11 Storage Tips for Cutting Clutter

Updated: Dec. 19, 2022

Need more places to store your stuff? We asked our pro storage gurus for their favorite storage tips and advice.

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Use a Closet Organizer System

Are your closets and garage overflowing with stuff? Are your kitchen cabinets stuffed to capacity? You don’t need to spend a lot of money to find new storage space in your home. You just need these decluttering strategies from our organizational gurus to organize every room of your house.

For economy and quick installation, you can’t beat wire-shelving systems; you can outfit a typical closet in an afternoon. You easily build your own closet organizer, adapting the plans to your specific needs and DIY skill level. You can also buy a pre-made system, but before you go shopping, go online to check out the options, accessories and installation steps.

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Prostasov AN/Shutterstock

Hang a Second Shower Caddy

The trouble with those shower caddies that hang from the showerhead pipe is that you have only one showerhead. To get more space for your bath potions, hang another caddy on a cabinet knob. With a No. 8-32 hanger screw, you can screw the knob into a stud. To fasten to drywall, use a screw-in drywall anchor along with the hanger screw. If that’s not a realistic option, you can always find a super-sized shower caddy that will at least give you a little more room to keep soaps, shampoos, etc.

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Junction box storage

Hang Electrical Junction Boxes as Mini Storage Bins

Electrical junction boxes can hold a lot more than wiring. You can nail or screw them to just about anything anywhere. In the shop, they’re great for those tools that can’t hang on hooks—tape measures, markers, chisels, etc.

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cabinet rollout shelves
Family Handyman

Increase Cabinet Space with Rollout Shelves

Lower cabinets offer the biggest storage spaces in your kitchen. But the back half of cabinets is usually wasted—it’s filled with forgotten stuff or left empty because it’s out of sight and out of reach. Rollout shelves reclaim that space. You can buy rollouts or build your own.

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cabinet door storage rack
Family Handyman

Hang Items from Cabinet Doors

Don’t let small stuff occupy valuable drawer and shelf space. Equipped with cup hooks, the backs of cabinet doors can hold measuring cups, spoons and other hanging items. With homemade racks, they can hold lids or spices. Be sure any protruding items will hang between shelves—or else the doors won’t close.

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hidden shelf-built-in-shelves

Use Stud Cavities for Storage or Make Built-In Shelves

An unfinished wall or ceiling isn’t an eyesore; it’s a storage opportunity. With some shelf hardware and 1x4s, you can pack 8 ft. or more of storage into one wall stud cavity. If your walls are finished and your DIY skills are ready for a more involved project using the same concept, you can make your own built-in shelves, like the ones pictured here, to add more storage to your home.

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Ceiling joist storage
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Use Ceiling Joist Space for Storage

For a few dollars per square foot, you can turn ceiling joist space into storage space with wire shelving, though we discovered that this is a bad place to store basketballs.

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Electrical Ties

Use Leftover Electrical Cables

Don’t toss out those leftover scraps of electrical cable. They let you bundle up and neatly store all kinds of stuff. To hang up or carry your bundle, twist a loop in the cable.

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medicine cabinet
Family Handyman

Add an Extra Medicine Cabinet

Many bathrooms have wall space, usually next to the door, that’s perfect for an extra medicine cabinet—or even two. With “recessed” cabinets that fit between studs, you don’t lose an inch of bathroom space.

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FH16SEP_CABNET_01-4 Ultimate Garage Cabinets Storage wood garage cabinets, wall mounted garage cabinets, ultimate garage cabinets
Family Handyman

Leave Space Between Cabinets for Shelves

Whether you’re building utility cabinets or buying them, you can double the storage you get from each cabinet. Just leave spaces between the cabinets and fill those spaces with shelves. The easiest way to hang the shelves is to drill holes for shelf supports in the cabinet sides.

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Vertical Cabinet Storage

Add Vertical Shelves for Flat Storage

Every kitchen needs a slot for flat cookware like cookie sheets and pizza pans. The simplest way to create these slots is to add extra shelves spaced a few inches apart. Since most cabinets have adjustable shelves, you just have to pick up a bag of shelf supports at a home center and cut new shelves from plywood or particleboard. Or make a vertical niche like the one shown here. Just add a plywood divider, drill holes for shelf supports and shorten the existing adjustable shelf.