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Organization: Stashing the Stuff


You may be ready to stash all those clothes, tools, and keepsakes - where do they go?

Now that you're ready to get rid of those little hidden stacks or to actually organize tools, keepsakes, and the like, it's time to round up a few boxes and plastic storage containers. When you get to this point, however, where are you going to stash it? No, room, huh? Of course, you could throw it away, sell it, or donate.

There are a few tricks to hiding things that you simply cannot let go of just yet. Not to mention tidying up the garage or closets. You may find all sort of underutilized space once you start looking around.

Look up and then down think about shelving. Visit your home improvement store for pre-painted boards and brackets. In case you can't locate wall studs for the shelving, you'll need some molly bolts or other appropriate fasteners.

One great spot for shelving is directly over a closet door. Whatever the length, you should still be able to arrange a few boxes overhead. If you haven't already placed shelves along the closet walls above the hanging clothes, this is great space, too.

Without stuffing your closet to the max, make a space in the center by pushing clothes to each side. You can add storage containers and organizational shelving in this spot for shoes, sweaters, and the like. If this bunches up your clothing, pack up or give away some of the least used items. Don't forget the back sides of closet doors. If you're short on space, it's not considered tacky to put up organizers there.

Laundry rooms are perfect storage places for supplies. If you don't already have a cabinet or shelving over the washer/dryer, you have just discovered another gold mine.

The garage, of course, can get out of hand in a hurry. Hanging tools is the easiest way to unclutter. Attach a 2-by-4 to the wall about two-thirds of the way up and add hooks. If your tools don't have holes in the handles, drill new ones. Now you can begin to tidy up the jumble of tools that are always in the way.

The ceiling can become a vertical storage area. Purchase large hooks - such as those that are used for bicycles - and attach them securely from the ceiling. Now, you can stash that unused patio umbrella and hang your lightweight lawn chairs. You'll think of plenty of other uses for those hooks.

In the kitchen, look at your deeper shelves and see where more hooks and dividers can go. Add vertical slats and slide trays into those. You'll eliminate the uneven mess of stacking odd-sized pans on top of each other. A two-tiered Lazy Susan can be useful as well. Wherever you have wasted interior cabinet space, you may be able to add a second, recessed shelf.

You may discover a few other nooks and crannies along the way. Take advantage and you'll find you can stash more that you ever thought possible.

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