10 "Zero Dollar" Storage Hacks

Closets are built with doors for a reason: They’re meant to hide stuff. Still, these essential storage spots are some of the most-used spaces in any home—so why not make them as appealing and user-friendly as possible? Outfitted with colorful fixtures and smart tools, an organized closet, dresser, or craft room can be a thing of beauty. Even better, it can be pulled together on the tightest of budgets. Here are 10 ways to conquer clutter by repurposing items you may already have on hand, such as cardboard boxes and coat hangers. Put these simple no-cost DIY tricks to work in storage spaces from the front hall to the master bedroom—then go ahead and leave the doors wide open!

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  1. Rock Some Pockets


    If you’re not using your pocket organizer for shoes, it makes a great home for just about anything else. In a bedroom closet, use it for tights, leggings, and repair tools—as shown here. In a supply closet, fill it with cleaning tools and sprays. In the entryway, it’s great for sunblock, gloves, hats, and dog leashes.


  2. Boxed Set


    To stow shoes and sweaters, wrap cardboard boxes in pretty paper, then label them. A mix of patterns can look gorgeous—just make sure a single color or motif ties them all together. Stack boxes on closet shelves, or try repurposing a small dresser or bookshelf as seen here. 

    Related: Dressing Up the Dresser—11 Creative DIY Transformations


  3. Boot Hang-Up


    Tall boots don’t fit into shoe cubbies, and they tend to flop over and create a mess on a closet floor. To tame boot chaos, simply repurpose some pants hangers. Insert squares of felt between the boot and the clip to prevent the metal from leaving marks on delicate leather.

    Related: Giving Boots the Boot! 11 Smart Storage Ideas for Your Winter Footwear


  4. Hat Trick


    A bunch of baseball caps can easily overwhelm an entryway closet, and their shape makes them difficult to hang or stack neatly. Here’s an ingenious solution. Simply clip plastic shower curtain rings onto the bottom crossbar of a sturdy coat hanger, then thread the caps onto the rings.


  5. Good Jeans


    Fans of denim know how hard it can be to keep their collections tidy. Here, labeled shelves are used to keep the denim in order. Pants are folded and stacked, then arranged and labeled by style, from skinny to boot. Bonus: The neat stacks leave room below for a corkboard to hold inspiring outfit ideas.

    Related: 5 Things to Do with… Old Jeans


  6. Trunk Show


    Everything about this closet is a craftaholic’s dream, but the true blue-ribbon idea is the plain trunk that’s been repurposed to hold gift-wrapping materials. Tension rods inserted into the lid hold spools of ribbon, while boxes of bows and cards are stowed in the main compartment.


  7. Paint Can Catchalls


    Clean paint cans make excellent containers for corralling small items in a craft or cleaning-supply closet. They’re basically indestructible, and they can be tagged with vinyl lettering, as shown here, or stick-on chalkboard labels. Suspend them from small hooks screwed into the underside of a shelf. No paint cans on hand? Repurposed beach buckets work well too.


  8. Paint to the Rescue


    A fresh coat of white paint can give tired storage bins and baskets a clean look and add visual calm to your closet. Take the idea a step further by stenciling a red cross on the front of bins that hold first-aid items, and your family will be able to find bandages and pain relievers in a hurry.


  9. Vintage Charm


    Special accessories deserve special storage. An old wine rack can be given new use as a holder for clutches and evening bags. A salvaged frame, outfitted with a bit of window screening, is ideal for displaying earrings and brooches, and cup hooks can be added at the bottom for necklaces.


  10. A Place for Specs


    With a little DIY action, an old frame can help keep glasses at hand. To make rungs for hanging her shades, this DIYer screwed a few pairs of eye hooks into the back of the frame and strung thin wire between them. Spray-painted black, the frame visually pops out against the white wall.


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