We always need more storage space. But where do we get it? Let's think this through. Do you not have enough storage space, or are you not using the space you have to the best advantage? The hardest part of creating space is getting rid of things. Once you've decided to bite the bullet and discard unused things, the rest is easy. Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, Scripps Howard News Service
First, clean out the garbage. There are probably many things lying around that should be thrown out or given to someone who doesn't live in your house. Clothes, for example, follow the 20/80 rules, like most things in life. Most people only wear 20 percent of the clothes they have in the closet while 80 percent of the clothes just hang there year after year taking up valuable space. Just ridding your closet of unused clothing will give you much-needed space.
In the kitchen. What about all those wonderful small appliances you bought with great intentions of using? Some appliances are put to use once a year for special days like Christmas, but what about all those others, like the juicer that the infomercial sold you on that was used maybe for two weeks but not since? And what about that griddle that promised healthy meals but has been sitting in the cupboard, unused, for years? Clean the unused appliances and either have a garage sale or give them to a charity.
Is there too much furniture? Unclutter the space by getting rid of some of that extra baggage. Keep the comfortable and functional pieces and make someone in need happy by giving the rest away. If you just can't part with some of the things that contribute to the clutter, consider renting storage space and rotating the furnishings every once in a while.
Back to the closet. Now that the space is space, try some of these tricks. Change the rod arrangement in the closet. If there is only one long rod, divide the closet in half and hang one rod for long clothes such as slacks and dresses on one side and hang two rods (one above the other) on the other half for shorts, shirts and, well, short items. Add shelves above the top shelf for items that are used only once a year. These shelves and rod systems can be purchased at hardware stores.
Back to the kitchen. Go to the hardware store and purchase pullout shelves that can be installed in the cupboards. Not only does this help you reach items that are usually hidden behind other items, but the pullout shelves usually help the area look better organized.
Living/family room: How about trading that old cocktail table for one that has storage drawers? Those drawers are a great place for magazines and/or board games. Add shelves on the walls for displaying knickknacks, books or family pictures. Now these items are up and out of the way, yet are still around for your enjoyment.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann is an interior designer in Naples.