Finding Storage Space

by Nikki Willhite


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Finding adequate storage in my home has been one of my challenges. The little bit of storage space that we have in our home is in our utility room. It is a fairly large room for that purpose, right near the entry of our home. It would have been perfect, except for the fact that my husband works at home and needs it for his office.

We turned the washer and dryer around to the garage side of the wall, and he took over the room, which left us with little storage space. As time has gone by, I have, however, found more and more places for storage in our home.

One of my biggest challenges was a very deep and tall cupboard beside my refrigerator. The cupboard was so deep and so tall that you simply could not reach anything in the back of the top shelf without fetching a ladder.

Although the space could not be reached, the location in our home was "prime." I finally came up with a solution that takes advantage of all the space and makes every item easily accessible.

I'm sure you have all seen the variety of clear plastic bins, shelves and drawers in stores like Wal-Mart. I took the dimensions of my space, went shopping, and found a couple of clear plastic drawer units that fit into the space above the top shelf as snuggly as possible.

I came home and just slipped the drawer units into the shelf. It was so easy. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. I filled the drawers with food and other items I wanted to store, making sure the top drawer had the lighter items.

Now when I need an item, I just reach up and pull the whole drawer out. It is easy to reach the front of the drawer to pull it out. This way I am able to easily store and reach items in the back of that big space. It made a huge difference in our kitchen storage.

Here are some other solutions for storing items in your home.

  • Look up! There is a lot of space that can be utilized for items in high places. In your kitchen, you can often take advantage of the area above your cupboards by removing decorative paneling. Just make sure the area is clear and without vents. Store items you only use occasionally. Be sure and use a sturdy stepladder to reach them.

  • You can add shelves around the top of rooms. This is great for the kids' rooms. They can display dolls and toys that they want to keep, but no longer want to play with.

  • Look under! There are many low areas in our home that can be used for storage, such as under the bed. Many people feel uncomfortable with low storage because they think the lower you go, the less sanitary the storage. If you feel that way, you can always buy storage containers made specifically to fit under the bed that seal up tightly.

  • Think behind! Please be careful with this tip. In the last house we lived in, we had a floor to ceiling cabinet in a section of wall between the studs in the wall. Your interior walls are usually framed with 2x4 pieces of lumber. If you remove the wallboard (be sure it isn't plaster), you have all the space until you hit the back of the wallboard of the room on the other side. You can leave this space open, or put doors on it. It is a great space for storing small items, like spices, cocoa, small jars and even canned goods. Before you attempt this project, make sure that the space behind the wallboard is free of wires or vents.

  • Double the use of storage space! Store seasonal blankets in decorative pillow casings. Fill up trunks and suitcases and use as tables. Use fabric skirts around tables and sinks, and put storage underneath. Decorate cardboard boxes for display and storage.

  • Use your garage and attic. Keep your items in boxes and number them. Generate a list on your computer of what you have stored in each box.

  • Finally, take a good look in your closets. Most closets have a lot of wasted space. Think about buying or making a closet system to take advantage of every square inch of your closet.

You have more storage space in your home than you know. Take a closer look and you will find it!


Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at www.frugalhappyfamilies.com - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! Article first published at www.allthingsfrugal.com

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