Storage & Organization
50 Storage and Organizing Problem-Solvers
Find a place for everything with these brilliant storage and organizing ideas for your home.
A Fully Enclosed Workspace
Box it Up
Photo: Melina Gillies
Install Wire Shelves
Here, a professional installer shares his knowledge about how to install wire shelving. Make your job go faster and look better with these tips for leveling, supporting and cutting wire shelves.
Pack Seasonal Clothing
One simple way to make extra closet space is to store seasonal clothing and accessories somewhere else, leaving you more space for the items you need now. Put clothes, accessories, shoes and purses in a vacuum storage bag—you’ll be surprised how compact it all becomes once the air is removed. Insert a list of what’s in each bag where you can read it, so you can locate something if you find you need it unexpectedly. Store the bags in your attic, under your bed in a self-made storage box, or in another accessible place.
- ‘Small hole’ pegboard is usually 1/8-in.-thick hardboard with 3/16-in.-diameter holes. The holes will accommodate only the smaller 1/8-in. pegs. This thickness is good for small projects and for hanging lighter weight stuff. But for heavy tools—and longevity—go with the thicker board.
- ‘Large hole’ pegboard is usually 1/4-in.-thick hardboard with 1/4-in.-diameter holes that will accept both 1/8-in. and 1/4-in. hooks. This is the type you need for workshops, garages and other heavy-use areas. Some pegboard shelves come with a melamine coating on one side.
Baskets and Ottomans
Some well-placed baskets and ottomans will help organize your living room. Store blankets, toys, crafting supplies, movies and even books inside.
Storage benches aren’t just for mud rooms and entryways. Try a storage bench in your living room for extra seating and store board games, toys or knitting supplies inside.
Shelving in Small Spaces
Small spaces need creative solutions. Try hanging floating shelves in that small corner space where furniture won’t fit. Or try a corner shelf unit which takes up less room.
Build Rollouts at Ankle Level
Storing in Suitcases? Roll Away
Photo: Svetlana Cherruty/Shutterstock
Store Spray Paint in a Wine Box
Bathroom Drawer Insert from the Kitchen
In a small bathroom, every square inch counts. Use these clever tips to wring extra bathroom storage from unexpected places.
Magnets in the Medicine Cabinet
Plywood Ceiling Shelves
Tuck medium and lightweight stuff onto shelves suspended from the ceiling. The shelves are designed to fit into that unused space above the garage doors (you need 16 in. of clearance to fit a shelf and standard 12-1/2 in. high plastic bins). However, you can adjust the shelf height and put them anywhere. The only limitation is weight. We designed this 4 x 6-ft. shelf to hold about 160 lbs., a load that typical ceiling framing can safely support. Click here for the full plans.
Garage Door Extension Cord Storage
Instant Drying Rack
Heavy-Duty Utility Shelves
Refer to the dimensions shown to mark the location of the horizontal 2×2 on the back of four 2x4s. Also mark the position of the 2×4 uprights on the 2x2s. Then simply line up the marks and screw the 2x2s to the 2x4s with pairs of 2-1/2-in. wood screws. Be sure to keep the 2x2s and 2x4s at right angles. Rip a 4 x 8-ft. sheet of 1/2-in. MDF, plywood or OSB into 16-in.-wide strips and screw it to the 2x2s to connect the two frames and form the shelving unit.
If you choose plastic bins rather than cardboard boxes, label the plastic with a wet-erase marker. When it’s time to relabel the bin, just wipe away the marks with a damp rag. No room for floor-standing shelves? Build this sliding storage system on the ceiling.
Build Individual Storage Lockers
Wrap Up Your Wrapping Paper
Use an over the door shoe hanger to keep wrapping paper and supplies in one place and out of the way. Measure the length of your rolls and cut the bottom seams on pockets that need to allow the roll to pass through, leaving the bottom pocket intact. Leave single pockets to sort and store scissors, tape and ribbon.
Reuse and Recycle Food Tins
Mud Room Grab & Go Bags
- A car travel/restaurant tote filled with travel-friendly toys, quiet games, or projects the kids can do while waiting for dinner in a restaurant
- Dry-cleaning tote for clothes that need to be taken to the cleaners
- Library tote for your books and library card
BBQ Tool Organizer
Cabinet Door Storage Rack
Charger and Cord Pockets
Do you get tired of rummaging through drawers and boxes trying to find the right cords and chargers for all of your electronic gadgets? One solution is to use a clear vinyl over-the-door shoe organizer. Make labels for each pocket and put every item in its own spot. Now you can find everything you need without getting frustrated.
Make an inexpensive trunk organizer with file crates or plastic bins. Use self-adhesive hook-and-loop tape (like Velcro) to secure the bin to the fabric lining of your trunk. Now you have a great place to store car items and haul bags of groceries without them toppling over.
Under-Sink Storage Bins
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. Here’s a great way to store these items right on the door of the sink cabinet. Cut a plastic storage tub in half with a utility knife and screw 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.
Use Door Space Intelligently
Don’t forget the door when counting your closet space! Try an over-the-door shoe organizer on the backside of a closet door to organize scarves, belts and other accessories. Or of course, shoes too! Would you rather have your shoes out where you can see them? Make this easy-to-build shoe rack with modern style!
Use Slim Bins to Store More
Looking to maximize your shelf space? Look no further. Whether you live in a mansion or studio apartment, keeping dry goods in tall (or flat), skinny containers will help you get more bang for buck. But what about if your kitchen doesn’t have a pantry? Check out these 11 No-Pantry Organization Solutions On a Budget.
Wire Shelving Rack
You don’t have to buy a fancy rack to store your fishing gear. Screw some short sections of wire shelving to your garage or workshop ceiling. Your fishing rods will be organized and out of the way until you need them.
Closet Nook Shelves
Joist Space Storage
Tidy File Center
Decorative Backsplash Rack
Backsplash racks offer easy access and stylish storage. Most versions take just a few minutes to install. Backsplash racks have a few disadvantages, though. All your kitchen utensils have to look good, since they’re on display. And if you ever decide to remove the rack, you’ll be left with screw holes in the backsplash; not a big problem with drywall, but ugly and unfixable in tile.
Monkey Bars Wall Unit
When you need storage above your wall unit, Monkey Bars has the solution. Engineered of steel for durability, the system offers custom solutions to get tools and materials off the garage floor and out of your way—but still within reach. You can modify the hook-and-bar system to fit changing storage needs in the future.
Image courtesy of Monkey Bars
Three-Ring Tool and Appliance File
Store your appliance and tool manuals in three-ring binders so you can find them when you need them. Insert labeled dividers to organize them for quick reference.
DIY Tiered Hangers
Skinny Laundry Room Cart
Drawer in a Drawer
Deep drawers often contain a jumbled pile of interlocking utensils. Our solution is a sliding tray that creates two shallower spaces. Make it 1/8 in. narrower than the drawer box, about half the length and any depth you want (ours is 1-3/4 in. deep). When you position the holes for the adjustable shelf supports, don’t rely on measurements and arithmetic. Instead, position the tray inside the drawer box at least 1/8 in. lower than the cabinet opening and make a mark on the tray. Our shelf supports fit tightly into the holes, but yours may require a little super glue. This simple drawer rests on shelf supports.
When it comes to bin I.D. tags, we like adhesive storage pouches that let you slip index cards in and out easily. You can find these at office supply stores or online retailers.
Find out another reason why three-ring binders come in handy around the house.
Make space in your kitchen by installing a stainless steel rail from which you can hang kitchen utensils, pots, pans, and more. This is a great storage solution if you have unclaimed wall real estate. It doubles as a great place to arrange and/or dry dishtowels and oven mitts. If you’re keen on this idea, you’ll probably love the design for this ceiling-mounted pots and pans organizer, too.