Useful ideas for saving space and getting organized

Remember that in times past, people got by quite nicely with much less space. Granted, they had fewer belongings, but even today, it's possible to organize your storage space to make better use of the available room.

Useful ideas for saving space and getting organized

Closets, wardrobes, dressers and shelves have long been used for storing our treasured belongings — but those storage spaces can easily become dusty and untidy. Organize your belongings in neat and decorative ways with functional furniture and organizing systems that can help you create order from chaos.

  • Use decorative boxes to store off-season clothing or footwear, as well as seasonal decorations. Store them inconspicuously on the top shelf of the closet, under the bed or in the basement. By adding peepholes covered with plastic wrap or a photo of the contents, you can readily find what you need.
  • Wheeled carts allow you to store diverse items in an organized manner. A classic is the tool cart that can be rolled out of its niche as needed.
  • Magazine racks are practical, too; just don't forget to empty them regularly.
  • Put up a peg board with hooks to keep workshop tools nicely organized. Traced and painted outlines of the tools make organizing easy.
  • Hooks are great for kitchen utensils; magnetic strips work well for knives.
  • Sturdy plastic boxes are good for storing smaller household tools.
  • Paper is a perpetual problem for most families — from bills to school notices and notes, it tends to clutter our counters. Solve the problem by keeping an expandable file folder in the kitchen, with a folder for significant categories. Then tuck it away out of sight when not in use.
  • Store all your instruction manuals in one binder in the kitchen or pantry, and you'll always know where to look when you need them.
  • Store toys in see-through stackable containers that are clearly labelled (e.g., dolls, trucks, building blocks). That way, kids can easily put them away themselves and toys don't get buried at the bottom of a large toy box.
  • Store kids' bath toys in a mesh bag and hang it from the faucet or showerhead until it is fully drained.
  • Pack articles of clothing in white tissue paper to protect them. A layer of blue tissue prevents white clothes from yellowing, and a lavender sachet or cedar chips between clothing help guard against moths. Vacuum-sealed bags with a vent make practical space-saving storage devices for bulky clothes and blankets; just put the items in the bag and suck out the air with a vacuum cleaner. Finally, store hats in hat boxes, and stuff leather handbags with tissue paper so they keep their shape.

Spiff up a shoebox

If you need some boxes for storing small household items, you don't need to spend a bundle; shoeboxes can be smartened up nicely to do the trick, using nothing more than some inexpensive art supplies.

  1. Select a suitably-sized shoebox for the items to be stowed.
  2. Select a wrapping paper or wallpaper that matches the decor and cut it to size.
  3. Spread wallpaper paste on the box and glue on the decorative paper. When it's dry, stow your items.
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