Fixes for 10 Common Storage Problems
Cluttered countertops, overstuffed closets … We all face storage issues that we just can’t seem to reign in. Here are some smart ideas to solve the most common problems.
1. Problem: Daily mail piling up and cluttering the kitchen.
Fix: There are a few other ways to combat this issue, but for those not wanting to hang items on the refrigerator or lacking the wall space for a bulletin board, dedicating a kitchen cabinet as a message center is a great solution. This not only provides an organized area for the papers and other associated daily necessities, but can also make use of dead space on the end of a cabinet run. Simply install a small corkboard and shallow wall-mounted file holders. You can leave it exposed or enclose it with a cabinet door for a cleaner look.
2. Problem: Bathroom with limited counter space.
Fix: If you have wall space by your bathroom sink, consider creating a niche with built-in glass shelves to house those grooming essentials and decorative accents so that products will be within easy reach. For those lacking in wall space near the sink, try using the wall behind the toilet for your niche.
3. Problem: Need storage, but no space or budget for a built-in mudroom.
Fix: Pair a cube organizer with wall hooks above, and you’ll have perfect cubby space for gloves, scarves, shoes and other essentials on your way out the door, while the hooks keep seasonal coats and jackets within easy reach.
4. Problem: Large cooking utensils are overtaking your kitchen.
Fix: Find a wall-mounted utensil rack to keep those essential tools — large spoons, tongs, spatulas — off the counters and from cluttering up your kitchen drawers. Hanging them keeps you from wasting time digging through cavernous drawers by allowing you to see exactly what you have. That way you can easily grab each tool when needed.
5. Problem: Wasting time tracking down crafting and gift wrapping supplies all over the house.
Fix: To begin, gather all your crafting and gift wrapping supplies together. Go through and group items that are similar. Lastly, find a dedicated space for them and decide what type of organizational tools you need to keep them in order — bins, drawers, rods for paper, a rolling cart. If space is limited, set up a microstation in the corner of a spare bedroom or home office, or inside a closet.
6. Problem: Bulky supplies (think paper towels or toilet tissue) are taking up valuable cabinet space.
Fix: Incorporate them into your room’s decor. For example, use a decorative metal basket placed on a kitchen ledge, shelf or under an open center island to house extra paper towels. Stylish, simple and smart, this solution allows you to keep the paper products within easy reach, while also keeping track of your supply.
7. Problem: No space for a walk-in kitchen pantry to store dry goods.
Fix: A great alternative is a tall slide-out pantry cabinet. Open on both sides, it is convenient and condenses your dry goods storage into a small space. Plus, you’ll be able to track your supplies easily, which helps reduce waste and save money.
8. Problem: No room for a recycling center in your kitchen.
Fix: A narrow cabinet with shelves, located in the garage near the entrance of your house, is a great home for recycling bins. The best part? You’ll be able to organize your recyclables without unpleasant odors lingering in the kitchen.
9. Problem: Laundry room lacks storage and makes washing laundry feel like even more of a burden.
Fix: Put the smart tools available today to good use — slide-out hampers for sorting, shelving systems for holding supplies, hanging rods for air-drying clothes. Arrange them in a way that takes full advantage of all available space and streamlines this chore, making it as easy as possible.
10. Problem: Your bedroom closet is at max capacity, but you have more things to fit in it.
Fix: You have prime real estate under your bed, so make use of it. Use storage boxes or slide-out bins for seasonal items, swapping them out as the seasons change. You can also choose a bed frame with built-in drawers to accommodate the overflow from your closet.