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Clutter-Busting Strategies For Every Room

Use these tips to organize the whole house!

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Back-of-Door Organizer

Back-of-Door Organizer

The back of a door that opens into a utility room or closet makes a handy hanging space. The trouble is that most doors don't offer a good mounting surface for hardware. The solution is to screw a piece of 3/4-in. plywood to the back of the door. Add construction adhesive for hollow-core doors. Cut the plywood 3 or 4 in. shy of the door edges to avoid conflicts with the doorknob or hinges. Now you can mount as many hooks, magnets and other storage gizmos as you like. Want more behind the door storage? Check out these inside-cabinet door storage ideas.

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Shoe Pocket

Shoe Pocket

Hanging shoe bags are great for closets, but they can also cut the clutter in your garage, workshop or laundry room. A shoe bag like this one costs about $15 at discount stores.

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Between-Studs Shelving

Between-Studs Shelving

Store smaller containers—spray paint, putty cans, glue bottles—right in the wall! Screw shelf brackets (6-ft. lengths are sold at home centers) to the studs, then install shelves, cut from standard 1x4 boards, on adjustable clips. The boards fit perfectly; there's no need to saw them to width.

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Clothes storage ideas for small spaces: Double-decker closet rod

Clothes storage ideas for small spaces: Double-decker closet rod

All you need to gain a lot of hanging space in your closet is two metal closet brackets and a length of closet rod. If your existing closet rod is at least 66 in. from the floor, there's enough space to add a second rod below it and still hang shirts and slacks. We placed the top of the rod 35 in. from the floor, which allowed just enough room to hang two levels of pants. Locate studs on the back wall of the closet with a stud finder. Then attach metal brackets to the studs. Use a level to align the brackets along the top. Space the brackets no more than 32 in. apart. Need even more storage? Check out these easy ways to expand your closet space.

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S-Hook Hang-Up

S-Hook Hang-Up

Turn any closet into a useful hang-up storage space by adding S-hooks to wire shelving. This provides tidy storage for mops, brooms and other cleaning tools.

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Behind the Door Storage: Tool-Apron StorageFamily Handyman

Behind the Door Storage: Tool-Apron Storage

Tool aprons can be modified to store nearly any household item. Just sew a variety of pocket widths in the aprons, then mount the aprons by screwing a wood strip through the top of each and into a door. For hollow-core doors, use hollow anchor fasteners to hold the screws firmly to the door.

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A Wrench Rack From the Clothes Closet

A Wrench Rack From the Clothes Closet

Are all your wrenches stuffed in a plastic bucket? Here's a better idea. Screw a tie/belt rack (available at discount stores) to a bare spot on the wall over your workbench and hang the wrenches—SAE and metric—where you can swiftly nab and put them away in an orderly fashion.

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Elastic-Cord Tool Holder

Elastic-Cord Tool Holder

Use elastic cords to make a portable tool organizer for chisels and other hand tools. Fasten one end of the cord to a 1x8 with an electrical staple, lay the cord straight without stretching it, then staple the other end. Add staples every 3 in. to create holders, leaving the staples just loose enough so the cord can still move. Then fasten the 1x8 to the wall.

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Gutter Bins

Gutter Bins

Here are a couple of clever ways to use leftover gutter parts. Build small bins with the scrap gutter lengths, end caps and corner pieces. Mount the bins to a wall or workbench edge to hold parts and tools or serve as a dustbin. Or, screw downspout sections to a board and mount it on the wall to store wood dowels, bar stock and other long, thin items. Check out nine more uses for gutters that aren't on the roof.

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Car-Care File in the Trunk

Car-Care File in the Trunk

Keep your car's maintenance records in the car itself and you'll never have to ransack your house looking for them. Just put them in a locking plastic bag and slip them under the carpet in the trunk.

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Disappearing Remotes

Disappearing Remotes

If your remote controls are cluttering up your coffee table and getting lost behind sofa cushions, here's how to neaten up. Apply adhesive-backed hook-and-loop strips to the underside of the coffee table and to the backs of the remotes. To avoid snags on upholstery and clothing, put the soft (loop) material on the remotes. Now all the controls are hidden from view, but you'll always know where to find them. Hook-and-loop strips are available at home centers and discount and hardware stores.

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Charger Hideaway

Charger Hideaway

Nothing clutters up a space more than the spaghetti heap of cords and plugs needed to recharge all those cell phones and other electronic toys. Create a discreet charging station with a small bread box and place a power strip inside. Drill a hole in the back to run the cord to the receptacle. Plug in your power-hungry devices and close the door for an orderly desktop or kitchen counter.

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Cord Control

Cord Control

Tame that cord jungle under your desk with a length of 1/2-in. foam pipe insulation. Paint it the color of your wall and it will virtually disappear. Find out how to paint faster so you can enjoy those appliances the cords go to.

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Hook and Chain Cord Hanger

Hook and Chain Cord Hanger

A length of chain and a wall-mounted coat hook provide a secure hangout for bulky electrical cords, ropes and other cumbersome coils. Hang one end of the chain on the lower hook, then loop the chain around the coiled cord and attach the other end of the chain to the upper hook.

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Safe Cord Storage

Safe Cord Storage

To store elastic cords safely and neatly, pull out the spine of an old three-ring binder. Punch out the rivets and screw the spine to the garage wall. The rings are the perfect spot to hang cords without dangerous tension.

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Three-Ring Tool and Appliance File

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.

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Under-Bed Storage Rack

Under-Bed Storage Rack

If you're getting rid of your old dishwasher, hang on to the lower dish rack. Slip it under a bed for convenient roll-out storage.