Tennis shoes, boots, flip-flops, high heels, loafers, sandals, ballet slippers…the list of footwear seems almost endless. (Fun footwear fact: There are at least nine shoe museums around the world.) And the more pairs you have, the more space you need to store them.
Fortunately there are space-savers designed to let you store the maximum amount of footwear in the smallest footprint (pardon the pun).
Here are three space-saving footwear storage solutions that can accommodate all different kinds and sizes of footwear:
- The rotating Adjustable Boot Tree (only 12 inches in diameter) features three tiers of storage that can hold up to six pairs of boots or nine pairs of shoes–or a combination of both. The tiers revolve individually and are adjustable in height. The system also includes six sets of boot shapers. Other thoughtful features are a weighted base for stability and a carrying handle.
- The Boot Storage Bag is only 6 inches high–making it ideal for under-bed storage–and has four spacious compartments sized to store up to four pairs of boots or large-size shoes. The clear vinyl zippered top allows you to view the contents while keeping them dust-free. Side handles make it easy to access the bag from underneath a bed. It can also be stored upright on a shelf.
- The Large Hanging Closet Shoe Organizer will fit on any size closet rod and holds up to 10 pairs of shoes, yet only requires 8 inches of hanging space. It features compartments that are roomier (8 inches wide by 14 inches deep) than those of standard sized hanging shoe organizers, to accommodate extra-large shoes (including men’s) and short boots–they’re even large enough to hold shoe boxes. Made of breathable natural canvas, it hangs from two heavy-duty metal hooks.
More footwear storage ideas can be found in my posts on shoe organizers,
boot storage and new shoe storage solutions.
Storage benches are known to be helpful in entryways and mudrooms. But they can also be useful in bedrooms, laundry rooms and hallways. By providing both seating and storage, they simultaneously solve two dilemmas: where to sit and where to store stuff.
Many storage benches have flip-up seats, which means you can’t access the storage section while seated. That’s why I recommend storage benches that offer access from the front, so you can sit down while putting away items and accessing other items at the same time–for example, removing your outdoor shoes and putting on house slippers.
Depending on what you want to store–shoes? backpacks? purses? hoodies? pet paraphernalia?–you’ll need different storage options: cubbies, drawers, baskets, shelves, coat hooks or a combination of these features.
Here are some of my favorite storage benches that combine several types of storage:
- Drawers plus cubbies. The Mudroom Storage Bench features three small drawers (ideal for storing mittens, leashes and other small necessities), 10 shoe cubbies, and a removable seat cushion that attaches to the bench with loop and hook straps. At only 12.75 inches deep, it can fit in a hallway or other narrow space.
- Open shelf plus coat hooks. The Hallway Bench with Coat Rack has a comfortable padded seat atop an open storage shelf that’s spacious enough to accommodate backpacks, purses, shoes and more. Four double coat hooks provide an easy way to hang up jackets, hats and other outerwear.
- Shelf plus baskets (or a second shelf). The Hall Bench with Storage Baskets offers an open shelf above a compartment that contains three woven baskets (each 11 x 9 x 10 inches) sized for holding all types of accessories. Since the baskets are removable, you can take them out to use elsewhere and utilize the open space for storing larger items.
Read more ideas for entryway and mudroom organizers here.
Having an organized garage is such a popular fantasy, an entire industry has grown up around it.
But you don’t have to hire a garage organization company to achieve some semblance of order. Here are three types of garage organizers that can help you turn your garage fantasy into a reality:
- Wall-mounted. The Clothing Storage Garage System is a complete modular organizer designed to store a wide variety of items (not just clothing). The system consists of a steel wall-mount frame with rails to which you attach storage accessories, which include: two wire shelves, a solid steel shelf, a clothes hanging bar, two shoe racks, two wire baskets and two recycle/storage bags. All the accessories lock onto the frame to stay in place so they’ll never fall off when items are being removed or returned. Each accessory can be easily removed and re-positioned on the frame in seconds, so it’s easy to reconfigure the system as your storage requirements change.
- Rolling. The Heavy Duty 3-Shelf Utility Cart is a multipurpose cart with a 550-pound total capacity. It’s constructed of a strong plastic resin that resists dents, chips and rust, making it ideal for storing and moving everything from tools to landscaping materials. Rounded corners mean no sharp edges to nick walls or vehicles. And the handle has a special feature–it includes a built-in storage bin for small accessories and parts.
- Freestanding. The Adjustable Shelving System has a steel frame that’s completely open on both sides, so you can easily access all stored items. It features nine adjustable shelves made of simulated wood (high-density fiberboard). The customizable design allows you store a broad range of supplies and materials.
For more ideas on garage organizers, read my posts on garage storage systems and garage organizing tips.
It’s easy to accumulate house plants. Finding room for them is another story.
Plants can take up a lot of space inside your home. But since certain indoor plants also function as air purifiers (according to the NASA Clean Air Study), an abundance of them may be justified. Unless, of course, your plant collection has outgrown your space and morphed into plant clutter.
Having efficient house plant storage systems can keep your indoor garden looking tidy. Here are four space-savers designed to help you make the most of your green thumb:
- The Urbio Wall Planter is a magnetic container that attaches to any magnet-friendly surface, such as the side of your refrigerator, or to a magnetic wall board. It can hold up to five pounds of anything (mail, vitamin bottles, office supplies, toiletries) but it works well as a small plant holder.
- The Corner Folding Bakers Rack utilizes vertical corner space, with four ventilated metal shelves set in a wrought iron frame that can be folded away when not in use.
- The Indoor Plant Pole is a spring-loaded metal tension rod that can be adjusted to fit floor-to-ceiling spaces of 7 feet to 8-1/2 feet, with three adjustable arms for hanging up to three plants at a time; each arm can support a 5-pound plant. It’s especially handy for when you need to temporarily bring outdoor plants indoors to protect them from harsh weather.
- The metal 3-Tier Plant Stand features three shelves that fold down individually for space-saving when not in use. The tops of the shelves are made from Travertine stone; the frame legs are flared outwards for stability. The Metal Plant Stand, with slate shelves, has similar features. Both can be used outdoors as well as indoors.
More types of house plant storage stands can be found here.
Earrings have been around for thousands of years (since the Bronze Age, according to this history of earrings). Earring organizers haven’t–but that’s probably because they weren’t needed until relatively recently.
Nowadays there’s an overwhelming number of earring options: Pierced, clip-on, magnetic; studs, hoops, drops, chandeliers, “huggies,” cuffs…and those are just some of the basics.
Since earrings are small and relatively easy to accumulate, it’s easy to end up with a cluttered collection. Fortunately it’s also relatively easy to keep them in a semblance of order, thanks to the variety of earring organizers. There are three main types to consider: 1) for vanities or dresser tops; 2) for drawers; and 3) hanging (usually mounted on walls or doors). Here are a few examples of efficient and effective earring storage solutions:
- The clear acrylic Earring Organizer is designed for dust-free earring storage and display. It holds up to 18 pairs of earrings on three separate tiers inside a compact unit that fits easily on your dresser or vanity. A hinged flip-up door keeps dust out and a small drawer at the bottom provides storage for other pieces of jewelry.
- The 36 Compartment Stax Jewelry Tray is constructed from flock-covered acrylic and can be stored either inside a drawer or on a dresser top. Individual compartments keep up to 36 pairs of earrings safely separated. It includes a clear plastic dust cover and features a sliding channel that enables additional Stax organizers to be stacked on top.
- Tom’s Earring Holders are hand-crafted wooden earring racks that range in capacity from 15-30 pairs of earrings to 84-168 pairs. Each rack can hold studs and wire-type earrings as well as most other types, and the slots can be used for either without the need to remove backings.
- The Folding Acrylic Earring and Necklace Holder Screen offers storage for up to 180 pairs of earrings and eight necklaces, all on a clear acrylic four-panel screen that displays your jewelry pieces and then folds up flat for storage or travel. The outer panels also have four hooks each to hold up to eight necklaces or bracelets.
For more jewelry organizing ideas, read my post on jewelry organizers.
National Fire Prevention Week is coming up–time to clean out that junk drawer and organize your batteries! Why single out batteries? Because batteries stored in drawers surrounded by metal objects (including other batteries) and flammable items can be hazardous: Battery posts that come into contact with metal are capable of inducing enough heat to spark a battery fire.
So now you know why batteries shouldn’t be stored loose in a cluttered drawer. (There are those who also believe batteries last longer when stored in the freezer or refrigerator, but Everyday Einstein explains why that’s a fallacy.)
Luckily, there are battery organizers that make it easy to store batteries safely and accessibly. Some are designed to hang inside a cabinet door or on a wall; others are made to fit inside a drawer; and some even include a battery tester. There are even battery organizers that have all the above attributes. And there are portable battery caddies too. Here’s a sampling of the different types of battery organizers:
- The Battery Storage Rack (which includes a removable battery tester) can either be stored in a drawer or mounted using the included screws and wall anchors. It has compartments for four 9-Volt batteries, six D batteries, eight C batteries, 39 AA batteries 25 AAA batteries and five button batteries.
- The portable Storacell Original Battery Caddy is a compact, easy to access battery dispenser and organizer. It holds 12 AA’s, four AAA’s, two C’s and one 9-Volt battery. Originally designed for pilots, it allows you to dispense batteries with one hand for safety and convenience. It also provides terminal protection at both ends regardless of how the battery is inserted, and a built-in hook for hanging.
- The drawer-oriented Battery Storage Organizer is also portable, thanks to attached snap-close lid. Constructed from clear polypropylene plastic, it features four compartments sized for 12 AAA batteries, 12 AA batteries, six C batteries, and four D batteries.
There are also similar individual battery storage boxes made for specific sizes of batteries.
More battery organizers can be found here.
Pegboard storage systems are among the most versatile types of organizing solutions. And they’re not just for tools and garages–they’re also effective in bathroom cabinets, laundry rooms, closets, home offices and kitchens. (In fact, one of the most famous pegboard storage systems was in Julia Child’s kitchen–it’s preserved in the Smithsonian!)
Nowadays, the best pegboard organizers aren’t actually made of pegboard since metal (heavy gauge steel) has proven to be a better material. Thanks to metal pegboard’s strength and durability, there are many pegboard possibilities–the basic type with hooks has evolved to accommodate all types of holders, including baskets, bins, shelves, clips and pockets.
Here are several different kinds of effective pegboard storage systems:
- The Pegboard Basket and Hook Station is especially useful for laundry room, home office and crafts organizing–it’s a spacious wire basket with eight large hooks underneath; each hook is capped with silicone for added protection. It has attached pegboard hooks along with mounting hardware.
- Wall Control Pegboards come in a wide variety of styles (even pegboard jewelry organizers) and in eight colors; the pegboards feature slots (for holding brackets) as well as hook holes.
- The modular metal Garage Wall Storage System and Tool Organizer is a hybrid–it’s a pegboard system attached to a frame that also features shelving, wire baskets, hooks and bins. It includes an array of interchangeable and expandable components made from heavy-gauge epoxy-coated steel. The mounting hardware provides a variety of hanging storage options for saws, hammers, screwdrivers, pruners and other household and gardening tools.
For more pegboard organizing ideas, check out the Family Handyman’s Organize Anything With Pegboard.
Every kitchen has certain essential utensils that are used so frequently, you hate to put them away.
The ones with long handles–spatulas, strainers, wooden spoons, slotted spoons, tongs, whisks–often end up jumbled together in countertop crocks. A better option is to hang them up. (That’s probably why so many long-handled utensils have an aperture at the end.)
Hanging up kitchen utensils makes it easier to see what you need and also easier to access each tool while you’re cooking. But how should you hang them? You could just hammer some nails or hooks into your kitchen walls–or, if you prefer a classier look, opt for one of these handy hanging kitchen utensil organizers:
- The ultra-sleek Umbra Under Cabinet Utensil Holder is designed to be installed along the underside of your kitchen cabinet or directly to a kitchen wall. It features flexible rubber grippers under the utensil rail that securely suspend up to four long-handled utensils. The grippers instantly “grab” and hold kitchen tools of almost any size, releasing each one easily whenever you need to use a specific utensil.
- Wall-mount pot racks can be used for holding a variety of long-handled utensils. For small kitchens, the space-maximizing Large Corner Bookshelf Pot Rack is especially useful–it includes 12 angled hooks that hang down from a metal grid shelf capable of holding cookbooks or cooking supplies.
- The 32-Inch Kitchen Utensil Holder is simply a wall-mounted heavy-duty steel bar with 12 sliding hooks. There are six straight pot hooks plus six angled pot hooks that let you angle your utensils to save space. For smaller walls, the Utensil Holder for Kitchen is very similar but only 22 inches wide and includes eight sliding hooks.
More types of kitchen utensil organizers can be found here. And for more ideas on organizing cooking implements, read my post on cookware storage solutions.
Seems like bathrooms never have enough storage space. But that’s not surprising when you consider how many different types of supplies we need or want to keep in what’s usually the smallest room.
Think about it: the word “bathroom” barely hints at all the stuff it’s often expected to hold. Aside from actual bath products, there are cleaning supplies, dental care items, first aid supplies, haircare tools, makeup, personal products, toilet paper, towels…No wonder our bathroom storage is rarely adequate.
Fortunately there are several simple ways to maximize your bathroom storage space. Here are three solutions that can help you make the most of even the tiniest room:
- The Hinge Mounted Mirrored Cabinet is essentially a framed full-length mirror (70 inches tall, 16 inches wide) with interior storage, designed to fit on any standard door hinge. It features eight adjustable shelves and four fixed shelves, all within a 4-inch-deep cabinet. For storing extra-tall items, the adjustable shelves are removable; retention rods keep bottles and other tall items safely secured. The unit can be installed within minutes with no extra tools or skills required. (Note: It does require at least 3-1/2 inches from the center of your hinge pin to the side wall when installing to a corner and at least three hinges on the designated door for proper installation.)
- The super-slim Toilet Paper Storage Cabinet (6.25 inches wide) is designed to fit in the narrow space alongside the commode. In addition to being able to hold up to 12 toilet tissue rolls, it has a top drawer and a flip-top compartment for stashing small personal items.
- The tall Bathroom Linen Cabinet has a small footprint (a mere 12.25 inches wide by 11.5 inches deep) but its 71-inch height lets you utilize vertical space for maximum storage. It consists of two separate cabinets, each with an adjustable shelf, plus two open compartments.
More bathroom storage solutions can be found in several of my earlier posts.