Day Twenty-Seven: 40 Bags in 40 Days – Maximizing Vertical Space

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It is day twenty-seven of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge.  I have been so impressed with all of the wonderful before and after pictures I have seen.  Keep your updates coming to kristin@livablesolutions.com.  You are all doing such interesting projects.

Over the years many homeowners have complained to me “We just don’t have enough space.”  But, as I start to walk through their home, I quickly see that they are not maximizing usable storage. Without spending much money or time, there are hidden places in everyone’s home that can become great storage options.  The key is to think vertical.

Closets

One of the most common places to find underutilized space is in closets.  If you only have one bar and one shelf in your clothing closet, you could be missing out on a lot of storage.  Consider putting a second shelf above the current shelf if you have enough space. If that is not a possibility, consider raising your bar higher so you can fit a second row for hanging below your clothes.  Or use the extra space to put in a small drawer unit for socks, t-shirts, underwear etc.

The right hangers make a big difference as well.  Buying all the same type of hangers will help create a uniform look.  Avoid wire hangers because they can damage clothing. Instead, opt for felt hangers that are sold in most big box retailers.  They provide the slim space saving qualities of wire hangers, without allowing your clothing to slip off, as on wooden or plastic hangers.

People also forget to consider the storage space available on the back of a closet door.  Use a hanging shoe holder for more than just shoes. Put medicines, washcloths, socks, hats and gloves, or anything else you can fit in the pockets.  Consider using the back of the door to hang jewelry, put a tie or belt rack or just a hook for a bathrobe. The possibilities are endless.

Kitchen

Day Twenty-Seven: 40 Bags in 40 Days - Maximizing Vertical SpaceThe next area with hidden space is in the kitchen.  You can double your cabinet spaces, when there are large divisions between shelves, with small cabinet shelf dividers.  Vertical and horizontal dividers help double your space for plates, cutting boards, cups and more.  Unlidded bins and baskets are a great way to create fake drawers in deep pantries or shelves.  In them you can easily group and pull out items like baking ingredients, spices, snacks, oils and more.

Basement

The basement is a third area of the home that I often see underutilized.  Consider installing quality shelving along any available walls. This will help you maximize the vertical space to stack objects and easily access bins.  The extra bonus is elevating items off the floor to prevent future mold or water damage issues that might occur if your basement doesn’t stay dry. Using matching shelving products that are large enough and deep enough to hold good quality clear bins  will help create a visual sense of order.  You cover the space evenly and be able to see what you are storing.

Garages

Lastly, garages, if organized properly, can also increase storage.  There is plenty of space on walls to hang objects for quick visible access. If you can, put pegboard on an entire wall and use the variety of hooks available to store rakes, ladders, ropes, hoses etc, in any easy to grab location.  Just like the basement, create a wall of uniform shelving to store power tools, outdoor planting supplies, kids outdoor toys or beach items off the floor and easy to reach.

If you train your brain to search for hidden vertical storage in your home, you will be surprised at the plethora of possibilities.

Happy Organizing,

Kristin

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About the Author:

Kristin founded Livable Solutions professional organizing in 2004. She made a hobby into a career and loves to help others organize their time, homes and offices.  She also teaches other basic organizing principles through lectures and seminars.
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