Smart small storage strategies

Your bins, boxes and shelves are full yet you still need to store more stuff? Here are some tricks to increasing your small storage capacities.

Smart small storage strategies

No cheese, please

The next time you order pizza to go at the pizza parlour, ask if you could have an extra box. Pizza boxes make excellent containers for everything from road maps to souvenir newspapers to children's artwork.

CD storage

Your CD rack is filled, and you've taken to stacking new CDs beside it on the floor. Time to put that empty shoe box to good use! Sort your CDs and put the ones you rarely listen to in the box; label each box according to genre of music and return it to its former place (probably on a closet shelf).

Make a keepsake box

Turn shoe or hat boxes into a keepsake box for each member of the family. Covering the boxes in different-coloured paper will distinguish them from one another and make them more durable as well. You could also let your child use tempera paint to paint his or her box. The boxes will ensure that all medals, ribbons, special greeting cards and any other paraphernalia worth keeping doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

The home organizer

Wine and liquor boxes have 12 compartments, each about half a metre (one foot) tall and just begging to hold rolled-up posters, holiday decorations sorted by type, and whatever other flotsam and jetsam you want to keep in order. The boxes are always easy to come by, since wine and liquor store personnel are more than happy for you take a few off their hands.

Storing newspaper clippings

The acidic nature of newsprint means that newspaper clippings will not only yellow but will also eventually disintegrate. To save articles reporting your golf trophy, your grandson's acceptance to Harvard, or your wife's distinguished service award, purchase acetate-free plastic sleeves that can fit a standard three ring binder.

Store gift-wrap

Save long, cardboard mailing tubes and use them to store leftover wrapping paper. The tubes will make use of the space in the corner of a storage closet. You could also attach a plastic bag filled with gift cards and spools of ribbon to a tube with a metal binder clamp or a clothespin. Tape the tubes together with masking tape, and group by occasion or holiday.

It's the little things that add up. These smart tips for storing common items will get your space clean and organized in no time.

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