Tuesday, December 29, 2015

No Room at the Inn; Storage Space Part Two

When we left off last, we had covered a couple of ideas for adding storage to your home. Shall we look at more? There are many more, I assure you.

I think we should start with the kitchen. Tell me about your cabinets. Are they organized and alphabetized? All containers facing the exact same direction(out), like good little soldiers? No? Why not? Just kidding! Well, just a little. If you are one of those that comes home from the grocery store and just shoves what you bought in the cabinets, please rethink that. First of all, it is very hard to inventory when you don't have things together. Second, how do you ever find anything? You don't have to be as anal about it as I am, but do put some order to it. Rotation is key to food storage. ( I will cover this in another post right around the corner.) Also, look in that cabinet that you store all your gadgets. Do you use all of them? If not, donate them. Just keep the ones you actually use. If you really want to go hog wild with purging gadgets, consider the space the microwave takes up. I went a long time without one. Believe it or not, you can live without one. If you can live without a microwave, you can live without most kitchen gadgets. If you can't, no problem, I am not here to judge you! We have one on our counter now.

Look around your kitchen and see where you can add storage. Can you add a shelf anywhere just under the ceiling? Think those handy little containers again. Can you add a bookcase or any kind of cabinet with doors somewhere in a corner? Do you have that cabinet that has wasted space because the shelves inside are so far apart? Any big box store has these handy little wire shelved that stack together to create more space. They are relatively cheap as well.

Don't forget wall space. Years ago, I put rings on all my regularly used cooking utensils and hung them above the stove. All I had to do was grab them while I was cooking. Can you put up one of those magnetic strips to hang your knives? What about your pots and pans? Do you have nice ones, like cast iron? Instead of taking up cabinet space, show them off. Hang them from the ceiling if you are able or have a space you can, or hang them on the wall over the stove. Just make sure they are anchored well, you are not after ripping a hole in the wall if they fall. I have an enamel covered cast iron dutch oven that I love. I keep it out on the stove all the time. It adds a nice splash of color and shows it off at the same time. And if my husband misbehaves, I can simply grab it and smack him upside the head with it! I love double duty items, especially when they double as an attitude adjuster!

We also have a large spice rack that my grandpa made. We hung it on the wall above the window. Displays my spice rack, keeps the spices easy to grab and use and frees up that valuable real estate in those cabinets. Don't let those vertical spaces go to waste!

Do you have hard to reach cabinets or spaces in your cabinets? Who doesn't? I think that the folks that put cabinets in think that everyone is either 7 feet tall or 2 feet tall. Anyway, that space is a wonderful place to store those items that you want to keep for long term.

Now on to the living room. But my wife/husband would never let me store things in there! Oh, but you can. Be creative. Look around and see what you have in there. I am not suggesting that you just put in a bookcase and start filling it up for everyone to see and look at. But what about the end tables? What could you fit under them? Then all you have to do is cover them with a table cloth, of which you can find many styles to suit your living room colors. You can do the same with a coffee table. Replace the footstool with an ottoman. Is your couch and chairs flat against the floor? If not, next time you buy some canned goods, keep one of the boxes they stack them in and slide it right under there. Is your couch flush against the wall? Put some items back there. Is it out in the middle of the room as a divider? Buy or build a table to stand behind the couch. Put some pretties on top of it and either cover it or add cabinets and doors under to store more items. Also consider freeing up closet space by using your couch and chairs to store your extra blankets. Especially in the winter time, or in my case all year! Fold the blankets and put them on the back of the couch or chair. If you are not overly fussy about these things, let everyone pick their favorite and mark their spot. You do have favorite or usual places where you all sit, right?

Again, look at the walls. Do you have a corner you could build a set of shelves? You may need to take a chance and see what's behind a wall. We found a marvelous amount of space on one side of our fireplace. We took a chance and ripped part of the wall down to see what was behind it. Loads of room! We put in a bookcase. Of course with my love of books, we filled it up immediately...But doing that allowed us to free up another moveable bookcase for other uses. And by using as much scrap lumber and pieces from other projects as we could, we didn't really spend any money on it. What we did buy was red cedar to frame it with. It smells wonderful and looks good too.

Be critical. What can you get rid of? What do see when you look around your house? Where can you "add" more storage? It's there, all you have to do now is find it.

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