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Build shallow drawers into the toe-kick spaces (those 3- or 4-inch spaces below base cabinets) in your kitchen or bath. Platters, cookie sheets, and towels store nicely there. Outfit each drawer with a touch-latch release so you can easily open it with a light tap of your toe.
Add shallow shelves to the kitchen island. Shallow shelves are perfect for storing small items, such as spices and condiments. The open shelving also allows cooks to see what's available without having to move very far.
Equip your cabinets with features that maximize storage. For deep cabinets, install pull-out shelves or baskets that use all of the space; for tall shelf spaces, use stacking platforms. Corner cabinets -- classic space wasters -- should be fitted with lazy Susans or three-fourths circle-shape shelves.
Use all available surfaces. The partial wall separating the toilet doubles as a medicine cabinet. Adjustable glass shelves move to fit various medical supplies.
Turn the space beneath a banister into a bookcase. Adding shelves gives you a space to store smaller items, display family photos, or keep special-occasion items tucked away.
Incorporate storage into the furniture you buy. A front hallway bench can hold gloves, scarves, and hats. Coffee tables with storage compartments can hide back issues of magazines, and kids' rooms gain the equivalent of an additional dresser when a captain's bed (with storage drawers underneath) is substituted for the usual box spring and mattress.
Turn a closet into storage space for an adjacent room. If the closet is off the kitchen, a shallow cabinet wedged between the wall studs can serve as an extra kitchen cupboard. If the closet is off the living room, add shelves to the back closet to create a bookcase -- or even an entertainment center.
Get more from one space. Adding sliding shelves under your desk keeps the printer, scanner, and other paper products out of the way when not being used.
Make closets more accessible. Oversize doors make it more practical to store bulky items on high shelves because you can see what you're grabbing.
Install drawers underneath the washer and dryer. Many brands sell drawers that can be installed below front-loading machines. These drawers are perfect for storing detergent and other laundry supplies. Adding drawers not only boosts storage, it also saves your back by raising the machines to an ergonomic height.
Tip: Use closed cabinets rather than open shelves to keep contents from rolling off shelves and landing on your car.
Hit the roof. Attic areas over garages can be used for storage with the simple addition of a ladder attached to one wall with a hatch above. Unlike attic areas above living spaces, there is no interference with insulation between or on top of joists. A built-in ladder allows access without moving cars or repositioning garage door openers to accommodate drop-down attic stairs.