Storage space got you
Do you feel as though you are tripping over your food storage?
fear - there is a light at the end of the storage tunnel! Storage
space seems to be a never ending problem in the nineties. Many
homes are built with terrific vaulted ceilings, great views, and NO
space!!! Older homes can also have a shortage of space.
With a little creative thinking, and some planning, you can have space to store the important things in your life.
The first thing that must be done, (and this is the very hardest part) is that you must de-junk your home. We are all pack-rats to a certain extent. At a speech regarding the de-junking of our homes, the presenter asked how many people present had a watch at home that did not work. Every single person in the room held up his hand. Do YOU have one of these treasures in your home? (Be honest, now!) We all have things in our homes that were once priceless treasures, but have now become a nuisance. Get rid of them! There are probably a million suggestions of ways to de-junk. Choose one that fits with your life style. A book that can help you with this is Clutter's Last Stand: It's time to de-Junk Your Life by Don Aslett. Check your local library for this, and other books on this subject.
Once you have gotten rid of some of the non-essentials, you must become creative.
Stand in each room of your home and take a good look around.
One woman who is raising four children in a very small turn-of-the-century stone house has come up with some very creative storage space. She built her own couches using a basic toy-box type design. She purchased thick foam rubber, and made cushions to go on top of the boxes. Then she made coordinating pillows to add more comfort to the couch. The hollow bottoms have given her lots of extra space.
When she moved into
the cupboards had space above them. She modified them so that now
her kitchen cupboards go all the way to the ceiling. No space has
been wasted. She completely utilizes the space under her
An upstairs bedroom built into the attic space still has some space
the eves) that she utilizes for additional storage.
Since she does not care for crawling around in dark places, she built small doors into the wall approximately every four feet. When she needs to put something in the space or take something out, she simply reaches in the closest door.
She does not like to move things to vaccuum, so she puts many shelves on the walls, and up off the floor. By building shelves in this manner, she has moved miscellaneous family items out of prime food-storage space, allowing her to store more food. In many cases, our best food-storage space is full of things that could be stored elsewhere.
Another woman who has six children in a modular home has learned to be creative with her space as well. She stood in her rooms and looked around, and before long, she discovered that there was a hollow space between two walls. This was not a huge space, but it was enough to provide her some more storage space. She took the paneling off that portion of the wall, and put a cupboard door on. Cupboard doors are not expensive, nor are they difficult to install. Now she has a storage closet where non existed originally.
The floor in a small bedroom has a trap door in it that allows her to actually go under her home. There she has found a lot of great space to store things that need to be kept cool. Even in the heat of summer, this space is cool. She uses it to store potatoes, and foods that are in air-tight containers. She has buckets of honey, buckets of wheat, and buckets of beans under this room.
One good trick is to use garbage cans as bedside tables. This is done by purchasing regular garbage cans at a discount store. New ones are recommended because they have no odd smells or dirt attached! One sheet of plywood is then used to cut two circles four to five inches bigger in diameter than the top of the can. The lids to the garbage cans are not used. Let the kids use them as shields when they play. Place the plywood circles over the top of the garbage cans, and then cover your new bedside tables with nice round covers (called "table rounds") that coordinate with your bedspread. Nobody will know that your lovely bedside tables are actually garbage cans! This provides wonderful food storage space for some of the items that need to be stored in bulk, such as beans or wheat.
Don't forget the space under your beds! There are lots of food items that can be stored in the small spaces under your beds. Salt, peanut butter, cans of potato flakes, canned vegetables, and cans of shortening can all be stored easily under the beds. They are also easily accessible.
Take a look at your closets. Is there room on the floor of the closet? There are many commercial closet storage systems on the market that can help you more efficiently use your space. But you can also build your own for less expense. Five gallon buckets can be stored on the floor of the closet, and a board put across the top of them to make a handy shelf for shoes and boots. Does the space in the top of the closet go all the way to the ceiling? Five gallon buckets could be stored up there as well, but it is not recommended to store heavy things in them. This may be a good place to store tissue, paper towels, or toilet paper. If you buy your laundry detergent in big buckets, these make terrific storage containers for such items.
One woman who struggled with a tiny dining area solved two problems with one solution. She built her own benches with hollow bottoms (the toy box design again). She put colorful cushions on top, and then used her own dining room table. Benches generally seat more people than traditional chairs. Now her entire family can fit in her small dining area, and she has extra storage space as well.
Don't let storage problems scare you! You are smarter than the things you own! A little creativity and elbow grease can go a long way toward providing more storage space in your home. Now roll up those sleeves and take a good look at YOUR home!
Here are a few more ideas sent by reader Andrea Chapman:
"I have some ideas for
in small places. One idea is a little radical, but my husband and I did
it and it worked well. We took apart our bed frame and used
about 12-16 to hold up our bed. It was a little higher than before, but
it looked fine.
I have a friend who used the #10 cans in boxes that the fit in 6 at a time. She stacked those and used that under the bed. Also, you can stack those three high and put a table cloth over it for a nice little table in the Living Room or Family room. I have also put food storage in the boys room, in their closet on the floor. Not many little kids use all their closet space."