7 Distinct Storage Approaches

By: Courtney James

How many instances have you had to turn your room upside down just so you can find your car keys? Or found something that has been deemed lost for months somewhere you least expect it? These things may all be attributed to mess-the one big enemy of all rooms, no matter how big or small. If you always find your possessions in various places, you should probably use some extra space to help get rid of clutter.

When you think of storing, you're probably thinking about big shelves, kids' toy chests, and that bulky cabinet located at the end of your hallway. No wonder few people take the time to invest in good safekeeping paraphernalia-it's just not that 'chic'. But with all the storage designs now available, there are so many unique ways to become organized without having to waste time worrying about these clashing with your home decor. Here are 7 wonderful storage ideas you can try for yourself.

1. Baskets. Even though more popular with country-style homes, woven baskets have a warm, homey feel that will go well with any theme. Use them to store magazines, pens, jewelry, and other small items. In large, high-traffic areas such as your living room, you may place a large basket or a couple of smaller ones on or around your table. If you're going to make use of the latter, purchase baskets in various sizes and weaves to add more interest. To save space, put your baskets on an end table or a wall rack.

2. Shelves and dividers. Room dividers are great for breaking up huge spaces, but they tend to occupy a lot of space-space that may be used for storage. If your room has to have a divider, think about using a display rack or small bookshelf rather than a divider. That way, they will function both as a dividing element and a storage space. Look for an open-backed shelf so that it will look presentable on both sides, or find two slimmer shelves and place them back to back.

3. Linear racks. Wall storage is needed for tiny spaces, and the stylish way to do it is with linear storage racks. These racks consist of a vertical trunk which has several holders installed along it. It's a good way of organizing small items in your bedroom, bathroom, or office. And because it's mounted on the wall, it will take up no floor space and will work well on tight spaces. You may even create your own-simply clean and polish an old wooden slab then nail on some L-shaped brackets at the front.

4. Niche displays. Don't have enough space for displaying your collection of antiques? Try positioning it on top of a shelf or cabinet. These areas are usually ignored and tend to be dusty and dark, but if used the right way, they may make excellent corner displays. The space is perfect for those special memorabilia that you'd otherwise put away in a box. Install an up-light or slide lights in order to add focus and draw eyes to the display. Limit yourself to just three pieces for each display to play up their form and value.

5. Nested trays. So you've got a huge basket for all your beauty products, but you still end up digging for your favorite perfume each morning? You can avoid this situation by keeping your storage small, or by dividing your containers into small compartments. Organize your toiletries in nested containers, with the items you usually use in the largest tray and the less important items in the littler trays. This would give you quicker access to items you use everyday while keeping the rest within reach.

6. Recessed shelves. Wall mounting saves a lot of floor space, but because the shelves stick out from the wall, they would still add to that cramped atmosphere which is common in small areas. A wonderful alternative is creating your shelves inward, so the rims are on the same level as the rest of the walls. This works especially well with bathroom sinks in corners. The side walls have easy-to-reach storage for bathroom essentials such as towels and toiletries. Make sure to plan it well, though, because you can't simply uninstall these shelves as you would a conventional shelf.

7. Old kitchen items. Old pans, bowls, cups, and other kitchen items may be recycled into stylish storage tools. Organizing your jewelries? Grab an old muffin pan and position a different kind in each cup. You can also use an old cup or mug as a pen holder, or a large bowl for the storage of figurines and small toys. You may even take your old kitchen cabinets and rebuild them to create pull-out trays, creating a space-saving dresser drawer. Nearly any old thing may be recycled, so don't be scared to do some experiments.
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