Simple Home Storage Solutions
Every home has items that are essential for the functioning of the household, but not necessarily used every day. These items can quickly become clutter and a nuisance if left out all the time. A few simple home storage solutions can make the difference. Here are a few ideas of ways to store items that put to use some easy to find objects in a whole new way! Take a look around your home and see what you can find to use that will make your life simpler.
Suitcases And Trunks
Everyone has a suitcase or two tucked into the closet or shoved under the bed just taking up space. Turn those space hogs into space makers! Take those extra purses that are essential to accent all those perfect outfits....put them into a suitcase and "poof!" they are magically out from under your feet! Small suitcases can store hats, gloves and scarves until winter when you can then store your swimsuits and flip flops in them. Large suitcases can store jeans during the summer and over the winter, they will hold your shorts and t-shirts.
Do you have children? Tuck their play dress-up clothes into a suitcase and they are finally contained! Your child can get into them easily and, just as easily, they are stored out of the way! Give them a small suitcase to keep their shoes in and they will actually put away their shoes themselves. It makes being organized fun and kids LOVE fun!
Have a child in college or maybe you are the college student? Suitcases are an essential for traveling back and forth to home, but what to do with them in between visits? Use one to store blankets and spare linens. Store coats, sweats, and hoodies during the warmer months and again those swim suits and sundresses in the winter. Stack up the suitcases and top with a glass top and they make a great coffee table! It is a dual solution to an all-time problem. And then there are always trunks.
A trunk is a great way to store collectibles for kids such as that Hot Wheels collection. It contains the collection while protecting it from harm. It can serve as a nightstand or bench seat in a bedroom or a coffee table in a first apartment. It can store photo albums, coats, or that high school memorabilia. Larger trunks such as steamers become great decorative pieces as well as containers for storing those items you treasure such as a wedding gown and boquet or baby's special outfits.
They can be found at yard sales, auctions or at area department stores. They come in various sizes and colors. The important thing is that you are able to put them to work helping you stay organized and clutter-free.
Storage bags come in many sizes and shapes. They are as simple as gallon size zipper lock bags or as complex as space saving bags that hold multiple items while still on the hangers, such as coats. The gallon size bags are great for storing items that you want to keep together, clean and easily accessible. The larger 3 and 4 gallon bags are great for storing out of season shoes within suitcases. They also will hold a set of sheets and pillowcases or make great storage for blankets and beach towels when out of season.
There are also larger storage bags which will hold a large block of clothing or blankets which can then be attached to a simple vacuum cleaner, extra air removed and made into a cube the size of a storage tub. These are great items for moving as well! More packed into less space is always good!! When shrunken down they become heavy for the size, but it is amazing how much can be stuffed into a such a small space! They come in a multiple of sizes. The medium size will store several sweaters or sweatshirts into a space the size of one. The large is great for a coat or comforter and will bring it down to the size of a regualr shirt. They are a great way to condense space for everyone! They can be found at department stores varying in price and can also be purchased online.
Baskets, Boxes And Tins
Baskets and boxes are great ways to control clutter while adding decorative accents. Baskets come in all sizes, shapes and colors as do boxes and tins. A small basket near the sofa can easily contain those wandering remotes in a decorative and useful manner. A metal wire basket can keep a teenage boys desk clutter free and organized. Wicker baskets with ribbons and bows might help keep a teenage girls nail polish and manicure set all together and accessible at the same time. A tin with a decorative motif can control those extra push pins and be ever handy on the desk. Tins come in the shape of baskets and with lids as containers. A theme tin might be an easy accent piece while holding simple items. A hat box can keep a favorite hat protected while becoming a great decorative piece. Set it under a small lamp and the lamp becomes part of an artful arrangement. Integrating these decorative pieces into the landscape of the room makes their utilitarian uses double in value. This can be done in any room, bedroom, office, kitchen, living room or even a child's room. There is always a use for them whether it is holding mail, pocket change, or hair bows. Give them a try! You will be glad you did and you will feel so proud of being in control of the clutter in your life!
Plastic Tubs and Totes
Plastic tubs are a great solution for storing larger items. Being placed into the plastic tubs, they can then be put in the garage or storage shed without the risk of items being damaged by weather, bugs or animals. Marking the tubs on the outside with permanent marker helps you recognize what is inside and makes retrieving them easier. Marking the number of tubs on the lids can also be useful such as for Christmas decorations marking the tubs, 1 of 4, 2 of 4, etc. helps you to make sure you have all the tubs pulled when you begin. They are easily stacked and come in a variety of sizes and colors. Using a different color of tub per child helps each one to keep track of their items. One note of caution, if you are storing items such as candles, be careful to place the tubs in a temperate storage unit. The plastic will not protect items from heat or cold.
Totes can be useful to contain paper files and business records. They come in sizes ranging from check sized to file cabinet size. They also stack and the contents are often readily visible in their clear exterior. It is possible to find them in solid colors which can protect the confidentiality of the contents as well.
There's Always Room For More
There's always room for more....storage ideas that is!! Take a look at what you have. Begin there. Use the things you already have on hand to control and contain the clutter. Then look at what you might be able to add that will become an accent piece to the room. It is possible to find these items at yard sales and auctions, but you may need to look elsewhere. There are antique stores, resale shops and the ever useful department stores just around the corner. Look for possibilities with items that are unusual as well as those specifically designed for that purpose. You will create conversation pieces while really just using simple home storage solutions.
Photo and Text Copyright 2011 Deborah M. Carey
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