Figuring out the smartest places to store your stuff is time well spent—mostly because it results in time you don't spend cleaning. Here's are 10 smart storage solutions for your excess cords, shoes, spices and all kinds of computer stuff.
Photo via Instructables.
10. Make Your Shoes Float
Formal shoes, work boots, summer wear, running shoes, the spare brown pair—even those with minimal fashion sense can end up with lots of these suckers. You could pick up one of many hanging/sliding shoe storage solutions, but we dig both the look and convenience of this DIY "floating" shoe rack. For a slight upgrade, This version goes one better, hiding the hanging hardware entirely out of sight. (Original post).
9. Keep Your Cats And Their Necessities Hidden
Cats are great, generally low-maintenance creatures, but the stuff they need and like does take up some space. Avoid sacrificing a room or closet to mother nature's needs with some litter box modifications. The ideas for turning big cupboards, entryway shelves, and under-sink spaces all come from IKEA modifications, but other furniture builds and storage bins can be adapted, too. As for providing some space for Whiskers McMeowerton when he's not taking care of business, you can convert a bookcase into a cat tree, or fulfil every cat's cardboard fantasy by converting a box into a kitty chaise lounge. (Original posts: entryway, under-sink, cat tree, cat chaise).
8. Get Your Bike Off The Floor
Biking is a lot more fuel-efficient than driving, but keeping a bike assembled in your home isn't space-efficent. Avoid paying for pricey bike mounts with some DIY offerings, like a few tension cables, a very cheap, board-based version, a modification of an IKEA storage pole, and that pole's carpet-friendly cousin. (Original posts: DIY, revisited, IKEA).
7. Make Your Filing Cabinet Actually Useful
If your filing cabinet serves more function as unintended shelf space than an actual filing destination, it probably needs some work. Jason gave us a tour-de-force of his filing system workflow, which gave order and purpose to his old documents and made him actually want to file things away. Photo by Matthew Cornell.
6. Declutter Your Spices And Make Them Accessible
Having spices you can read, see the fill level of, and easily access saves you time while cooking, and money on unnecessary purchases, as suggested by the Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. Then there are the magnetic spice racks, which hang your dried goods both under a shelf and on the wall. Then, for those with quite a few spices to grab, there are the minimalist, all-access shelves that most anyone can make themselves. (Original posts: DIY spice jars, magnetic under-shelf, magnetic wall, minimalist).
5. Stash Your Headphones Without Tangled Wires
Headphones, of both the big-can and inner-ear variety, get tangled and never quite tuck away neatly. Not without some crafty assistance, anyways. Try installing a coat hook under your desk for a hidden-but-available hiding place. For your earbuds, first learn the "devil's horns" wrapping method (R.I.P., Dio), then keep them together and close by with an old vinyl badge clip, or other makeshift wrappers.
4. Stash Your Peripherals When Not In Use
USB headsets, USB cables, and other sometimes necessary gear will creep its way into your workspace if there's nowhere to put it all. MAKE points us to a DIY iMac monitor shelf, utilising the space betwen a flatscreen monitor and a wall to tuck away items so they're within reach but out of sight. There's also a commercial version, if you don't like building your own mini-shelves. This Slashdot thread contains the thoughts of some very hardcore peripheral geeks on tidying up their wares (think velcro ties, not plastic zips), and our featured workspaces have provided some inspiration before, like these hollowed out shelves, or this IKEA cabinet-turned-workspace. (Original posts: monitor shelf, IKEA cabinet).
3. Store Stuff Vertically With DIY Shelving
If your home or apartment didn't come with great shelving, don't give up on it. Whether it's books, gear, or just general stuff that needs a new home, you can give it space with "Hungarian" square shelves (as demonstrated in this workspace), more simply-made DIY shelving, or compression bookcases that don't require any wall drilling. Lots more ideas and inspiration can be found at our full shelving collection. (Original posts: Hungarian, DIY, compression).
2. Tuck Your Cords Away
We've covered far too many cord management tricks, techniques, and one-offs to cover inside one list item. Gina previously rounded up 10 cable control tips, and our full cord management list is getting regularly updated. Don't let your cords litter your space and distract your mind—bend them to your will.
1. Hide Your Cables In Plain Sight
If you can't find a space or a compartment to tuck your cords into, do the next best thing—consider creatively arranging them in plain sight. If design and sketching isn't your forte, you don't have to get quite so fancy—something like a green cable "flower stem", or an equivalent cable-as-hanging-platform idea, can fly just as well. If it's a short distance and a flat space, and you're willing to spend a little bit on style, we've dug the idea of FlatWire, too. (Original posts: creative display, flower stem, FlatWire).
What's the most clever storage solution you've come across? What stuff can you just not find a smart way to store? Share your links and vent your material frustrations in the comments.