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HOW CAN I FIND EXTRA STORAGE SPACE IN MY HOUSE?

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You can turn any unused corner, empty wall or tight spot into storage space. Think of converting containers and areas designed for other purposes into storage spaces. Some ideas:

Walls. Cover an entire wall with open shelving, where you can display books, knick-knacks and pictures. Place decorative baskets on some of the shelves to hold—and hide—small items that you want to keep out of sight.

Bedroom closets. If your closets are the old “pole-and-plank” kind—with a single rod for hanging clothes and a shelf so high you can’t reach it, get ready to reorganize. Closet organizers let you add shelves, drawers, racks, hooks and cubbyholes so every blouse, suit, shoe and necklace has a place. At the very least, move your rod up so it hangs 84 inches from the floor, and add another one underneath that is 42 inches from the floor. Keep your tall shelf; it’s a good place to store out-of-season clothes.

Kitchen pantry. Chances are, yours has two to three feet of wasted space near the floor. Place shelves from floor to ceiling in the pantry. Choose slide-out shelves so you can easily retrieve the cans and small appliances you keep in the closet. Unless your cabinets are fairly new, you’re probably stacking pots, pans, dishes and food so deep that you can’t see what’s in the back. Retrofit you cabinets with lazy Susans and slide-out shelves that make easy work of retrieving your items—so you can stuff more in them.

Under every work surface. Opt for built-in cabinets or open shelving under the kitchen island, the tool bench and the bathroom vanity.

Inside furniture. When it’s time for new furniture, replace kitchen chairs with benches whose seats open up to double as storage chests; find ottomans with hollow centers for hiding magazines.

Behind doors. Fix shoe racks or baskets to the inside of closet doors; screw hooks to the back of bedroom doors for hanging robes, hooded sweatshirts and purses.

Under beds, cabinets and sofas. Any piece of furniture with legs and a skirt that reaches the floor is a potential hiding place. Find plastic or durable cardboard storage boxes to fit so your hideaways stay clean and organized.

Over top of almost anything. Look up. Is there room over a doorway for a shelf? On top of kitchen cabinets or bookcases for little-used pots or for decorative displays?

In the hall. If your hallway is just three feet wide, there’s room for a narrow bookshelf or display table for photos. Choose a piece with drawers or shelves so you can use more than just the top. Anywhere you can hang something.

From the kitchen to the guest room to the garage, hanging uses less space than standing on the floor. If you hang your pots from the ceiling or from racks, for example, you’ll free up kitchen cabinet space. Likewise, hang tools instead of cluttering your work bench; secure lawn tools and bicycles on sturdy hangers in the garage.

  • Sanderson Ford

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