’s only because you ladies buy so much stuff.  Holiday stuff, seasonal stuff….shhh, don’t let Shari hear me because I’ll hear about my shop.  We all know that place is crammed full of tools and toys!

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But if I do say so myself, the garage is the perfect place to store all kinds of things.  Everything from automotive stuff to shop stuff, holiday décor, sports equipment, paint, the list goes on and on.  In fact, I’ll bet the garage is the one area of the house that has to handle most of our storage needs. And because of that, there are hundreds of great ideas for storage in the garage.  Just remember to consider ALL surfaces.  For the walls, there are shelves that you can either make like these that I made for my shop out of 1 by 10 pine boards.

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Or, you can purchase heavy duty plastic shelves for those holiday bins or heavy tools like I have.

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Shari has used closing cabinets in her garages for years so she can hide all the mess.  These are a bit more expensive, but it really does make for a clean look in the garage.

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Peg board is another fairly inexpensive idea for hanging tools for the shop or even gardening tools.  I have a couple places in my garage where I’ve attached a few furring strips and then screwed the pegboard into the furring strips and with a package of hooks made for pegboard, you’re all set to hang! Look how nice this looks in black and this comes as a kit!

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Then don’t forget your ceiling for storage.  There are so many different hooks and pulley systems to hoist your bikes up, even hold wood for your shop.

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I even have my shop air filtration system hung from the ceiling!

You know, many of the same things we just talked about for garages can work in closets too, which is another important area for storage!  Open shelving, drawers and cabinets, hooks, even pegboard.  In fact, you can buy kit’s like the one for the garage or paint pegboard yourself if you want to dress it up for a closet but belts and scarves can hang on it just as easily as garden tools.

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But, my favorite closet system hangs on the wall with metal standards and the shelves are held up by metal brackets.  This is a system that is so sturdy, I could hang on it!

And don’t forget that part of getting your closets in order is going through all the clothing and donating what you haven’t worn in a year.  Those donations help a lot of people, so get busy and donate!

OK, so that’s garages and closets, how about kitchens? Kitchens are all about storage! I think the bigger items like dishes and glasses, even pots and pans are pretty well taken care of with a kitchen cupboard…but you can improve on what you have!  For instance, how about removing your stationary shelving and adding glides to turn them into pull out shelves?  At least getting at your equipment will be easier!

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A few years back I made a pot and pan rack that slides out from under the range and it worked really well.

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There are many other additions you can make, like adding a pull out waste area that has room for recyclables too.  This one has space behind the waste basket for storing boxes of garbage bags – very convenient!

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During my shopping trip to find better kitchen storage, I came across this under sink caddy that I think would really help that under sink clutter.  It holds all those cleaning supplies that keep falling over, moving to the back of the cabinet or just getting overlooked.  Plus there’s a place for paper towels!

Now Shari had some ideas that were a bit simpler.  She is a good organizer, and she uses plastic baskets in her pantry to keep small packages, like spices, candy sprinkles and cereal bars neat. It’s really made a difference for her.

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Another item that she says is out of control in her kitchen is recipes.  Ever since going vegetarian, she’s been collecting lots of recipes.  To store all of them she has tried a couple storage systems. One is a file box that she purchased; although you could cut this out of one of those heavy duty mailing boxes and fabric cover it or paint it.  Then she attached some pretty wrapping paper to the files using spray adhesive and made folders for the different types of recipes she collected…sounds like too much work to me!

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She has also mentioned using little photo albums for some of her favorite recipe cards.  A whole album may be for desserts, or one for sides.  You know generally, everyone has just a few favorite recipes or the “old standbys”, so a small album might be just enough for someone to keep those favorites in good shape.

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Another idea is a simple 3 ring binder. This can work beautifully with recipes you tear out of magazines.  I think I might like this one the best because the recipes are usually about 8 ½ by 11, so they are legible and they fit into plastic sleeves.  This way you can see the recipe but you don’t get egg or dough or whatever on the pages!

Let’s see where else do we need storage ideas?   How about the laundry room for folded laundry?  Or even ways to corral small toys or even magazines?  What about car keys and sunglasses?  I could even use some way to hang up my gardening tools…

I guess those are all topics for another article!!

Matt

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