Storage & Organization
Easy Solutions for Everyday Organization Problems
From the kitchen, to the bathroom, to the garage, to the basement, we have tips and tricks for storing stuff all over your house. Check them out!
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.
Build a Shoe Organizer
For wet shoes and boots, we recommend this attractive, simple-to-make tray.
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.
Cooking Caddy for Quick Clear-Off
Bungee Cord Organizer
Concealed Message Center
Storage Behind Closed Doors
Pegboard is great for organizing kitchens, laundry rooms and bathroom cabinets. Rout a groove in a 1×2 frame using a rabbet bit, attach the pegboard with glue and brads, then mount it to the door. The frame helps support the edges of the pegboard and creates a 1/2-in. space behind the board so pegs can be inserted.
Skinny Laundry Room Cart
Tucked Away Coffeemaker
Pullout Towel Rack
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.
Instant Laundry Room Cubbies
If you don’t have cabinets or shelves in your tiny laundry room, buy inexpensive plastic crates at a discount store and create your own wall of cubbies. Screw 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 your iron from falling over. Here are some more ideas for small space storage solutions.
Racks for Canned Goods
PVC Curling Iron Holsters
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!
Instant Knife Rack
You can size this knife rack to suit any cabinet door and any number of knives. To build it, you just need a table saw and wood scraps. Run the scraps across the saw on edge to cut kerfs. Adjust the blade height to suit the width of the knife blades. You have to remove the saw’s blade guard for these cuts, so be extra careful. Also cut a thin strip to act as an end cap. Glue and clamp the kerfed scraps together and sand the knife rack until the joints are flush. To mount it, use two 1-1/4-in. screws and finish washers. Plus: check out these great cabinet door storage ideas.
Ironing Board Storage
Keep your imagination moving and check out these garage storage ideas.
DIY Storage Locker
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.
Cabinet Door Message Board
A sheet of metal and a dry-erase board can turn any cabinet door into a convenient message center. You’ll find 2 x 2-ft. lengths of plastic-coated hardboard (often called ‘whiteboard’) and sheet metal at a hardware store or home center. Larger hardware stores will cut the sheet metal to your specifications. Be sure to get steel instead of aluminum so magnets will stick.
If you cut the metal yourself, wear gloves to protect your hands and use tin snips carefully. Use a metal file to smooth any ragged edges. If you don’t have a table saw to cut the whiteboard, flip it over, mark your measurements and use a jigsaw to cut it from the back to prevent chipping or splintering. To get a straight cut, use a framing square as a guide (photo, left).
To mount the metal sheet and whiteboard to the inside of the door, take the door off its hinges, lay it flat and carefully mask off the area where you want to spray the adhesive. Follow the directions on the can to apply the adhesive to the door, metal and whiteboard (photo, right). Mount the pieces, press firmly and let dry.
Plastic Bag Holder
Vacuum Gear Storage
Cutting Board Rack
You can make this nifty, inexpensive rack and mount it inside a cabinet door to stash your cutting board out of sight. It goes together in a snap since it only requires a 6-ft. 1×2 and two L-brackets.
Measure between the door stiles to get the maximum width of your rack. Make sure the rack will be wide enough for your cutting board (or spring for a new one). You’ll also need to mount the rack low enough so it doesn’t bump into a cabinet shelf when the door closes. Cut the bottom and face rails to match the space between the cabinet door stiles.
Cut the sides 7-1/4 in. long. Nail the sides to the base. Then nail the two face pieces at the top and bottom to complete the rack (photo, left). The easiest way to mount the rack is to take the cabinet door off its hinges and lay it down. Predrill the screw holes for the L-brackets and mount the rack to the cabinet door using a 1-in. L-bracket centered on each side of the rack (photo, right).
Sandwich Bag Parts Organizer
Here’s a space-saving solution to the bathroom waste-basket problem. Screw wire shelf anchor clips to the inside of the door and hook the lip of a small wastebasket right on the hooks. It’s easy to use, it hides unattractive trash, and it frees up precious bathroom floor space.
Cabinet Door Storage Rack
Make laundry day easier with this shelf for all your detergents, stain removers and other supplies. Build this simple organizer from 1×10 and 1×3 boards. If you have a basement laundry room, you may need to cut an access through the shelves for your dryer exhaust.
Set Up Some Subtle Outdoor Storage
Tidy File Center
Brilliant Ball Storage
Balls that roll and bounce are great for play, but not so much for storage. Luckily there’s this garage ball storage rack, which can be mounted anywhere and will corral all those balls to prevent them from rolling all around your floor. Plywood, dowels, and elastic cord are the simple main components of this easy-to-make storage hack. Customize the size based on your own needs and store away!
Fishing Rod Organizer
Drill 1-in. holes spaced every 4 in. in the PVC pipe. Use a utility knife to cut slits in the foam noodle, spacing them 4 in. apart. Line up the pool noodle on the wall so that at least two of the slits sit over studs. Pull those slits apart, slide in a fender washer, and screw the noodle to the wall with 2-in. screws. Then screw the PVC pipe to the wall beneath it at a comfortable height and insert your fishing rods. Look Ma, no more tangles!
Want some more garage organization ideas? Check out 27 Easy Ways to Organize Your Garage
DIY Tiered Hangers
Closet Glove Rack
Cutting Board Storage
To store cutting boards, mount a rack on a cabinet door (Check out these other inside-cabinet door storage ideas, too). Use a sheet of 1/4-in.-thick acrylic plastic; plywood would also work. You can cut acrylic with a table saw or circular saw as long as you cut slowly. Knock off the sharp edges with sandpaper. Round the lower corners with a belt sander. For spacers, use No. 14-8 crimp sleeves (in the electrical aisle at home centers), or any type of tube or even blocks of wood would work.
Measuring Cup Hang-Up
Free up drawer space by hanging measuring cups inside a kitchen cabinet. Position and mount a wood strip so that the cups will hang between the shelves and allow the door to close completely. Mount a second strip for your measuring spoons, then screw in cup hooks on both strips. Learn how to build your own measuring cup storage rack.
Organize Paperwork with a Pot Lid Holder
Borrow from the kitchen! Use a kitchen pot lid stand to organize your desktop’s most current paperwork. A simple wooden dowel style like this can easily be painted to match your d?cor. No desk space? Check out these inspiring built-in storage solutions.
Under-Cabinet Knife Storage Racks
Laundry Room Wall Cabinet
Turn that wall space above the washer and dryer into a valuable dust-free storage space by adding a utility wall cabinet. Chances are, a dryer vent or some other obstruction exists right where the new cabinet goes. To solve this problem, simply cut away the back and insert a 4-in. galvanized duct as a liner to give the cabinet a 1-in. clearance from the dryer vent, preventing heat from building up inside the cabinet. With the liner in place, the vent is isolated behind the cabinet, keeping everything inside cool and clean. Here’s how to install cabinets like a pro.
BBQ Tool Organizer
If you’re tired of your grilling tools taking up valuable space on your grill’s side trays, here’s the perfect solution: Screw hooks to the underside of your deck railing. Now you can hang each tool on its own hook. It’s a great way to keep the tools out of the way, yet right where you need them.
Instant Kitchen Cabinet Organizer
A metal file organizer is perfect for storing baking sheets, cutting boards and pan lids. You can pick one up for a buck at a dollar store. To keep the organizer from sliding around, use rubber shelf liner or attach hook-and-loop tape to the cabinet base and the bottom of the organizer.
Hidden Toothbrush Organizer
If you keep your toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet stacked on a shelf, they probably fall out when you open the door. If you cut notches in the cabinet shelves, you’ll solve this annoying nuisance. Use a rotary tool along with a wood-cutting bit and a sanding drum.
Store and Organize
If clutter is your culprit, open up space and make the most of every inch of storage capacity. Donate unused food, plates and gadgets to the local thrift shop and invest in a few baskets, bins and drawer dividers. Gain some inspiration with quick and clever storage ideas that you might not have thought of. Consider expanding your storage capacity with pantry shelves, a baker’s rack or a portable kitchen island. After a few hours of ruthless decision-making about what goes where and why, your kitchen will look and function better. Clean the countertops and appliances, sweep and stand back to admire the perfection. Now host a dinner party and show off your white-glove wonder.
Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock
Organize, Organize, Organize
Organize by Usefulness
As a general rule, put items that you frequently use on the lowest shelves (dishes and bowls, olive oil, glasses, etc.), and items you rarely use on the highest shelves. It’s a bit of common-sense organizing that goes a long way when it comes to open shelves, and it will help you keep everything easily accessible and looking great. Just remember to group like with like: Have at least a few cups in a row rather than alternating dishes all over the place.