Feel like you're running out of space for all your stuff? Here are 10 simple ideas for using your space more effectively.
INSUFFICIENT OR INEFFECTIVE. Do you have insufficient storage space or ineffective storage space? There's a big different. Insufficient storage space means you don't have enough space for your things. Ineffective space means you have enough space for your things, but you're not making the best use of that space. Most closets and cabinets have the volume to hold twice as much as they are usually constructed for. And you probably have quite a few nooks and crannies for storage that you haven't even thought of. Of course, it's important to make sure you don't have things you don't like, are outdated, etc., but it is also important to have effective storage space for the things you do like and enjoy.
ADD-A-ROD. Looking for extra storage space in your closet. If you have the type of closet with two+ walls for hanging clothes, on one wall hang a rod at head height for long clothing (dresses, pants, etc.). On the other wall, hang two rods--one above the other--for shorter clothing (shirts, skirts, blazers, etc.) In other words, you're not restricted to only one clothing rod.
INSTALL SHELVES. Most shelves can be moved up-a-notch or down-a-notch. If you have three inches of space above your linens, you may consider adjusting the shelf so the shelf below it has more space. Or, perhaps you can add another shelf in between. Plastic, multiple level shelves are wonderful for kitchen cabinets. And corner shelves are great for picture frames, knick knacks and other small treasures.
USE STORAGE UNITS. Storage units, which can be picked up from housewares or hardware stores, are great space savers. Your spices can be removed from drawers and placed on a spice rack. There are racks for canned goods that, when a can is taken from it, the next can in line rolls forward. Some of these hold over 40 cans! Ice cube trays are inexpensive storage containers for smaller items such as earrings. There are coffee tables on the market with storage space hidden inside. Under bed containers are perfect for storing quilts and linens. Be creative and make use of these great tools!
DON'T FORGET ABOUT WALL SPACE. Look around and you're sure to find quite a bit of empty wall space. There are many uses for this new-found space. Pots and pans can be taken out of cabinets and hung on walls. Tools can be placed on pegboards. Shelves can be installed for picture frames and knick knacks. Many stores now carry corner shelves that can be installed in a snap.
PUT FREQUENTLY USED ITEMS WITHIN ARMS REACH. Whenever possible, store regularly used items where you use them most. Recently, my husband created a toilet paper holder on the back of our bathroom cabinet door, with a small dowel, 2 nails and 2 loops of rope. It holds three rolls of toilet paper, and it's right near the area it's needed most. You shouldn't have to walk from one room to another to retrieve items you use every day. Store linens in the bedroom. Store videos near the television. If you use the scissors in the office area and in the sewing room, have two pairs of scissors, one in each room.
ADD-A-DRAWER OR SLIDING SHELF. Many hardware and housewares stores carry drawers that can be installed underneath a cabinet. These are great if you have a home with limited drawer space. In addition, you can also install shelves under cabinets that slide out when you need them, and slide back in when you're finished with them.
KEEP YOUR DESK CLEAR. A clear desk is directly related to your productivity. You will get more done, if you're not constantly under a pile of papers and files. A sturdy, full-suspension filing cabinet is a must for any home or office. Portable file boxes that hold hanging file folders also come in handy. There are plenty of storage choices for CD-roms and diskettes. Desk supplies belong in an on-the-desk caddy or in trays inside your desk.
REARRANGE. Everyone is different, and has different needs. Make your home or office work for you. One woman I know told me she never uses her dining room, not even when she has company over. And she had no intention of ever using it since her kitchen was big and elegant enough. She also said she hated her dark basement office. So, I suggested she rearrange a bit, and turn her dining room into her office. And that is exactly what she did. So think about your surroundings and make them work for you, even if they seem a little out of the ordinary.
ROTATE. You may have many items you love in your home or office, but not enough space. Rotate them. In other words, keep some things in storage for a month or two and display some of your things. Then, once that time is up, make the switch. The items on display go into storage; the items in storage go on display. What a neat idea!
by Maria Gracia
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