Thrifty Storage Solutions
Even the most frugal moms acquire more stuff than we can find a place for. And it becomes a real challenge to keep our homes organized when everything doesn’t have a place of its own. Here are some frugal storage solutions to help you organize (or hide!) the things you need to keep, but simply don’t use every day or which just don’t have a place they belong.
• Find a small wicker or wooden trunk or chest at a yard sale or thrift store. This is great for storing sheets, towels, blankets, etc.
• Use the space under the bed for storage. If you can’t afford the plastic under-the-bed storage bins, use cardboard boxes cut down to size, or plastic bags. This is a great place for keepsakes or memorabilia, off-season clothing, holiday decorations and other items that you don’t need very often.
• Fill baskets, tins, or plastic bins with small items such as extra pens, surplus office supplies, collectible or souvenir magnets, pin-back buttons or similar items and store them on top of your cabinets.
• Don’t forget the space under the sofa or living room chairs. While it may not be deep, you can store magazines, photos albums, and other shallow objects under there.
• Use shelves everywhere you can put them. Bookshelf units (the kind with two to five shelves) can be used for much more than books. Consider putting one in every room:
==> In the kitchen or pantry to hold canned goods and other food as well as seldom-used appliances like food processors, blenders, etc
==> In the bathroom to hold towels and extra bathroom items like soap, shampoo, toilet paper, etc.
==> In the guest room to hold books your guests might enjoy, family photos, a fruit basket, new toothpaste and toothbrushes, guest towels, a candy dish, and various other sundries to make your guest’s stay more pleasant.
==> In the living room to hold all your collections, candles and decorative items.
==> In the den to hold games, CDs, movies and DVDs.
==> In the office to hold business books, office supplies and equipment.
==> In each bedroom to hold… books! (A novel idea – pun definitely intended!)
• Don’t have room or the money to buy shelf units? Hang shelves on the wall. A board hung on simple brackets works great and you can hang them as high as you want to keep items out of reach or out of the way.
• Another shelf option is to buy thick boards and use them with cement blocks or bricks to create shelves. You can often find the materials needed free on Freecycle or Craigslist.
• If you don’t like the look of open shelves, make a simple curtain out of a twin sheet and attach it to the top. This creates a really cute country look and hides whatever is on the shelves.
• File cabinets can hold more than files, too, so make use of every inch of space they offer. Obviously, they’re great for office supplies since they’re typically in the office to begin with. But you can also use them for anything else you need to store and access easily.
• Hang toys from hooks attached to the ceiling in a child’s room. This creates a creative display and keeps the items reachable when needed.
• If your daughter collects dolls or stuffed animals, hang a shelf about 24″ from the ceiling and place all the dolls there. Or hang a “fish net” in a corner to hold them.
• Use canning jars to store buttons, marbles, pasta, rice, beans, etc. They not only create clean, dust-free storage, but they look good, too.
• Save plastic containers from butter, coffee creamer, yogurt, coffee, etc. and use them for small toys, craft items, scrapbooking embellishments, etc.
• Cover cardboard boxes and shoe boxes with colorful self-adhesive paper, fill them and create a “wall” of storage in your bedroom, guest room or anywhere else you need them.
• To easily locate items stored in boxes and bins, number each box in the top right hand corner. Record the contents for the box with the corresponding number in a steno book or spiral notebook. Keep your “box list” handy and you’ll never find yourself digging through storage boxes again.
There are dozens of ways to use recycled items and things you have around the house to create frugal storage solutions. Use your imagination and let these ideas kick-start your own.