5 Storage Ideas You Didn’t Think About

storage-ideasWhether you have a compact apartment or a sprawling house with a spacious yard, you probably still wish you had more room for easily accessible storage. Almost everyone has that one junk drawer or packed closet that defies your organization attempts, but you can tame the clutter when you get creative with other places that haven’t yet been filled. You might have more room than you think when you make the most of these overlooked storage spaces.

1. Keep Looking Up – Most storage solutions have their feet firmly planted on your floor. Bookcases, bureaus and chests are always a valid option for carving out more storage, but going vertical opens a whole new dimension for attractive storage. Shelves can line walls almost to the ceiling. Put items you rarely use such as your Thanksgiving turkey platter on display on upper shelves and save lower ones for items you use daily. Another possibility: tall, narrow storage cabinets that make the most of a room’s upper reaches. By removing or reducing the footprint with vertical storage, you gain more floor space.

2. Open Doors to New Storage Space – Kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms are notorious for not having enough room, but they all have at least a door or two on which to hang storage equipment. A spice rack inside a cabinet door lets you keep favorite flavors within easy reach while making room on shelves. Because the rack won’t let smaller bottles hide behind larger ones, your herbs and spices also stay organized. The same principle also works in bathroom and bedroom closets with over-the-door systems such as the Closet Mates Connectable Storage center. Keep jewelry, shoes, handbags and other accessories visible so you’ll wear them more often by storing items in mesh or clear plastic.

3. Go Diagonal – How do you fit a 20-inch utensil into a drawer that’s only 12 inches deep and 10 inches wide? If you remember your geometry classes, the answer will come easily to you. By dividing the drawer diagonally, you create a storage solution that’s as elegant as it practical. Instead of keeping small and large items in a tangle in your kitchen drawers, arrange diagonal dividers and use the smaller compartments for items that otherwise get lost in the shuffle. Never dig through a pile of wooden spoons and tongs to get to your measuring spoons again!

4. Use Wall Space – If you’re willing to tackle a minor construction project, you may be able to find space for irregularly shaped or small items between the studs in your walls. Unless your home has thick walls or an unusual layout, you won’t have room for deep bookshelves, but you can probably fit a medicine cabinet, built-in spice rack or wine storage in a wall. Removing plaster board, installing shelving and framing the new custom storage area isn’t a job for novice do-it-yourselfers, but with the proper home improvement tools, it’s a one-afternoon job.

5. Take It With You – Sometimes, you have plenty of space, but it isn’t convenient to use. A multi-purpose room should have options beyond over-stuffed cabinets and closets. With rolling storage systems, you can put spaces to different uses. Store your sewing equipment in a rolling cabinet and bring it out only when you’re working. Keep a computer or television on the cart for easy removal when it’s time for the kids to do their homework.

Image Credit: Home and Bathroom 

5 Tips for Easy DIY

Forearm-forklift-strapsEveryone loves the after shot of a before-and-after DIY project, but the steps you take to prepare beforehand matter most when you’re the one doing the work. Whether it’s something as simple as adding new slipcovers to furniture to pull a look together or completely redoing a room for a new purpose, preparing for a do-it-yourself job before you apply the first brushstroke of paint is key to a successful transformation.

1. Get Organized
Having your supplies at your fingertips makes any DIY job easier. When your tools are within reach, you can take care of little do-it-yourself repairs around the house before they become bigger problems. It’s easier to find decorating inspiration when everything you need is in plain sight too. Turn a corner of your garage, utility room or sewing room into your do-it-yourself headquarters with storage tools that make the most of your space and keep essential equipment at the ready. Some cabinet storage solutions work for a variety of uses. A turntable bathroom organizer is great for medicine bottles and hygiene items, but it’s also an excellent caddy for tubes of beads and sequins, fabric paints or other small items for detail work.

2. Take It With You
Bringing your tools to the project instead of taking the project to your workspace is often more convenient. Using rolling cabinet storage and portable tool boxes lets you keep your supplies nearby as you make necessary repairs or let inspiration guide you. It’s easy to put off that paint retouching job when you don’t have your tools handy, but with easy-access carts and caddies, you have everything you need and can tackle the project with a minimum of fuss.

3. Plan Your Budget
Almost any project costs less when you do the work yourself, but a miscalculation in the beginning could lead an economical project into big cost overruns. Budgeting tools help you get a handle on expenses and figure out if it’s the right time to embark on that home improvement project. When you sit down with your calculator, consider opportunity costs too; your time is worth money, and you may find that it makes more sense to buy some parts of your project already made than to do everything from scratch.

4. Take Care of Your Tools
Before and during any improvement or repair job, keeping your tools in good shape is vital to a successful project. Painting a large room in a day may not be practical, but by wrapping paint rollers in plastic, you can pick up tomorrow where you stopped today. For outdoor projects, keeping tools and supplies in working order makes lawn and garden care simple. Having to disentangle your hose or clean your lawn mower before you use it can be enough to dissuade you from starting a new improvement project. Keep your equipment ready to go and take advantage of your cleaning, mowing or organizing urge when the mood strikes you.

5. Turn on the Lights
After you’ve done the work, treat your latest DIY project as a masterpiece and give it the lighting it deserves. The right lighting has the power to transform a room and make a home project look professional.