It's easy to get organized. Just use three common furnishings—a dresser, a bin, and a cart—that pull double duty as storage.

By Molly Reid Sinnett
February 12, 2017

Lighten up a tiny kitchen by replacing upper cabinets with open shelving. Without cabinet doors, you'll need another way to hide not-so-pretty essentails. The solution? Large galvanized bins.

Toteable Solution

Metal bins keep utensils organized, and the handles make it easy to transfer the items inside to the dinner table or patio. Fill bins with Mason jars, which group like items so they don't jumble together.

Office Maximized

Industrial-style metal bins are a distinctive complement to the rustic wood shelving in this home office. The bins are a stylish solution for stowing those unwieldy office supplies that don't have a specific home.

Stick to It

In addition to keepings things organized, separate, and out of sight, metal bins offer the advantage of magnets. Note cards and tags clipped to magnets won't get lost. Mason jars further corral office necessities, while chalkboard labels designate the container's contents.

Item #2: Dresser

Multifunctional and stately, a dresser is able to organize the entire family right at the front door. Drawers hide clutter, such as shoes and seasonal gear, while a tiny hook on the dresser's side catches keys.

Stash It

Large drawers make it easy for kids and adults alike to keep an entryway tidy. They stash everything that would normally end up on counters or on the floor, from shoes to sunglasses.

Stop and Drop

A plate and bowl fashioned as a pedestal offer a place to empty pockets of items that might otherwise end up between sofa cushions. A well-placed charger makes it a convenient spot to charge devices.

Butler on Call

A dresser gives the look and function of a buffet in eating areas. In this dining room, the dresser hosts a drink station while hiding entertaining necessities.

Tray Chic

A metal tray protects the dresser's top from errant pours while also keeping things mobile. A chalkboard trimmed in reclaimed wood stands in for artwork and announces family dinner plans.

Hidden Storage

Specialty dishes, tablecloths, and dinner party notions hide inside ample drawers. A dresser keeps occasionally used items out of sight but accessible when needed.

Item #3: Bar Cart

A rolling bar cart is an ideal spot for kids' crafts items. Containers and baskets corral crafting goodies on the easy-to-move trolley. The open storage unit makes it easy for childrren to identify and access supplies without having to dig through or empty out an entire cupboard.

Nice View

Keep supplies visible in see-through kitchen containers. A range of sizes handles everything from pipe cleaners to googly eyes.

Crafty Idea

A paper towel holder keeps project twine ready to go. Vintage jars gather colored pencils, markers, and paintbrushes. Large baskets with labels make cleanup a breeze, even for small kids.

Streamlined Suds

A laundry cart can be wheeled out of the way if need be, and usually fits rooms with even the smallest footprints. Here a laundry cart holds detergent, dryer balls, and drop zones for pocket finds and lonely socks.

Laundry Lineup

This laundry cart's three shelves offer easy-to-reach storage. Take advantage of every available inch by hanging bottles of water and stain solutions on the cart's handles.

Note to Self

A tapered hyacinth basket slides onto cart shelves, keeping dryer sheets handy for laundry time. Erasable chalkboard labels allow you to adapt and change the storage solution as needed.

More Smart Storage Ideas

Comments (3)

January 3, 2019
Open shelving works for us in our kitchen because we don’t have a lot of stuff. When you frequently use what’s on the shelves, there’s no time for dust to collect. Another plus is that I never have to bother about making sure every dish is completely dry before I put it away, which is a time-saver.
January 2, 2019
I totally agree. Open shelving is an invitation for more work to keep your home clean. Not only do you have to dust every item on the shelf, you also have to dust the shelf. Who has time for that? What are these designers thinking?
November 24, 2018
All good ideas but the first one.Who wants their silverware to get dusty and grimey in the open?Yuck