Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Creative Storage

 Storage - for our stuff or for food - we all need it.  I constantly hear that people that live in small spaces have no room to store extra food or supplies.  If you get creative, you can have extra storage!  Today - it truly is important!!!!!  I also hear, well I live close to shops and stores and I can get what I need weekly.   That may not be the case as much today.  Supplies are lower in many places, and some shops are closing, and some are just not having 'in person' shopping.  Prices go up each and every day - so if you wait to buy - you will be spending a lot more money!

The normal EXTRA spots are under the beds and under and behind couches and chairs.  Great spots.

There is also those hanging shoe racks that you can put behind doors - great for all kinds of smaller items and toiletries and H & B and even small packages.

I have seen people place very shallow shelves behind doors, that are the perfect size for cans.

How about under stairs?  You can get very creative with that.  That has always been a wasted space in homes and there is no need for that.  My Mom used to keep most of her home canned goods in that space under the stairs!
                                           You can get as creative with this area as necessary.
Add extra shelving to your existing pantry.  I did this and it helped a lot.

Utilize suitcases or baskets or totes.  Old armoires or chest of drawers.  You can fill 5 gal. buckets with goods and stack in a corner.  There are ottomans that open for storage - a great place to store out of sight.

If you have a basement you can even get creative there.  Use the rafters!!!!!


Make a false floor in your closets!  Place cases of goods in the closet floor and then cover with cardboard and use as normal.  Those dark recesses in closets are great as well.  
I added extra shelves to my closets.  Each closets had one shelf and it was a good 3' to 4' from the ceiling.  So I added another.  You could also just place several milk crates or something similar on the shelf you have (opening of crate facing out).  Store in them and on them!

Do you have space between your cabinets and the ceiling?  Use pretty containers - baskets or pretty bins and store up there as well.

Not only do we need extra storage areas, but we may need to hide valuables as well.  A spot to hide some cash or nice jewelry.  Keep some food jars and use them.  I like the idea of a mayo jar - (with label) cleaned and painted white inside - place valuables in it.  Place on a shelf.  Pack in plastic (vacuum seal) and place in freezer.  
Use a canning jar or any jar for that matter.  Place a TP tube in the center and then pour pasta, rice, beans, whatever you want around it.  The tube can then easily hide cash or small valuables!

You could use half gallon or gallon jars as well.  Place your objects in plastic or a small box in the center and then cover with dry food goods.

I saw someone on FB show how they store ammunition so that it is somewhat hidden.  They use old Velveeta boxes!  You can use any kind of food boxes or crates or baskets.  I have an antique crate that is setting out as decoration - it has ammo in the bottom and then there are pretties and books stored on top of the ammo.

I know we have talked about this before.  We have new folks reading and we all need reminders that we CAN find spots to store and prepare as needed.  Times are tough right now and we all need to have extra goods on hand.  You may NOT always be able to get to a store or even afford the product.  Stock up and keep as much as you can now.
Don't say you don't have room - just GET CREATIVE!!!!!

37 comments:

  1. Debby in Kansas USAJanuary 26, 2022 at 9:23 AM

    And don't forget to write down where all the cans are lol!!! Poor hubs spent at least 30 minutes one day in the hunt for a case of diced tomatoes! It was under the guest bed in the basement.

    Our pantry and linen closet both have shelves about 12" apart. I asked hubs to put in 1" x 4" shelves all around in every shelf headspace. What a space maker that is. In the kitchen it's ideal for things like jello, boxes of tea, small cans etc. And in the linen closet I use it for deodorant, little baskets of lip balm, or jars of stuff. They don't get lost in the back and they don't get in the way of anything. It was probably my best idea ever!!!

    I've known people who had hidden things below the floor in the crawl space of a bungalow, buried money in cans in the backyard (my grandma), and one built a spice cabinet between the support 2 x 4s in a teensy kitchen. It was galley style and the back wall was just wall. It was about 3 1/2" thick, just right for little spice bottles. Built unlike medicine cabinets in the olden days! This was the first house I've ever lived in without one. I miss them!

    I think part of the reason that large families could live comfortably in smaller houses in the past was partially because houses back then were often packed with built in storage. I remember loadsof homes with drawers and closets in the hallways. The bedroom closet might have extended a whole wall and one side was all drawers or shelves. My cousins were 4 girls in a small room but they shared nightstands and had such an incredible closet that dressers weren't needed. That house was a 1920s bungalow.

    One last thing...if your bed is low, you can buy 4" bed risers. Lots of my dorm mates had those to fit more under their beds.

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    1. Great ideas and hints! Yes, remember where you put things!
      I like the idea of using the space between 2 x 4's. I thought about that here but I have plaster walls - so nope!
      My neighbor has a bedroom with those built-in dressers - they are pretty cool.
      Where we didn't have closets, where I grew up - Daddy built them.
      I wouldn't advise burying money - I just worry about it getting wet at some point.
      Thanks for your tips!

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  2. All good ideas, Cheryl, thank you! I agree with Debby... the small house our youngest is buying is an older house and there's a LOT of storage packed into its 1000 sq. ft. Our new house will have more storage than the house we're currently in, including an actual pantry again.

    What I've dearly missed over the past handful of years (and will have again when we move) is a freezer in the laundry room. This house has no laundry room, just a cut out space in the upstairs hallway for washer & dryer. I've discovered a big freezer can be essential, but have come up with ways to use the most of the freezer space available in our side by side fridge. Buy "family packs" always to save money. For big items like turkeys or spiral hams, cook them, slice them, put the meat into freezer bags or food saver bags, remove all the air in them before sealing, and the meat stacks small in your freezer.

    My goal is to learn from the LDS ladies in the area when we move and put together a year's supply of food. --Elise

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    1. Oh so happy you will be able to have a freezer. It sure makes a difference and actually it will be easier for you to not have to cook things first!
      LDS has so many good ideas. I belong to a FB page that is LDS based. I also have a FB friend that is Mormon, and she has good ideas all the time (with a huge family).

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    2. I left FB over the summer this year as a means to reduce daily stress, but there's a large LDS presence where we're moving to. While there last week I asked a woman at the company we're buying our house from (she's LDS) if she'd be willing to tutor me. She was thrilled, as it's something she does anyway. I may be 60, but I'm not too old to learn! That's why I love your blog so much, Cheryl. --Elise

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    3. That is so cool. Love that she is willing to teach you. I think they all really love to teach. They are good planners. You may be able to find a LDS outlet for buying product as well. They sell to non-members.
      I love your attitude. Thanks!!

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  3. We have plenty of storage space here but I like your ideas. Thanks!

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  4. I would have to pay someone to get more shelves since I just cannot do that kind of work anymore. I did buy a shelving unit and bought shelves that hang from them. The short shelf is just right for little things like Jello and little packages like taco seasoning mix.

    These hanging shelves are meant to hang onto closet and cabinet and refrigerator shelves, but they work on the wire shelves.

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  5. I love the shelves under the steps idea. We had that in one of our houses. In another one, the old house had a teeny-tiny powder room tucked under the stairs--the only bathroom on the first floor.

    Great ideas here. xo Diana

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    1. Under stairs is just wasted space - so might as well use it for something. I like the tiny powder room.
      Thanks.

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  6. I don't live in a big urban city but in the sparse Fla. Panhandle. However, I have not seen any shortages whatsoever. Lots of trucks on the road. WalMart has raised prices a few cents on everything, but other grocers like Publix and Winn Dixie have always been over-priced. I just don't see the need to stockpile or over-buy. If we all did that, there truly would be shortages. I have a suspicion that big chains are taking advantage of the Pandemic to increase their profit lines. I will continue to be my usual 'Buyer Beware' consumer.

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    1. I sure hope you are right! I have always kept a large stock on hand and it has come in handy many times.
      If someone loses a job or is really sick for a long period.
      I believe in always being prepared for whatever may happen. That is how I was raised.
      I see lots of trucks as well, stores are pretty stocked, and yes, prices have gone up quite a bit here - but I will always be prepared.
      During 2020 with all the crazy TP and sanitizer drama - our stores were out - yet I never needed to worry.
      I wish you good luck!

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  7. I used to have loads of space but then I downsized to a small flat. I love it but have had to adapt. I have two wooden drawers saved from an old wardrobe that fit nicely under my bed. I use the space on top of the wall units in the kitchen to store food as well. I dont have so much freezer space but keep plenty of dried and canned goods.

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    1. Smart! I like the drawer idea. If you can't have a lot of frozen you have chosen the next best things. Sounds like a good plan to me.

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  8. Wow these are great ideas! I think the rafter storage is awesome.

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    1. I like that too - keeps things off the cement and DRY!
      Thanks

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  9. Harvey made storage under our stairs. There he keeps all the wine making paraphernalia. Love that it is all contained in one place.

    After the boys left one closet was made entirely into shelves. That is where I store appliances, and paper goods. Flour and sugar go in that area as well.

    Hubby uses the rafters in the basement to store lumber on the one side and I use the other side for the outside cushions, and have my clotheslines strung from them as well.

    God bless

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    1. That is a great place to store the wine making items. My Dad made wine. Mom didn't like him doing it a bit - but I can positively say it was tasty!
      Neat idea on using the unused closet. What great places to store the outdoor items.
      I hang my clothes in the basement by the rafters as well when drying in the winter. I even have an off-season rack hanging down from the rafters for clothes.
      Good ideas.

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  10. Creative ways to store all sorts of things! Sure would like to have a basement but we don't so we have to come up with other storage ideas.

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    1. Basements are sure handy to have - they can also be stuff collectors! You have to tend your things carefully.

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  11. Funny you should write about adding storage today! Yesterday we added an additional top shelf in 3 closets. I used prefinished white shelving and cheap white L brackets. When I have done this in previous homes, and money was more of an issue than it is now, I made additional closet shelves with whatever I had or could get cheap. In one house, we had an unfinished basement room and I used particleboard shelving with cement blocks to make shelves. (Think the boards and brick bookshelves you had in college). I couldn't get my husband to build shelves, so I did this myself.He was quite disgusted, LOL. "But I was going to build shelves!" he said when he saw them. "Yes, and isn't it nice that now we have all of the lumber you will need!" Needless to say, he never built the shelves and I moved the shelving and cement blocks to our next house, too! (I used them in the garage).

    My inlaws had a one-car garage. My FIL built a platform in the back that covered the hood of the car when he drove under it. You would be surprised how much storage that platform could hold. Also, he stored lumber over the rafters. When they needed more space, he managed to get a 4x8 piece of plywood up into the rafters.

    I have a single friend who got her brother to install pull-down stairs so she could access the attic. Then, every payday--or whenever she could afford it--she bought a 4x8 sheet or two of particleboard, and installed the floor herself. She cut each piece into 4 smaller pieces and carried them up the stairs and reassembled them in the attic. She started at the top of the stairs and worked her way out toward the walls. Stopped when she got to the point where she couldn't stand up. I have always coveted her attic!

    A few weeks ago, I commented about the difference between New Year's resolutions and goals. Resolutions tend to be more successful, according to Psychology Today. I RESOLVED to declutter my entire house, garage excepted, and I just finished yesterday. I didn't get rid of as much as I'd hoped--we only moved here 3-1/2 years ago--but I went through EVERYTHING, donated about 8 boxes and sent the trash and recycling bins out full to overflowing for 4 weeks. I'M DONE!! I've been playing lots of Words with Friends (Scrabble) and I did most of this in short bursts while I waited for people to make their moves!

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    1. Adding shelve to closets is a good fix. I have done the same. So much wasted space in there.
      LOL - that is funny on the shelves. Heck, they worked. I think we all had that 'shelving unit' at some point in our lives!
      I have never put a thing in the attic. They access is not big - so other than insulation nothing has been added.

      WOW - you have done the whole house in a couple weeks! That is amazing. No way I could do that. You go girl!!!!! Great job.

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  12. All good ideas. We always need extra storage space. I just bought one of those extra large totes and have rice, cereal, coffee, nuts etc. in them. It is filled to the brim and I put it in the guest room on top of two huge packages of toilet paper from Sam's club. Just in case. I like the mayo jar and Velveeta box ideas, but what if the burglar has a hankering for a sandwich and grabs those two things on his way out? LOL LOL

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    1. Good job. I like how creative people can be.
      LOL - well I guess if he gets a hankering for a sammy - we are screwed! That is funny.

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    2. I keep my cash stash in a yellow square plastic jar that originally held cornstarch. It's in the back of the pantry with salt, cake mixes, etc. My mother kept her money rolled up in an old chili powder can with pry-up lid (like Colman's dry mustard tins) right in her spice rack.

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    3. Smart ideas! Hiding in plain sight - love it.

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  13. Such great ideas! I'm just organizing and rethinking my closet so my mind has been rolling about more ways to put stuff. It's good to think of other ways or things to give me more space. I like the idea in the shed with putting up the wire shelve. I'll tell my husband and see if he can do it.

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    1. Good for you - I think organizing is a never ending job at my house.
      As stated above the garage can offer a lot of storage space as can sheds. I have lots of stuff in the rafters of the garage - (or let's say G did). There is a bunch of plumbing & electrical stuff up there.
      Good luck.

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  14. These are great ideas. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!!

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  15. Love the ideas in your post and in the comments!

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  16. I put extra shelves in the closets when the girls were young. And in one closet I even have a couple shelves across one end under the rod for hanging clothes.

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  17. I just had this conversation with a co-worker. We were talking about stocking up and she complained she had no extra room. I mentioned all these ideas but she really didn't "get it." I feel sorry for her short-sightedness but you can only help people so much.
    We have loads of storage room in the basement and pantry and closets. We have 3 rooms in the unheated/uncooled second floor that I could store paper goods, canning jars, extra linens & clothing. In winter months I store dry goods and shelf-stable milk & juice on the steps, where it doesn't freeze.

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    1. Also love the ideas for hiding $$ and other valuables.

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