Eke out extra square footage and organization where you need it most around the house. Try one of these clever, unexpected storage solutions to bring order to your laundry room, home office, eating areas, and more.
A clutter-free work space can bring a little sanity to your busy day. Choose a slim desk for your work space; a surface that is 18-20 inches deep is surprisingly roomy. Stash CDs and DVDs in slim plastic covers rather than bulkier jewel cases. Install wall-mount cubes with top doors to hide clutter. Clip on a reading lamp to free up desk space. Mount a magnetic memo board on the wall behind your desk for reminders and appointments.
Media gear -- from movies to music to magazines -- demands a place to call home. This cabinet stores it all in a small space. Choose an armoire with adjustable shelving and easy cord access. Look for drawers of varying depths to store all types of equipment and containers. Shrink the size of your home stereo system with an MP3 player and speaker station. Quickly plug in or recharge electronics with a grounded power strip installed in the cabinet's back. Categorize DVDs and video game cases with labeled bins and baskets.
Convert an ordinary bookcase into locker-style storage for your mudroom. Store off-season items up high in lidded boxes. Note the contents of each box with miniature chalkboards or storage labels. Use a classroom-style display rail to hold reminders and notes. Remove a few shelves from the bookcase and add hooks to hang coats, books, and bags within easy reach.
Serve delicious drinks from a wine rack created by combining modular storage cubes intended for closets into a single unit of cabinetry. Display glassware and bowls on wide shelves designed for organizing shoes. Hang stemware from acrylic racks mounted to the top of the compartment. A stack of appetizer plates slips perfectly below the hanging stemware. Arrange cabinets to include a central counter, ideal for pouring drinks and serving appetizers.
Devote a section of cabinets to packing lunches and feeding hungry folks fast. Store fruit in a wire stand that encourages ripening. Share important reminders on a miniature dry-erase board mounted to the back of a cabinet. Keep sweets on an upper shelf in matching sealed clear containers. Kid-friendly utensils, straws, and accessories are easy to grab when stored in the silverware caddy. Serve cereal or dry snacks from plastic dispensers.
Store bath essentials right where you need them with these clever cabinet tricks. Use the toothpick dispenser to hold cotton swabs. Organize toiletries in vinyl travel bags. Choose a basic bath set with multiple specialty pieces. Display everyday essentials in a plastic tray that you can whisk away when company arrives. Use plastic desk bins to show off pretty products such as colorful nail polish. Replace vanity doors with double swing rods. One rod holds a privacy curtain, and the other displays hand towels.
Optimize the area under your bathroom sink with these effortless additions. Install a pullout rack on one side of the cabinet for toiletries. Arrange bars of soap and boxed items so you see things easily from above. Fill buckets and open containers with cosmetics, shaving gear, and manicure supplies. Store everyday supplies in clear containers. Gather essential cleaning supplies on a lazy Susan. A canvas pouch hung inside a door keeps small cleaning supplies at the ready. Attach acrylic wall bins to the side of the cabinet to stash hair dryers and other tools.
Get more out of your bathroom medicine cabinet with these easy-to-add ideas. Use adhesive letters to label the contents of containers. Stack items on small acrylic shelves. A piece of sheet metal attached inside the cabinet door is a great spot for attaching magnetic holders. Fill magnetic spice containers with cosmetics or spools of floss. Use a magnetic pen caddy to hold makeup or toothbrushes. Wrap old tins with pretty papers and fill with beauty supplies. Place cotton rounds and other beauty gear inside vintage crockery.
Convert an entertainment armoire into a station for preparing pies, cakes, and other homemade baked goods. Insert a piece of corkboard in a paneled door. Refer to tacked-up recipes while you work. Store dry ingredients in glass or acrylic canisters with sealed lids. A coat of magnetic chalkboard paint transforms the back of a door into a handy spot to jot down shopping lists and reminders. Fill magnetic tins with spices or cake-decorating details. Hang pretty bakeware along the back of a cabinet. Reinforce a waist-high shelf to serve as a workstation.
Prevent fresh foods from getting lost with these easy tips for organizing your refrigerator. Create an extra-cool zone for eggs and other items by elevating one shelf to its highest level. Sort soda cans in a wire rack and rest juice boxes on top. Use slim containers for water or juice to make the most of shelf space. Designate one special spot for large, odd-shape items. Put produce in a clear drawer so it's easy to check for spoilage and to see healthy snacks first.
When you organize your kitchen pantry, cooking is a grab-and-go affair. Prepare for guests by filling baskets with snacks and entertaining essentials. Wire risers give you an extra layer of storage perfect for small canned goods. Fill bins with all the ingredients for a meal. Add on a label and the recipe. Square containers for dry goods waste less shelf space. Hang cooking tools from hooks on wall-mount bars. Stash small appliances inside a cabinet.
Say good-bye to kitchen confusion. Gather tools for cooking, cleaning, and more, in one streamlined spot. Put the closet door to good use by mounting shallow wire shelves. Clip takeout menus on the closet sidewall. Dangle hand tools from a series of metal hooks. Store soda cans in wire racks. A plastic wall holder centralizes battery storage. Slip a wire basket under a shelf to squeeze in extra space for a stack of cleaning towels. Stuff extra plastic bags into a handy dispenser. A wall-mount file sorter can house ribbons and bags for quick gift wrapping.