12 Pesky Storage Problems (and How to Solve Them!)

garage storage
Overstuffed file cabinets, cascading piles of toys, tangled cords -- sound familiar? Tame high-octane clutter spots with these simple storage solutions.

Problem: Buried Tabletop

Solution: Kick paper pileups to the curb with functional furniture. Instead of piling reading materials on top of table surfaces, invest in a coffee table with drawers that will keep magazines, photos, and newspapers orderly.

Problem: Shoe Pileup

Solution: Stop tripping over piles of shoes once and for all by enlisting the help of a shoe rack for often-used footwear. Here, a skirted organizer near the entry keeps family members from having to dig through a basket to find shoes on the way out and makes it easy to stow them on the way in. 

Just because a junk drawer stores a little bit of everything doesn't mean it has to be void of organization. Learn how to declutter a junk drawer with these tips and tricks.

Problem: Unruly Junk Drawer

Solution: Little items are hard to find when they're dumped into a catchall space. Tidy up a messy junk drawer in minutes with these expert organizing tricks.

Problem: Toys Underfoot

Solution: Ease of accessibility is key when it comes to items frequently used by kids. Place an open basket in public living areas to make it easy for children to play and pick up after themselves. Do set boundaries, though. If toys overflow the space, it's time to weed through and donate little-used items.

Problem: Cluttered Pantry

Solution: Use baskets to organize commonly accessed items such as kids' snacks. Not only will baskets make pantry items easier to spot, they'll also make inventory a cinch.

Problem: Shuffled Spices

Solution: Take control of disorganized spices. Label spice jar lids, and store them within a drawer or basket so it's easy to find ingredients at a glance.

Problem: Undersink Overflow

Solution: Odds and ends piled up in the undersink area equal nothing short of chaos. Neaten up the scene by stowing only what you need to clean your bathroom under the sink -- paper towels, a toilet brush, and cleaning agents. Group bottled cleaning supplies in labeled baskets with handles that are easy to move with you.

Problem: No Counter Space

Solution: If you have a too-small vanity, it is possible to tack on extra space. Use an over-the-door organizer to maximize storage. A hook and basket combination keeps styling tools organized and at the ready.

Problem: Messy Gift Wrap

Solution: Crinkled, unraveled gift wrap is a problem of the past with this clever solution. Cut a cardboard paper towel tube longways, and then slip it over your roll like a cuff to keep gift wrap secure.

Problem: Overstuffed Files

Solution: Spend less time shuffling through overstuffed files with this organizing tip: Reserve the top drawer of your filing cabinet for important papers you need to be able to get your hands on quickly. Use one manila folder for each account, person, or topic; divide the drawer into four color-coded sections, in the following order:

-- Financial (green hanging folders and left-hand tabs) 

-- Insurance/Vehicles (blue hanging folders and left-hand tabs)

-- Personal (yellow hanging folders and center tabs)

-- Home (red hanging folders and right-hand tabs)

Problem: Cord Conundrum

Solution: Say good-bye to the nest of wires behind your entertainment center. Use a small hair clip to streamline the mess.

Problem: Shop Supplies

Solution: Stow like items together to simplify finding supplies. Use a shower caddy as a handy grab-and-go holder for all car cleaning items.

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