Look above, between, and beneath traditional storage areas to carve out more space for your stuff
February 23, 2017
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The two or more feet of space above any door
In a bathroom, that’s an ideal spot to store spare towels, toiletries, or paper goods. Just install a shelf with brackets (Ekby Lerberg bracket, $2; and Ekby Osten shelf, $7: ikea.com) right above the door’s molding. Keep a slim stepstool nearby for easy access.
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The under-side of a desk
This makes a great space to keep cords hidden but within reach. Affix a wire basket (Small York Open Stack Basket, $15, containerstore.com) beneath the surface with screw hooks (available at hardware stores), and set the surge protector inside. Label cords (Kableflags, $7 for 10, containerstore.com) to see at a glance which belong to each device.
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Inside a kitchen cabinet door
Clear up clutter and avoid annoying jammed drawers by hanging attachments for a blender or a mixer using 3M Command hooks ($16 for 9, staples.com). You can use the same technique for ladles, measuring spoons, and other large utensils, as well as for keeping potholders at the ready near the stove.
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Beneath a washer and dryer
Rather than straining to reach items kept on shelves above these appliances, elevate them on a sturdy storage platform. Some appliance brands sell them (like this LG Dryer Pedestal with Storage Drawer, $249, homedepot.com) or you can DIY your own. If you have space on either side or in between the two units, consider a slide out storage caddy (3-Tier Slide Out Storage Tower, $30, amazon.com) to corral stain treatments, dryer sheets, and other laundry room basics.
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Inside cabinets (strategically)
It seems like a no-brainer to use cabinets for storage, but make sure to maximize the space that's in there. Professional organizer Beth Penn says, “If you have at least 12 inches of space between shelves, that’s an opportunity to add an extra shelf for even more storage space. Just have one cut to fit at a hardware store, and install it using a pack of shelf pegs.”
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Below basement stairs
That angled space beneath the stairs might feel unusable, but why not turn it into a storage spot for party supplies, potting materials, or rarely used kitchen extras (like cookbooks and the food processor). Install a modular shelf (Trilogy staircase shelf, from $240, smartfurniture.com) and outfit it with labeled bins for easy recovery.
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The under-side of shelves
The wire closet shelving that's often installed in homes and apartments will work just fine for folded clothing and linens—it's all the small stuff that tends to pose a problem. You can stash accessories and undergarments that might normally fall through the cracks in a clear bin that hangs from the shelf above (InterDesign Tru-Grasp Under-the-Shelf Hanging Bin, $12, target.com).