How to Store Everything in Your Home From A to Z

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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 backpacks, holiday decor, and more in your home.

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    Accessories

    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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    Appliances

    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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    Backpacks

    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

    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.

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    Bathing Suits

    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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    Bikes

    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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    Cashmere Sweaters

    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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    Comforters

    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.

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    Cords

    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.

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    Documents

    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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    Flip Flops

    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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    Gift Wrap

    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.

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    Hair Dryers

    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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    Handbags

    There are countless solutions for how to store bags. Three of our favorite places to store handbags and purses are:

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    Holiday Decor

    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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    Keys

    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:

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    Out-of-Season Clothes

    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 be slid under the bed.

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    Photos

    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:

    1. 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.
    2. Nest your pots and pans in the deepest drawers you have in your kitchen.
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    Recipes

    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.

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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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    Shoes

    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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    Small Electronics

    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.

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    T-Shirts

    Store t-shirts folded in a dresser. If you have a lot of them, organize them into groups by use:

    • Undershirts
    • 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.

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    Ties

    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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    Travel Toiletries

    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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    Wine

    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.