Free up cluttered kitchen cupboards by creating a storage area in a nearby hall closet with adjustable shelves.
- Transfer foods like rice, flour and sugar from bags or boxes into see-through canisters that won't leak or be knocked over easily.
- End needless hunting by grouping together ingredients like dried pasta and tomato sauce or teas and honey.
- Decant nuts and snacks into airtight containers that stack to maximize space.
- Canvas bins on the floor keep bulk purchases handy.
- Move fancy serving pieces (and anything else that you don't use frequently) to the topmost shelves.
- Pour pet food from oversize bags, which are prone to spills, into supersize bins.
A small cabinet with doors and drawers can suffice for bed and bathroom needs if you pare down.
- Store two sets of sheets per bed and two sets of towels per family member. The rest can go in a box under the corresponding bed.
- Arrange toiletries in a deep, sturdy tray that you can access as needed.
- Avoid messy piles by dividing towels in stacks according to size. Store rolled-up washcloths and hand towels in small bins.
- Stash items like quilts, extra pillows and bedspreads up high.
- Use drawers for holding extras like cans of shaving cream and special-occasion makeup.
If your entry is heaped with hoodies and backpacks, make a mudroom by the back door says Kathryn Bechen, author of Small Space Organizing (Revell).
- Put up hooks for everyday items -- make sure some are low enough for kids to reach. Relocate out-of-season clothes to bedroom closets. For a personal touch, you might add nameplates.
- A bench with cubbies is a place to take off shoes and a convenient drop-off point for grocery bags or books. Toss sneakers and flip-flops in drawers or in baskets underneath.
- Set a boot tray on the floor to collect drips and dirt from wet shoes.
- Use baskets or bins to hold what you can't hang (gloves, dog toys, balls).
- A sisal or indoor-outdoor rug works best in a high-traffic area and is simple to keep clean.
Mudroom: Tips to Store More
Originally published in the April 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.
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