Category: Storage


Adding a Closet Where There Is None

Add a Closet - Freestanding Wardrobe

Photo: Usona Home

It’s not difficult to add a closet, but doing so will probably be more costly than reorganizing an existing one. So exhaust all other storage options before taking the plunge.

There are several ways to add a closet to your home: purchase a freestanding wardrobe, build in a wardrobe, opt for an open closet, frame out a new closet, or create one from “found” space. The path you take to adding a closet depends upon the amount of space you can afford, the amount of money you wish to spend, and whether or not you need a permanent or temporary solution.

A freestanding wardrobe is a quick and easy way to add a closet; like cabinets, freestanding wardrobes come with the sawing and finishing already done. Small units are only a few feet wide, while multiple units may be used side by side to achieve greater width. Heights range from six to eight feet, but custom units may of course be built taller.

Add a Closet - Drawer Storage

Photo: DNG Interiors

Freestanding wardrobes, typically constructed of plywood or fiberboard, can be real space savers. While a conventionally framed closet devotes four or five inches to studs and drywall on three sides (occupying at least six or seven cubic feet), freestanding units waste almost no space on construction. In addition, they can be positioned either against a wall or several feet into a room—divider fashion—effectively creating a walk-in closet.

Related: Closet Organization: 9 Pro Tips to End “Stuffication”

Built-in wardrobes are a more permanent solution. They may be carcass built (like one or more large cabinets), frame built, or built behind a wall of sliding doors. Built-in wardrobes tend to make better use of available space than freestanding wardrobes but are more expensive as well. Multiple built-ins can be arranged in rows or at angles. If used at right angles, plan ahead in order to use corner spaces with maximum efficiency.

Add a Closet - Open Closet System

Photo: Container Store

Open closets are built using closet organizer components, but they are not enclosed by walls or doors. Open closets are commonly used in garages, sewing and craft centers, playrooms, media centers, home offices and bathrooms. Organizing systems for making an open closet come in many styles, including coated wire, melamine-coated fiberboard, and solid wood. You don’t have to spend a lot—a closet pole hung from hooks, a back-of-door rack, and a clothes tree can all serve as open closets.

Related: Weekend Projects: 5 DIY Closet Organizers

It’s also possible to add a closet in “found” spaces. This approach is usually less expensive than others, because the enclosure already exists. Common spots include under staircases, at the end of a kitchen cabinet run, or in a wall that fronts a void (typically an attic or the eaves). Found-space closets need not be small. If you find yourself with a spare room, you can convert it into a walk-in closet and turn it back into a bedroom should you want to sell the house. (Bedrooms typically add more to resale than closets.)

Add a Closet - Under Stairs Storage Solution

Photo: theorganizerlady.com

Conventionally framed closets are permanent and are designed to look like part of the house. Stud walls are erected from floor to ceiling, skinned with drywall, and painted. The opening is fitted with the doors of your choice, while the trim and door hardware are selected to match the surrounding room. If you want this type of closet, however, you will have to brush up on your framing and drywall taping skills.

For more on storage, consider:

Easy Laundry Room Storage Solutions
20 Clever Ideas for Repurposed Storage
6 Simple & Easy Closet Door Transformations


On-Campus Living

Dorm Ideas

Photo: dormdesign.tumblr.com

There’s no time like college to get acquainted with beginners’ DIY projects. In most on-campus living scenarios, you’re virtually given a blank slate (in the form of a spare or even bare dorm room). People don’t want to feel as if they’re living in borrowed space, least of all during the ‘glory days’ of college, so here are some ideas on how to make yourself at home.

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Bob Vila Radio: Hanging Shelves

Who doesn’t need more shelf space? Hanging shelves is a great do-it-yourself project that can help you get organized.

Photo: hiretoinspire.blogspot.com

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Listen to BOB VILA ON HANGING SHELVES, or read text below:

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Bob Vila Radio: Dorm Room Storage

Whether it’s back to the dorm or just back to school, making room for kids and their stuff gets harder as they get bigger. Here are some tricks for maxing out your space!

Photo: yoursbydesign.blogspot.com

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Listen to BOB VILA ON DORM ROOM STORAGE, or read text below: Read the rest of this entry »


Creative Closet Organizers

Creative closet organizers can help solve many space challenges. High ceilings, tight corners, and narrow spaces are handily addressed with the following inventive closet organization products. They can help turn what seemed like lost space into more space… and who doesn’t feel that they could use more space?

Rotating shoe rack. This rotating shoe rack makes great use of a corner space, and takes advantage of height with its vertical approach to storing shoes.

Creative Closet Organizer

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Bob Vila Radio: Custom Closet

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening—or reading—to Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day. Today, it’s all about the Custom Closet.

Custom Closet

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Listen to BOB VILA ON THE CUSTOM CLOSET, or read text below: Read the rest of this entry »


DIY Deals: Storage Solutions

There’s no way around it: being unorganized can lead to a lot of headaches. That’s why we have focused this week’s DIY Deals on clever storage solutions to bring order to your home and life. Oh and there’re savings, too!

Pottery Barn Samantha Entry Way Storage/Organization

Samantha Entryway Collection, $229-$549 at Pottery Barn; save $60 on shipping

Get free or reduced shipping on storage and organizing products ordered online at Pottery Barn. Consider the Samantha Collection (shown above), with its cubbies, bench, shelf compartments and hooks—perfect for a front entry, laundry, or mud room.

Visit the sale section of the Crate & Barrel website to find great organizing tools at discounted prices; plus, most wares are shipping at a flat rate of $4.95.

Gladiator-GarageWorks Rack Shelving

Gladiator-GarageWorks's Rack Shelving is now 15% off its regular price of $199

Gladiator-GarageWorks is offering 15% off all products purchased online (plus free shipping on orders over $299) with promo code DONOW6495 through 5/17. Among the discounted products is the company’s heavy-duty metal Rack Shelving in Hammered Granite finish.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s Special Purchase section has great, while-supplies-last sales on items like canisters and spice racks, always useful in the kitchen.

The Container Store Platinum Door Rack

The Container Store's elfa Door and Media Rack, now $74.90 (reg. $93.90)

The Container Store is holding its Spring Organization Sale through Sunday, 5/6. Save big on an extensive selection of closet, cabinet, pantry and drawer organizers, plus clothing, shoe and accessory storage products.

Organizeit.com is discounting items up to 75% for a limited time only. Check out the garage rafter storage lift, $192.99 (reg. $219.99); we found it exceptionally clever.

IKEA HEMNES Sofa Table

IKEA's HEMNES sofa table, $139 (reg. $179) through Sunday

At IKEA, select HEMNES solid wood living room furniture is 20% off through Sunday, 5/6.

For more on storage and organization, consider the following Bob Vila articles and slideshows:

Quick Tip: Garage Storage
Pegboard Storage: A Classic for All-Time
Easy Laundry Room Storage Solutions


The Backsplash: A Kitchen’s Most Underutilized Real Estate

Kitchen Backsplash

Photo: subdude-site.com

One of the areas that many of us consider absolutely last when remodeling the kitchen backsplash. After months of pondering countertop choices, we often settle for the easiest solution when it comes to the backsplash (a result of either running out of time or money, or both). And that’s a shame!  That 18-inch-high space between wall-hung cabinets and the countertop can attract the eye, both with color and texture, and it can provide some valuable, eminently useful real estate, too.

If you have a small kitchen, like I do, your backsplash needs to be more than a decorative backdrop. It needs to perform. So rather than clutter up the counter with messy containers and small appliances, I zeroed in on that six-foot run of narrow wall. To my delight, I realized there are a wealth of manufacturers meeting the challenge of backsplash-friendly alternatives. Here are a few that should help you make the most of your backsplash and your kitchen.

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Kitchen Backsplash

Zero-Gravity Magnetic Spice Rack

This space-efficient Zero Gravity Magnetic Spice Rack by Zevro lives up to its name, as the 1.5 oz. canisters can store spices top and bottom. A locking mechanism on each canister allows you to dispense contents by pouring or sprinkling—great for one-hand use. Choose from the 6- and 12-canister models (each model includes a sheet of self-adhesive spice labels for your convenience).

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Quick Tip: Garage Storage Solutions

Garage storage can simplify your life and add value to your home.

Garage Storage

Photo: Murphy Co. Design

Garage as Work Space
Commonly used as the family dumping ground, the garage is undergoing a revival as a functional workspace. Installing a garage storage system that frees up some of this space can have the same effect as adding a room and it’s a good way to increase your home’s value.

Organize Items for Storage
First, group the bins and bulky items you need to store by their use and measure them so you know how much space you need for each group.

Maximize Space and Function
Tall cabinets with double doors are great, but be sure they come with enough adjustable shelves to optimize the space inside. Include at least one lockable cabinet to keep dangerous chemicals out of reach of children and pets. Add some low cabinets on casters, creating a work surface on top. With some pegboard or a vinyl slat wall system for tools, you’ve got the beginning of a home workshop.

For easier cleaning and less clutter, keep things off the floor: store sports gear and yard tools on heavy-duty, wall-mounted hooks and racks. If you’ve got a lot of ceiling height in your garage, use it. Try an overhead storage rack for seasonal items or as a bike lift.

Choose Practical Storage Options
There are lots of garage storage options, but organization hinges on consistency: choose cabinets and racks of the same color and type. Look for systems made of metal, plastic or wood specifically treated for garage use. And remember that bigger is not always better. You need a garage storage system that will allow you to find your stuff and still leave room for the car.