A narrow passageway in your castle can be turned into beautiful space with inexpensive shelving units. January is the time to look for deals on shelves, cabinets and bins. Retailers market everything for organizing your life this month so take advantage of their sales.
Always turn your dead end into a literal storage corner by adding a shelf across the end.
Show it off!
This antique pie pantry in Dallas, Texas is used to store and display - how beautiful. If I had snazzy green buckets, they'd be on display too.
Long walls behind doors on Lake Alatoona, Georgia mean space to store. Check behind your doors for valuable, unused space. You can find shelving to fit almost any space.
Ah, we love the unfinished basement!
Creative solution for small spaces in an Atlanta apartment - a bookshelf with a tension rod and curtain. Genius.
Another ingenious use of furniture. I'm pretty sure that's an old coffee table. Even if it's not, it should be! Never hold another garage sale, just put your water storage under it.
Who invented the 5 gallon bucket? Nothing short of brilliant, I say.
We love the bucket inventor.
Plastic bins - stacks and stacks of 'em. They're stack-able, rodent-proof and some of them are see-through too. Boxes from the grocery store fit nicely and those crazy Mylar bags snuggle right down in there perfectly.
We'll pause here for a story: See the pink rectangle holding up the pink-painted particle board? When I was a child, the pink was orange (circa 1976, right?). My parents stored pinto beans in those rectangular cans. One day I inherited them and papier mached them with flower photos. The cans were filled with flour at that time and the particle board shelves painted green. When Alex was about two years old, I painted it all pink and made book shelves for her room. The cans stored bottled water. That water has been changed a couple of times since then and now the shelves hold laundry detergent, but how is that for storage? Three generations of it now. (A side note: about 9 bags of baking soda will fit under a utility sink. Cool, hu?)
Tower of plastic milk crates (from any box store at about $6 each). These four were purchased in St. Louis 15 years ago and now hold laundry supplies in Michigan.
This is a corner cabinet in a bathroom - great "hidden" space - that holds toiletries. Take advantage of coupons and sales to stock up on toiletries (or Sam's Club!). They don't take up much space and people often forget them in their storage plan. (You'll want your teeth, especially in an emergency.)
Under the basement bathroom sink hides a mess of cleaning supplies. Bleach is vital and easy to stock up.
The floor is a great place for non-perishables & non-edibles like paper towels. Keep the Oreos off the floor.
Tilt your head to the left...you are looking at a pull-out shelf in a bathroom and about a year's supply of bar soap and deodorant. It's only 18 inches of shelf space, but it can hold so much!
Is that a nook or a cranny I see? Stick something in it! Movable shelves are great since they can always go with you, but building your own shelves is a pretty simple carpentry task.
Bathroom cleaning supplies can go under the bathroom sink (might as well keep it where you will use it).
Closets. Is there a better place in all the world? Just make sure it's accessible since you'll need to use your storage to rotate it.
The middle of the road is a terrific place for your stuff, labeled, dated and ready to use.
These folks used an entire linen closet for toilet paper -
and then some.
Hey, that's handy. And honestly, there could be wasted space in your home where you could build a toilet paper closet. Look around and see what's possible.
Take time this month to assess your space. Grab a friend and walk through your home. Ask yourself...
- Where could things be shifted or stored in a different configuration to provide you more options?
- Are items accessible for use (rotation)?
- Is there wasted space between items?
- Can you store items in (or near) the room where they are used?
- Are items stored safely? Nothing near a heat source; nothing stacked too high (a filled 5 gallon bucket will crush a child and is dangerous for you to bring down when it's above your head).
- Is all the food in bug/rodent proof containers?
- Check your pantry, drawers and cabinets for wasted space; hold a "clean out" to make more room.
Remember that preparedness is an on-going project. It's never "done" so don't limit yourself. Anything is possible.