One of the biggest contributors to household clutter is not knowing how to properly store your items. It's time to get organized and put everything in its place. Here's a comprehensive list of how to store just about anything.
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When it comes to storing accessories, keep anything you use often close at hand, while storing the rest out of sight to reduce visual clutter. Hang scarves you wear often on hooks in your closet and tuck the rest away in a plastic bin; your everyday handbag may find a good home in your entryway, while the rest can be kept in a hanging canvas sweater bag.
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Storing appliances is tricky because they involve wires and parts and pieces. Odds are, many of your small appliances aren't being used every day––or even every month. Waffle irons, ice cream makers, and other items that rarely see the light of day should be put into storage, while cabinet and pantry space should be reserved for workhorses like a blender, food processor, and hand mixer.
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The best way to store backpacks is to keep them someplace where they're easy to grab on your way out the door. If you have a mudroom, place backpacks in a cubby or on hooks alongside coats and other items. Otherwise, hooks near your entry door or on the inside of your closet door work well.
You may also wonder how to store backpacks that aren't currently being used. Empty them and store them flat on closet shelves.
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Baseball caps are a struggle to store because they're unwieldy to stack on shelves or shove in drawers. Try hanging baseball hats together on the inside of a closet door for easy retrieval.Continue to 5 of 27 below.
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California Closets' Ginny Snook Scott recommends you store bathing suits in a pull-out basket tucked inside a drawer or placed on a closet shelf.
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If you live in a house or condo complex with a garage, that is the obvious choice for your bike, but if you live in an apartment or townhouse (or if you just like to keep your bike inside), there are some cool storage solutions for hanging your bike.
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A slide-in clothes organizer protects delicate cashmere from your closet shelving and helps to maximize space below the rod as well as above.
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Use a collapsible storage cube to store your comforters and quilts in the closet. The advantage of the storage cube is that it can be easily collapsed and folded when not in use. Win-win. Another option is to purchase a comforter storage bag.Continue to 9 of 27 below.
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So much of our household clutter is paper. It's easy to accumulate and once it does, it can be hard to get rid of. Having a proper storage system is key. Place action items, like invitations, forms that need to be filled out, and bills, in a desktop inbox and put the rest in a filing cabinet for safekeeping. And, most important of all, throw out anything you don't need to keep.
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For in-season storage, California Closets' Ginny Snook Scott recommends you stack flip flops on top of each other (heel-to-toe reversed) and place them on a shelf for quick access. "If you don’t stack them together, you will always be trying to find the matching pairs!" she says.
Out of season, store flip flops in a plastic bin.
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There's no shortage of ways to store gift wrap these days. Organizing stores sell both upright gift wrap organizers with room for ribbons, tape, and gift tags, as well as long, flat plastic storage containers that can slide under the bed.Continue to 13 of 27 below.
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We use many types of items to decorate our homes during the holidays, and they have different storage requirements. When storing holiday decor, it's worth it to purchase specialized plastic bins and boxes to protect these sentimental––and often fragile––items.
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Store keys near your door in a pretty dish or small bowl or on a hook. The trick is to consistently store them in the same place every single day so you never lose them. See also:Continue to 17 of 27 below.
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Choose acid-free boxes and photo albums for storing old photos. Avoid photo albums with vinyl sleeves, and whatever storage solution you choose, make sure you keep it in a place that isn't subject to temperature fluctuations or humidity.
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Pots + Pans
You can store pots and pans two ways:
- Invest in installing a sturdy pot rack on your kitchen ceiling. If your pots are in pristine condition––or even if they have a bit of a patina––they might look good hanging out in the open and they'll be close at hand whenever you need them.
- Nest your pots and pans in the deepest drawers you have in your kitchen.
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There are so many options for recipe storage, the trick is to figure out which form you want to keep and use recipes in. Some people like to use index cards filed in recipe boxes and others prefer digital solutions. Figure out how you want to use your recipes and then choose a storage solution that works for you.Continue to 21 of 27 below.
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Divide your shoes into three categories: shoes you wear all the time, shoes you wear seasonally, and shoes you wear occasionally. Store the shoes you wear all the time near the entrance to your home on a small shoe rack or in the closet. Seasonal shoes should be put away in storage when not in use; shoes you wear occasionally should be put in your closet, either on a shoe rack or in a hanging shoe organizer.
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Store t-shirts folded in a dresser. If you have a lot of them, organize them into groups by use:
- Casual shirts
- Dressier shirts
- Tank tops
- Gym shirts
Organizing by category makes it easier for you to grab what you need when you're getting dressed.Continue to 25 of 27 below.
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People tend to hang onto these for way too long. (Pro tip: You don't have to find storage space if you leave these at the hotel instead of grabbing them on your way out!)
If you can't resist bringing some home with you, store them in your linen closet or guest bathroom for use by visiting guests. When you have more than you need, donate them to your local homeless shelter.
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You don't need a wine cellar to store wine properly. Just know these rules: keep it in a cool, dark place and store it sideways. Countertop wine racks are a nice storage option as well, but make sure you place them away from direct sunlight.