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. But some items are a little trickier to store than others.
Here are some tips on how to store everything from backpacks to holiday decor, and more in your home.
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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, parts, and pieces. Odds are that many of your small appliances aren't 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.
For 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 them together on the inside of a closet door for easy retrieval.Continue to 5 of 29 below.
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If you live in a house or condo complex with a garage, store your bike there. 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 on the wall that will turn it into part of your decor.
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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. Another option is to purchase a comforter storage bag.Continue to 9 of 29 below.
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Store out-of-use cords in zip-locked plastic bags, or, if you have the space, use hooks to keep them organized and tangle-free. Label them, wrap them up, and hang them.
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So much of 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, stack flip flops on top of each other (heel-to-toe reversed) and place them on a shelf for quick access. That way, you will keep pairs together.
Out of season, store flip flops in a plastic bin.
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There's no shortage of ways to store gift wrap. 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 29 below.
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The best option for storing hair dryers is a caddy installed inside the door under your bathroom sink. If there's no room for that, try a galvanized bucket. Square, galvanized buckets are space-saving and easy to clean.
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Many types of items are used to decorate 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. Boxes with dividers will protect delicate ornaments, while bags will keep all parts of an artificial tree together until time to take it out again.
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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.Continue to 17 of 29 below.
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Store hanging clothes in a covered garment rack in your basement or attic. Store items that can be folded like sweaters and pants in plastic storage boxes. If space is a concern, use boxes that can slide under the bed.
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Choose acid-free boxes and photo albums for storing old photos. Avoid photo albums with vinyl sleeves. 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 and Pans
You can store pots and pans in two ways: Nest your pots and pans in the deepest drawers you have in your kitchen. Or, invest in a sturdy pot rack installed 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.
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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 while others prefer digital solutions or recipes stored in a three-ring binder. Figure out how you want to use your recipes and then choose a storage solution that works for you.Continue to 21 of 29 below.
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Reusable Grocery Bags
Keep a stash of reusable bags in your car. Whenever you're going grocery shopping, you'll have them handy. After you get home, empty them out and hang them on the doorknob so you remember to put them back in the car next time you go out.
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Use a pillbox or medicine organizer to store heirloom seeds passed down to you or seeds you harvested at the end of the growing season. Extra seeds still in seed packets or envelopes will slide perfectly into the sleeve of a photo album.
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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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The kitchen is usually the command center of your home; place a charging station in an out-of-the-way corner of the countertop and put your phones and tablets there when not in use. This also helps break the habit of scrolling on your phone while in bed late at night.Continue to 25 of 29 below.
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Store t-shirts folded in a dresser. If you have a lot of them, organize them into groups by use, such as all gym shirts together, or all work or dressier shirts together. Organizing by category makes it easier for you to grab what you need when you're getting dressed.
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A tie hanger is an easy way to store ties in your closet; if you don't have many ties, a regular clothes hanger will work too. Another option is to use a sock organizer in your dresser.
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People tend to hang on to these for way too long. Also, you don't have to find storage space if you leave these at the hotel and don't grab 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 overnight guests. When you have more than you need, donate them to your local homeless shelter.
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The ideal solution is to take your wedding dress to a professional dry cleaner that specializes in wedding dress preservation. After cleaning, they will place your dress in a box specially made for storage.
If you plan on preparing your cleaned dress yourself, store anything with metal (such as buttons on a belt or sash) away from the dress. Choose an acid-free box and wrap your dress in special archival tissue paper for preservation.Continue to 29 of 29 below.
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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.