100 Organizing Hacks for Cheapskates
Why buy more stuff to organize your stuff?! With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can get your home in order on the cheap.
Use a Pallet to Store Lawn and Garden Equipment
If you have a yard or a garden, you know that there are a lot of long-handled tools involved. If you don’t have any pallets lying around, they are easy to get for free. This is a quick one-hour project and after you’re done, your tools will be organized and easy to reach.
You could easily attach this pallet to a fence, shed or to the exposed wall studs in your garage. No matter what you choose, you’ll want to make sure that your screws are long enough to go through both your pallet and the wall you are attaching it to. We drilled two screws into the pallet, one into each exposed wall stud. You won’t need a ton of screws or nails because the pallet isn’t all that heavy.
Looking for more ways to work smarter in your workshop? Here are 19 tips from a seasoned woodworker and do-it-yourselfer.
Organize Your Fridge with a Six-Pack
Free Shelf Liner
Write Notes on the Washer
Stop shrinking your sweaters! When you put a load of clothes into your washing machine, use a dry-erase marker to note on the lid which items should not go into the dryer. That way, whoever switches the load from the washing machine to the dryer will know which items to leave out for line drying.
The enamel finish on most washing machine lids is similar to a whiteboard, and dry-erase markers can be removed easily with a dry paper towel.
Wet sponges and dishcloths sitting by your sink look messy, so make the most of the little-used space at the front of your sink cabinet with these tip-out sink front trays from Rev-A-Shelf. This double pack has one conventional open tray to store sponges and cloths, and another accessory tray with ring holder and soap dish. Available in 11 inch or 14 inch sizes, and in white or almond finish.
Get a Cooking Caddy for Convenience
Lazy Fix for a Disorganized Fridge
Digging to the back of your fridge to find a certain ingredient is a pain. Instead, use a Lazy Susan to bring that food to you! Simply place a lazy Susan on a shelf in your fridge and stock it with condiments and other small containers. Nothing could be easier than spinning your ingredients around to find just what you need.
If you’re short on space or just want to add some extra storage, there are some clever kitchen storage solutions you may not have considered. Check out these 30 Ways to Revolutionize Your Kitchen Space.
Tension Rod Storage Hack
To keep your cleaning supplies upright, hang them from a short tension rod inside your cabinet. Another clever idea is to slide a paper towel roll through the tension rod for easy access. This tension rod organization hack is also a great place to hang dish-drying towels and rubber cleaning gloves.
Simple Rack for Long-Handled Tools
This compact rack is strong and simple to build. You can store shovels, rakes, a sledgehammer—any long-handled tools—conveniently up and out of the way.
Remember Your Keys!
You’ll always know where your keys are with this handy hint!
To make Lego keychains:
- Start by drilling a hole into the base of a Lego that is slightly smaller than the screw portion of an eyelet screw.
- Next, wind the eyelet screw into the lego. Thread a split ring through the hole and use it to attach keys.
- Mount the Lego board to a surface using your preferred method. In this case, we mounted our Lego plate to the wall in our mudroom.
- Attach the Lego board to the wall by first marking the desired location for the board and making sure that it is level.
- Drill pilot holes in the four corners of the Lego board and into the wall.
- To finish, drill screws with small enough heads to fit in between the Lego pegs into the board.
You’ll be so excited to put the Lego on the Lego board that you won’t lose your keys (hopefully) ever again!
Plus, check out these 14 super fun DIY projects to do with kids, rain or shine. And don’t worry; these projects won’t break the budget!
Use a Pool Noodle Inside a Drawer
Grab & Go Cord Rack
This one-hour project provides a simple way to hang up a variety of things such as extension cords, rope or air hoses, and it keeps them away from your workspace. Here’s how to make it.
Jars on Jars
Pullout Chopping Board
Photo: Courtesy of Dura Solutions
Make Tool Organizers with Gutters
When I needed to find a new tool storage idea for my garage that would also fit in my new truck bed toolboxes, I discovered this tip: I found a perfectly sized tool bag that I was not using in my garage, but it lacked compartments that my larger tool bag has. I like to keep my tools organized in a way that I can see all my tools at once and so I can reach in to get a tool without having to empty the entire bag to get to it.
I looked around my shed to see what I could use to divide the tool bag into sections, and I found a section of PVC gutter downspout that fit the bill perfectly. I carefully cut the downspout into 5-in. lengths using my miter saw. Then I arranged them vertically in a grid pattern inside the tool bag and glued them together. — Bert Jandy
File Folders Kitchen Organization Hack
This kitchen organization hack is so easy and satisfying!
Kitchen Window Plant Perch
PVC Razor Organizer
Make this simple razor organizer with a small piece of 1-in. PVC pipe.
- Cut the pipe into lengths that are just larger than your razors.
- Then glue them together with hot glue.
That’s it! You can make as many razor slots as your family needs. To be even more organized, color code or write names on each piece of pipe so your family members know which razor is theirs. You could also add a bead of hot glue along the bottom of the assembled piece to secure it to your cabinet or drawer.
Have an old rake you’re not using? Detach the handle, and use the steel tines as hooks for your grill tools. Many grill tools have holes for hanging, so go ahead and hang your rake head upside down and repurpose it! It will look very fitting in your outdoor BBQ space, creating a rustic outdoorsy feel. If giving up your rake has you rethinking your garden tools, check out this list of 12 must-have garden tools.
Cord and Hose Hooks
Hanging electrical cords and hoses on thin hooks or nails can cause kinks and damage the sheathing and wires. Use pieces of 3-in. ABS plastic plumbing pipe to make simple, inexpensive hangers. Screw 3-in. end caps to a 2×6 with two 1-5/8-in. screws. Fender washers under the screw heads keep them from pulling through the plastic. Then cement on 8-in. lengths of end-capped pipe. These “hooks” are very strong! Plus: Make your own hideaway for your garden hose with these plans.
DIY Coffee Pod Organizer
Eke out every cubic inch of storage in a basement shop with pivoting boxes that hang between the ceiling joists. When a drawer is down, you have easy access to its contents. Use glue and 1-5/8 in. drywall screws to hold together the boxes, then customize shelving for whatever you want to store. Make the width about 3/8 in. narrower than the cavity it fits in and use double-nutted 3/8 in. x 3-1/2 in. carriage bolts for the two pivot points.
Two plywood cleats pivot on 3-in. screws to hold each drawer in place in the “tucked” position. The drawers are perfect for anything you only need occasionally. But be careful to keep contents relatively light so you can safely open and close the drawers. It’s definitely not the place to store your anvils.
Hold the shelves closed with a cleat
Use a cleat to keep the shelves closed.
Use old prescription bottles to hold nuts and bolts, screws, nails, etc., on a shelf by your workbench. Remove the original label, so you can easily see the contents inside.
You can also make a simple customized shelf for your fastener storage bottles by using a 2-in. hole saw (or one that is just larger than the diameter of your bottles yet just smaller than the lids) to drill a few holes in a shelf. Then the bottles will fit through the holes, keeping the bottles and your fasteners easily visible and organized. — Mike Yavorski
Identify Your Keys at a Glance
“It seems the older I get, the more keys I carry around. Between the car, house, shed and garage, I have a whole pocket full of keys. To make it easier to quickly find my most used keys, I paint both sides of the key head with brightly colored nail polish. I use a different color for each key. The nail polish is extremely durable and you’ll be surprised how much longer it lasts than spray paint.” —Joseph Grayson
Check out these other 14 Secret Tool Tips for DIYers from the Pros.
Kitchen Cabinet Organizers: Dish Drawers
These drawers inserts come complete with movable pegs, allowing you to customize the arrangement to fit your dishes. By keeping your dishes at an easy-to-reach height, they are easier to get at and put away. Organize anything with pegboards! Check out these 11 ideas and tips.
Instant Kitchen Cabinet Organizer
C-Clamp Paper Towel Rack
Cardboard Box Bag Dispenser
Need a way to store all of those plastic bags you get from most stores? Here’s an idea: Straighten them out and stack them into an organized pile. Then place the pile in a small cardboard box. Cut a hole in the box so you can pull out one bag at a time as you need it. This works great at our garage sales when we need to bag items for our customers! — John Mylander
This plastic bag dispenser would also be handy in the basement or wherever you keep your cat’s litter box or near your dog’s leash. Then you’ll have a stash of bags ready when it’s time to clean up after your pet.
We love that everyone is making sure to stay hydrated, but all of the reusable water and sports drink bottles take up a lot of space! This durable BPA-free rack keeps bottles all in one place and ready for the next workout.
Easy Drawer Organizer
My kitchen drawers used to be an absolute wreck; pans and dishes crammed in however they’d fit. And nearly every time I needed something, it was always at the bottom of the drawer. My solution was to cut a piece of 1/8-in. pegboard to the size of the drawer bottom and attach dowels using screws from underneath. Now my pans are organized and easy to access. The 10 minutes it took to build was easily made up for with how much frustration it has saved me.
Garden/Garage Tool Caddy
I had some leftover wood and plastic lattice from a fence I was building. Rather than toss the scraps, I decided to use them to build a caddy to organize my garden shovels, hoes and brooms. I installed casters, so it scoots easily into a corner of my garage. Works great! — Philip J. Gruber
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 DIY garage organization ideas? Check out 27 Easy Ways to Organize Your Garage
Moving is always a pain, but using plastic containers that don’t stay closed adds even more frustration. Zip-ties to the rescue! After putting on a container lid, drill a small hole through the lid and handles. Run a zip-tie through the holes and you’re on the road. Check out these other clever household storage hacks.
Garage ceiling track storage
For more ways to use your garage ceiling for DIY garage storage, check out these 14 products for garage workshop ideas.
Here’s a slick use for that old wooden tennis racquet that’s gathering dust in the garage. Drill a hole in the handle and screw it to the underside of a workbench. Position the racquet so it can swing in and out from under the table. Use it to hold tools, parts or other small items. Do you enjoy finding unusual uses for everyday things? Here’s a collection of DIY home hacks you’ll love.
Storing in Suitcases? Roll Away
Photo: Svetlana Cherruty/Shutterstock
Rolling Bike Storage
My rolling bike rack offers easy access and efficient storage for my family’s many bikes. To build the rack, I made a 2×4 lower frame with 2×4 uprights on each end. Large triangular plywood braces support the uprights. Plywood panels span the uprights, adding strength and rigidity. Staggering their heights and alternating their orientation, I can hang seven bikes on this 6-ft.-wide rack. Casters make it easy to roll away for storage. For security, I run a long steel cable through the bike frames and connect the looped ends with a hefty lock. I hang all our biking essentials—helmets, shoes, pumps, spare wheels and tires—on the back of the rack. – Eric Schleppenbach
While cleaning the garage, I found lots of toys, scooters and sports equipment that took up too much shelf space and needed a different solution. I picked up a grill cover at a reuse center and repurposed it as a catchall bag for all this odd-shaped stuff. I attached the cover to my shelving unit with screws and washers. – Dean Tener
Slide-Out Parts Bins
I made use of the narrow space between a shelving unit and a workbench by building this handy slide-out rack. I mounted 12-in. full-extension ball-bearing drawer slides ($6 per pair) to a plywood panel—one at the top and one at the bottom—with their mating parts attached to the side of the shelving unit. Then I hung the parts bins on the plywood panel. The drawer slides have a 100-lb. load capacity. – Scott Beverly
Organizing a garage isn’t a one-size-fits-all project, so we’ve compiled some of our best garage storage ideas. Check out these 51 Brilliant Ways to Organize Your Garage.
Door-Track Bike Rack
I attached a box rail to a well braced shelf. Each machine-threaded bike hook hangs from a box rail hanger, using a nut and thread locker. (The box rail and box rail hangers are from Home Depot; the bike hooks from parktool.com.) Bikes slide both ways for easy access, and the hooks rotate, allowing bikes to hug the wall. The rail and hangers hold 450 lbs. – Roy Velardi
Mega Mobile Storage Rack
I found this metal shelving unit with wheels at a garage sale and turned it into a mobile storage unit for my garden tools. I covered three shelves with plywood to keep items from falling through the wire shelves. I framed the top two shelves with 2x4s, creating a lip on the shelves and providing a sturdy place to fasten storage hooks. Concrete mixing tubs on the lower shelves are perfect for storing smaller items. – Stan Hall
It will only take you one morning to achieve garage happiness. Here’s how with these garage organization ideas.
All-in-One Ball Storage
I built this sports storage rack to hold a lot of equipment. We toss large balls into a round hole at the top, and bungee cords span the front to keep them from falling out. Two baskets on the bottom half of the rack hold baseballs, hockey pucks and more. And the storage hooks on the side of the rack hold our baseball bats and hockey sticks. – Tim Hausman
Rotating Small-Parts Organizer
Here’s my take on an old tip for organizing fasteners and hardware. Instead of mounting jar lids to a 2×4, I decided to attach them to a six-sided rotating beam. I drew a hexagon on the end of a 4×4 to use as a guide for setting the fence. Then I set my table saw’s blade to 60 degrees and made the rip cuts to form the sides. To allow the beam to rotate freely, I drilled dowel holes in the ends of the beam and ran dowels through the posts into the beam ends. – Kenneth Snow
See how we doubled the storage capacity of this garage wall with plywood and inexpensive hardware.
Decorative Backsplash Rack
Keep Your Car Clean and Organized!
Keeping your car clean can be difficult. There are dirt roads, messy trees, pet hair, food crumbs and wrappers. And there’s likely trash on the car’s floor, under the seats and in the seat cracks. Toss out any wrappers, bottles and other objects in sturdy car trash can! Line a plastic cereal container with a grocery bag and use it as an in-car trash can. To keep the container upright, apply a strip of self-adhesive hook and loop fastener to the bottom of the container, so it’ll stick to your car’s carpet.
Get your vehicle looking like new with these 36 simple interior and exterior car detailing tips that you can do yourself.
Make this simple-yet-useful computer shelf for your desk with a few pieces of scrap wood and a nail gun. We built the one shown with a 1 ft. x 2 ft. piece of plywood and two pieces of a 1×3 board cut to 12 in. lengths. Then we used a brad nailer to attach the plywood to the boards.
You could paint or stain the assembled piece to match your room décor or leave it as is for a purposefully unfinished look. The shelf will raise your computer screen to an ergonomic height, making it easier to see and more comfortable to work at your desk!
Concealed Message Center
Military Surplus Boxes
Steel or plastic boxes from a military surplus store are a great option for hardware storage. These boxes won’t rust and usually have a watertight seal. Try these 11 easy space-saving ideas for your garage.
Using a 6-ft. cardboard cement form cut in half, I created two wrapping paper storage containers. I cut the cylinder in half and cut pieces of heavy cardboard for the base of each, attaching them with duct tape. Then I spray painted them to look presentable. — Peter Turner
Plus, the storage possibilities for concrete forms are vast. Think outside the home as well. They can be used to corral wood scraps in the workshop, long-handle yard tools in the shed and more.
Store Bits Where They Belong
In my shop, I use many different sizes and types of screws, and each different screw head requires a different bit. So in order to not waste time searching for the correct bit before each project, I came up with this solution:
Using a bead of hot glue, I simply attach a magnet to the underside of the lid on each fastener container for holding the bit that belongs with the screws inside. That way I always have the right bit at the right time, without the frustrating search. — Jerry Weldon
Recycling bin rack
Save those old peanut butter and baby food jars to use for hardware storage. You can attach the lids under a shelf with two screws. This will keep the lids in place and allow you to screw on the jar once it’s loaded with hardware pieces. Build a top-of-the-line DIY hardware organizer in just one day.
Kitchen Storage: Better in a Basket
Bread Tabs for Labeling Cords
Not sure which cord goes with which electronic device plugged into your power strip? Save yourself the hassle of following the cord from the plugin to the device for each item you need to move by labeling them.
Plastic bread tabs are perfect for labeling cords that are plugged into a power strip because they’re sturdy, have enough room to write on and can easily clip around the plugin end of a cord. Plus, they often come in different colors. You can also use bread tabs to label identical toothbrushes in the bathroom, silverware at a party and even wine glasses at happy hour. So save those tabs when you buy a loaf of bread!
4-Pack of Shoe Organizers
These shoe organizers are a simple way to keep your shoes organized. We love that they’re made of eco-friendly ABS plastic and the unique design, with the shoes secured within 3M Command sticky strips. You can put the four-piece set ($13.99) on the closet or bathroom door or near the entryway to store your shoes, slippers, high heels, sneakers and sandals. These seriously clever shoe hacks will have you jumping for joy!
Hair Tie Carabiner
I always have trouble keeping my hair ties together. Somehow they are always missing when I want them but are all over the place when I don’t. The solution to this mess was to attach them to a carabiner. It keeps them all in one place, provided I remember to use it! — Rachel Douglas
Kitchen Organization: Racks for Canned Goods
Make a Shoe Rack with Modern Style
DIY a trendy, modern ladder shelf for your entryway with just $35 worth of supplies and only two tools! You can use the shelf for other things, but it makes a great shoe rack You can follow our guide that shows measurements that can be customized to fit your space. Check out the complete instructions for making this shoe rack.
Clothing Storage Solutions: DIY Tiered Hangers
Install Expandable Shelves in Cabinets
Another concealed storage spot that’s often overlooked is the area beneath the base cabinets. It’s surprisingly easy to install shallow toe-kick drawers that are ideal for storing items like bakeware, pet bowls, or cleaning supplies. It’s best to build the drawers in your workshop and then install them under the cabinets. Most kinds of cabinets are suitable for adding toe-kick drawers, so follow our detailed instructions to see exactly ow it’s done.
Wine Box Shoe Storage
Why pay for a fancy compartment-style shoe storage container when you can just pick one up for free at almost any store that sells wine? Designed to protect fragile glass bottles, a wine box is perfect for storing footwear because it comes equipped with cardboard dividers—a place for each shoe! In addition, the exterior cardboard is very sturdy, again to keep wine bottles from breaking, but also great for protecting your kicks in storage!
You could get fancy, too, and paint or cover the exterior of the wine box with decorative wrapping paper if you plan to keep it in your closet or entryway.
Organize Small Cords
In today’s high-tech homes, keeping track of small cords can be challenging. Almost every electronic device has a cord that goes with it: cameras, smartphones, computers and the list goes on. Rather than tossing them in various drawers throughout your house, where they can get tangled or forgotten, try this simple and inexpensive solution.
Find a small box (a shoe box works perfectly) and fill it with as many empty toilet paper rolls that will fit vertically. Then place a single cord in each toilet paper roll. Next time you need one of your small cords, you’ll know where to find it, and it’ll be free of tangles!
Move Clothes Masterfully
When it comes time to move, this tip is especially useful for packing—and unpacking—your closet!
There’s no need to take your clothes off of hangers, fold them and stack them in boxes. Just grab a handful of your hanging clothes and wrap the tops of the hangers together using bendable electrical wire or a zip tie. Drape a garbage bag over the clothes, pulling the tops of the hangers through a hole in the bottom of the bag. Then cinch up the garbage bag handles and tie them together.
Custom Truck Bed Drawers
Stackable Nesting Kitchen Caboodle
It’s way too easy to toss mismatched bowls and other kitchen gear in a drawer and forget about them until the next time you need something. Avoid wasting time digging around for what you want while saving space with this stackable option. This is an affordable, space-saving, 10-piece mixing bowl, colander and measuring set that’s bound to make your life just a little easier.
Photo: Courtesy of Mexcallen
The unused space between overhead joists in a basement or garage is a brilliant place to install a heavy-duty wire shelf. The wire shelving is see-through, so you can easily tell what’s up there. Store outdoor sports equipment, tackle boxes, coolers and other less-frequently used items out of the way yet still easily accessible. Depending on the width, wire shelves cost from $1 to $3 per foot at home centers.
If you have kids, you have balls—basketballs, soccer balls, rubber balls and other round objects that roll around underfoot. Here’s a perfect way to use that narrow gap between a pair of garage doors (if you’re blessed with such an awkward spot). Just install angled “ball ramps” made from scrap wood. The balls fit neatly in the gap, and because the ball ramp is right there at the edge of the garage, kids are more likely to use it.
Light-Duty Extension Cord Storage
Belt and Other Hang-Ups
Behind the Door Storage: Ironing Board Storage
Keep your imagination moving and check out these garage storage ideas.
Behind the Door Storage: Closet Glove Rack
Keep Ladders Out of the Way
Hang ladders from the ceiling so they don’t hog prime storage space. The rollers on this simple carriage let you easily slide in one end of the ladder, then the other. The materials you’ll need are all inexpensive. Fasten the corner braces to ceiling joists with 2-in. lag screws. Secure the ladder with an elastic cord so it can’t roll out and fall.
Hot Glue Gun Uses: Magnets in the Medicine Cabinet
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.
Easy-to-Make Wine Rack Cabinet
Mount Electric Toothbrushes on Your Cabinet
Most toothbrush holders aren’t big enough for electric toothbrushes. They end up falling out of the holder or taking up too much room on the vanity. Here’s a clever storage idea: Make a holder for them using large grip-type clips. Mount the clips on your medicine cabinet or on a piece of wood that you can hang on the wall. The clips work great to keep your toothbrushes secure! If you recently upgraded to an electric toothbrush, check out these brilliant ways to repurpose your old standard version.
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. If you want to disguise other trash cans in or around your house, check out these 9 options.
Air Tool Station
From Office to Kitchen
You see an empty file holder, we see an opportunity for some clever kitchen storage. If you have an orphan file holder lying around, try converting it to the upright storage space where you arrange your aluminum foil, your parchment paper, your plastic bags, and more.
Screws, Doodads and Other Hardware Storage
If you have lots of small hardware on hand, constantly opening drawers or containers to find what you need is a pain. Here’s one solution: Store hardware in small, sturdy zippered craft bags (thicker than sandwich bags and available at hobby stores). Punch a hole in the bag and hang it on pegboard. The clear bags make finding what you need a snap and keep dust, rust and moisture at bay. If you need to find a matching piece of hardware, just hold it up for a side-by-side comparison.
Refrigerator/Freezer Stackable Storage Bins
These clear plastic bins are great for keeping your pantry, refrigerator or freezer tidy while ensuring everything remains in sight. This will keep you from buying things when you don’t need them! The bins are BPA-free and feature built-in handles.
Photo: Courtesy of Greenco
Concrete Form Wrapping Paper Storage
Saw Blade Roost
Using a handsaw, cut notches spaced at 3/8-in. intervals halfway through a 5/8-in. dowel. Glue the dowel in a hole drilled in a 16 x 12-in. piece of 3/4-in. plywood. Frame the sides and lower edge of the plywood with 2-in. strips of plywood and add a lower facing piece to create a basin at the bottom.
When a blade needs cleaning, remove the other blades and line the rack with tinfoil. Then mount the gunked-up blade on the dowel, spray one side with oven cleaner, and flip it over and spray the other side. Any drips go in the basin, and the sides minimize overspray. Let the cleaner work for an hour or so, then use a moistened kitchen scrub pad to scour the dissolved gunk and burned sawdust off the blade. Then throw away the foil and store your blades. Check out this genius blade storage idea from one of our readers.
Get Produce Off the Counter
Sometimes all that’s needed to spruce up a space is organization. This creative way to store fruits and vegetables is inexpensive and attractive. It’s also a bonus that this project will free up valuable counter space.
Garage Door Extension Cord Storage
Hang a Magnetic Strip
You know those magnetic strips that hold your kitchen knives or garden tools? They can also be used to hold the metal accessories in your bathroom, like bobby pins, tweezers and nail clippers. Here are more hacks that prove magnetic strips can be extremely useful for organization and storage.
Photo: Courtesy of Milady Pro
Put your trash bags on a roll
Behind the Door Storage: Charger and Cord Pockets
Tidy File Center
Storage Pockets for Skinny Things
Emergency Cash Stash
You never know when you’ll need a bit of emergency cash (or maybe just some fun spending money). Inside an empty tin can is the perfect saving spot. Stash it in the back of your pantry for a rainy day. We’ve got more where this came from! Check out these other secret hiding places in your home.
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