8 (Truly) Unexpected Storage Spots

If you think you have no space to spare, think again. Janet Lee, author of Living in a Nutshell, offers some practical—and decorative—suggestions for realizing your full storage potential.

  1. Living in a Nutshell

    Living in a Nutshell

    Over the past 20 years, author, blogger, and television producer Janet Lee has lived in a dozen small apartments, none of them larger than 750 square feet. Through her book, Living in a Nutshell: Posh and Portable Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces (Harper Design), and blog, she offers advice on maximizing the space you've got. Here, eight tips to boost your storage potential. 

    Harper Collins

  2. Get Hooked

    Get Hooked

    If your wood clamps are buried under an assortment of tools and supplies on your workbench, put them to practical, everyday use by securing them to a shelf for additional hanging storage. If you've got multiple clamps in various colors, all the more reason to put them on display.

    Related:   How to Install Floating Shelves


  3. Journey to the Outer Limits

    Journey to the Outer Limits

    Increase a bookcase's storage potential by attaching magazine racks or extra shelving to the outsides of the unit. "The trick is to keep the color or materials of the add-on shelving consistent with the style of the bookcase itself," Lee points out.

    Related:  5 Ways to Build a Better Bookshelf


  4. Go Down Under

    Go Down Under

    Although many people stow baskets and bins underneath beds, Lee also stows them under sofas and living room chairs. Attaching sliders to the outer corners of the bins makes them easier to pull out and also prevents scratches on wood floors or snags on carpeting. "Choose sliders you can attach with screws or nuts for a secure fit," Lee advises.

    Related:  11 Sneaky Storage Ideas

  5. Show Your Wares

    Show Your Wares

    Everyone knows that moldings can enhance the look of any room, but that doesn't mean they can't be useful as well. Here, equal lengths of picture frame molding create architectural support—and convenient display—for shoes.

    Related:  Know Your Moldings: 10 Popular Trim Styles


  6. Make Use of Hallways

    Make Use of Hallways

    Transform tiny hallways and foyers into stylish catch-all corners with Lee's inexpensive trick: Stretch rubber boating straps across the wall. In this example, Lee positioned white against a tangerine-orange wall. The tension of the straps can keep mail, keys, small toys and shoes firmly in place on the wall.

    Related:  Get Hooked—10 Favorite Wall Storage Ideas

    Aimee Herring / livinginanutshell.com

  7. Turn (to) Your Doorknobs

    Turn (to) Your Doorknobs

    "When you are trying to maximize your closet's full storage potential, don't forget the doorknobs," says Lee. Hang coordinating tote bags printed with decorative designs to keep stockings, scarves, and socks neatly contained and easy to grab when you're on the go.

    Related:  Closet Organization 101

    Aimee Herring / Livinginanutshell.com

  8. Play the Flip Side

    Play the Flip Side

    It’s not often that you see the back of a folding screen. Use this to your advantage by attaching small hooks to the back of your screen (if you're lucky enough to have one) and hanging muslin over-the-door shoe bags or even a muslin laundry bag. To support the hidden storage , the screen itself needs to be sturdy, fashioned from wood doors or planks, not a lightweight paper design.

    Related:  Divide and Conquer—10 Room Dividers to Bring Order to Your Space


  9. Cold Storage

    Cold Storage

    Rather than stash a random selection of kitchen items out in the open on top of the refrigerator, store them in a row of coordinating boxes. If the fridge is in an especially tight space, install a curtain rod and hang a pretty drape in front of it that can be pulled aside when needed. If nothing else—keep it organized!

    Related:  7 DIY Pantry Hacks and Kitchen Storage Ideas


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