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Easy Storage Ideas

It's easy to create more space with these 10 instant storage ideas

easy storage ideasFamily Handyman
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.

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1: Kitchen window plant perch

Store herbs within reach

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.

Elisa Bernick
Associate Editor

2: Under-sink storage bins

Keep frequently used stuff accessible

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
Field Editor

3: Above the door shelves

Look up for easy storage ideas

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.

Elisa Bernick
Associate Editor

Overhead bookcase

You’ll be surprised how many books, knickknacks and other items you can find room for in these valuable unused spaces.

4: Instant laundry room cubbies

Mount plastic crates on the wall

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 falling over.

Angie Copeland
Field Editor

5: Cabinet-end fruit basket

Keep fruit off the counter

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.

Elisa Bernick
Associate Editor

6: Toilet paper shelf

Find space in overlooked places

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 bathroom.

Ron Vanover
Field Editor

7: Clothes hanger holder

Avoid wrinkles

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.

Jeff Gorton
Associate Editor

8: Pullout towel rack

Get better access to hidden space

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.

Travis Larson
Senior Editor

9: Charger and cord pockets

Until they make a universal charger…

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.

Peggy Kolar
Field Editor

10: Add a spice shelf

Store small stuff up high

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 1×4 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.

Gary Wentz
Senior Editor

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Cordless drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Level
  • Miter saw
  • Safety glasses

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • 1x4 pine
  • 1x8 pine
  • Plastic crates
  • Plastic storage tub
  • Pullout towel rack
  • Shadow box picture frame
  • Towel bar
  • Vinyl shoe organizer
  • Wire baskets
  • Wire shelving