When it comes to easy storage ideas, nobody beats our crew of editors. Here are 10 creative DIY solutions that provide more storage without adding cabinets or drawers.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:March 2013
Do you like having fresh herbs at your fingertips?
Keeping them on your counter takes up
valuable space and doesn't expose them to enough light.
Try this easy storage idea: Install a wire shelf between the upper cabinets
flanking your kitchen window. You can set your plants
where they'll get plenty of light without blocking the
view. This also makes watering easy and keeps them
readily available for snipping. Make sure to install the
shelf high enough so you don't bump into it when you're
working at the sink.
What's hiding under your kitchen sink? If the
space under your sink is anything like ours, it's an overcrowded
jumble of cleaning supplies, sponges and plastic
bags. I came up with a great way to store these items
right on the door of the sink cabinet. I cut a plastic storage
tub in half with a utility knife and screwed it to the
inside of the cabinet door through the plastic lip at the
top of the tub. Just make sure you position it so you can
shut the cabinet door when all your bags and other supplies
are in the bin.
Alexy E. Pagan
The space above a doorway is an overlooked
storage bonanza! It's the perfect spot for a
cookbook cubby in the kitchen or a towel shelf in
the bathroom. Consider adding a shelf or cubby
over the doorways in your home office, laundry
room and bedrooms too.
You'll be surprised how
many books, knickknacks and other items you
can find room for in these valuable unused
We don't have cabinets or shelves in
our tiny laundry room, so I bought
inexpensive plastic crates at a discount
store and created
my own wall of cubbies. I just
screwed them to the wall studs using
a fender washer in the upper corner
of each crate for extra strength. The
crates hold a lot of supplies, and they
keep tippy things like my iron from
Oh, sure, you can just set your fruit bowl anywhere
on your countertop. But you'll free up valuable counter
space if you put your fruit in a basket on the end of an
upper cabinet near your kitchen sink. The fruits and veggies
will ripen nicely, and they'll look beautiful too. Wire baskets
work well because they allow light and air to circulate for
even ripening. You'll find them at discount, office supply and
organization stores. The basket shown
is from Target.
I have to credit my wife with
this idea. She bought a deep
“shadow box” picture frame at a craft
store and asked me to make a
bathroom shelf. I slapped a couple of
coats of white enamel paint on the
frame and hung it around our toilet
paper holder. It gives us two convenient
shelves for small items in our very small
If you have shelves or cabinets
above your washer or dryer,
you've got the perfect spot to
store clothes hangers. Just
mount a towel bar to the
bottom of the cabinets. This
puts hangers at your fingertips
so you can hang up shirts and
slacks fresh from the dryer.
Pullout towel racks are typically meant for kitchens, but
they're also perfect for cramped bathrooms. They keep
damp hand towels and washcloths off the counter so they can dry
out of the way. You can find pullout towel racks at
discount stores and online retailers.
We got tired of rummaging through
drawers and boxes trying to find the right cords and
chargers for all of our electronic gadgets. Our solution
was to use a clear vinyl over-the-door shoe
organizer. We made labels for each pocket and put
every item in its new home. Now we can find everything
we need without getting frustrated.
Spices are a pain to store. They get easily lost in your cabinets, so
you end up buying duplicates when you can't find what you need.
Here's a simple solution. Pick up a bag of adjustable shelf supports and a 1x4
board at a home center. Just measure the height of your tallest
spices, measure down from your shelf, drill holes and mount your spice shelf
on shelf supports. You'll put an end to buying three tins of poultry seasoning
and more bay leaves than you'll use in a lifetime.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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