Need Space? Think “Up,” Not “Out”

It’s ironic. Many of us in an effort to create more storage space end up using up more valuable in-home real estate. While chests of drawers and shelves, for example, do offer extra places to stash our stuff, they can clutter up a room, too. So, other than give up our stuff, what’s a person to do? Think “up,” not “out.”

Hanging fruit baskets needn’t be reserved for only the kitchen. They can be great for bathrooms, helping to get toiletries and hairbrushes up off the counter. They also function well in garages (to hold shop towels and lightweight tools or gardening supplies) or in children’s rooms (to hold and organize stuffed animals).

Fruit basket

Magnetic hooks can be placed on the fridge in the kitchen to hold anything from kitchen towels and trivets to recipe cards and important paperwork.

3M Command strips and hooks are ideal for creating immediate, yet easily removable vertical storage nearly anywhere. Place them on doors for additional coat storage. Use them on closet walls to hang totes and purses from. Stick them to children’s walls to store backpacks and pajamas. (Word to the wall-wise, though, do NOT use Command strips on wallpaper.)

Metal stripping or a magnetic strip can be placed on a kitchen wall (out of the reach of children) to easily and vertically store kitchen knives. (No more throwing them in a drawer!) Other metal kitchen utensils can also be stored this way such as flat spatulas and some serving ware.

Small hooks can be installed underneath kitchen cabinets from which to hang mugs or along a kitchen wall from which to hang a variety of kitchen utensils.

Stackable plastic drawers can easily be placed in areas that are currently underutilized. Maximize usable storage space by placing them underneath the bed, underneath bathroom or kitchen sinks or along the bottom of bedroom closets.

Over-the-door hangers instantly create extra space for storing anything from robes to sweaters to bags and back-of-the-door organizers can create a great place for kids to organize their small toys (such as toy cars or doll accessories) or to organize extra toiletries in the bathroom.

Wall mounted shelves provide the best of both worlds: extra shelf space without the footprint. Relatively inexpensive and easily installed, these shelves can be mounted anywhere the need may be. Though, do take the extra time to ensure they’re mounted into a stud for extra stability. (A broken shelf, destroyed belongings and damaged drywall is anything but helpful and convenient. Avoid the headache. Find a stud and use it!)

Over-the-toilet cabinets can be a bit more expensive (usually starting at around $50), but they can provide invaluable storage space in what’s usually already tight quarters. And let’s face it, the wall space above any toilet is usually “dead” space anyway. Why not invest a small chunk of cash into making it valuable, usable space in the room where you likely need it most?

Small towel bars can be installed anywhere, not just in the bathroom. Consider hanging them inside linen closet doors to store additional hand towels or inside kitchen cabinet doors to store extra kitchen towels.

Photo credit: bliss24

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Author Info

This post was written by Shannon M. Medisky. Shannon is an educator turned parent turned writer and focuses on sharing new and innovative ways to not just survive, but thrive on empty. Visit to learn more. Her newest book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stretching Your Dollar is available in bookstores now.

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