All posts by Paige Smith

How to Clean and Store Suits, Dress Shirts, Pants, and Shoes

Like snowboarding gear and winter boots, formal wear is one of those things that requires significant storage space. Unlike puffy nylon coats, you can’t toss suit jackets and pants into a duffel bag to shove under your bed, nor can you drop leather dress shoes into a plastic bin with the rest of your plebeian sneakers.

These well-made, fancy (read: expensive) items deserve — nay, demand — good treatment, especially if you want to make them last for another few years of wedding seasons and office presentations.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about cleaning, storing, and caring for your suits, dress shirts, pants, and shoes.

Suits

professional man and woman wearing suits

Cleaning Tips:

black handheld clothes steamer
Flickr/Your Best Digs

The key to cleaning your suit is regular maintenance. After you wear it, follow these steps:

  1. Using a suit brush, brush the fabric in a downward motion to remove dust, dead skin, hair, or food particles. Follow it up with a lint roller if you want your suit spotless.  
  2. Check for any small stains, then do a spot treatment using a stain remover or a clean cloth and a squirt of mild detergent.
  3. Steam your suit before you hang it up to air-dry. It’s a gentle, efficient way to refresh it, minimize odor, and eliminate wrinkles.

If you take these steps and your suit still has stains or smells ripe, bring it to the dry cleaners.  Just remember: the chemicals and products used at dry cleaning establishments are notoriously harsh on suit fabrics and can cause a lot of wear and tear to your digs over time. Dry cleaning your suit occasionally (and as a last resort) is totally fine — just don’t go overboard.

If you do take your suit to the dry cleaners, ditch the plastic cover they provide — it can trap gases inside and cause moisture buildup and mildew.

Storage Tips:

brooks brothers herringbone suit on wooden hanger
Flickr/Robert Sheie

The best way to store a suit so it lasts is to hang it somewhere cool, dry, and away from sunlight. Use a widespread, sturdy wooden hanger with rounded edges to hold the shape of your suit, and cover it with a cloth garment bag to protect it from dust, moths, and mildew. If you have multiple suits, space them out evenly on your hanging bar — if they’re crammed together, they won’t ventilate properly.

It’s a known fact that folding your suit and stuffing it into a storage box is a cardinal sin, but if you’re moving, traveling, or transferring your suit to storage, you can use a portable garment bag like the one below. It’ll keep your suit in good shape until you can bring it home to its hanger.

garment bag for a suit
Flickr/Eric Lin

Dress Shirts

organized men's master closet
Just A Girl and Her Blog

Cleaning Tips:

collar stays in a blue dress shirt
Flickr/Robert Sheie

You can send your button-downs to the dry cleaners, but it’s best to wash them at home if you want to preserve the fabric. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, unbutton everything, including the cuffs, and remove any collar stays before washing.
  2. Pre-treat stains by dabbing a bit of detergent on them and letting it soak for five to 10 minutes.
  3. Before you do anything, check the care tags. If your shirts are machine-washable, separate your lights from darks and put them on a delicate cycle with cold water. If you need to hand-wash your shirts, fill a clean tub or sink with cold water and mild detergent, then gently swish your shirts in the water to clean them.
  4. Hang your shirts on a wide wooden hanger to air-dry.

Storage Tips:

dress shirts hanging on wooden hangers
Flickr/david.dames

Like suit jackets, dress shirts do best when hung up in a cool, dry closet space. Steer clear of wire or plastic hangers, which can stretch your shirts and leave divot marks or rust spots on the shoulders.

If you don’t have enough hanging space, you can fold your dress shirts retail-style and stack them on shelves or in boxes. If you go for this method, make sure to keep your stacks small and separate each shirt with a sheet of acid-free tissue paper to help preserve its color and prevent fading or yellowing.

dress shirt in retail display box

Dress Pants

wool dress points hanging
Flickr/Menswear Market

Cleaning Tips:

hand wash wool pants
The Laundress

If your slacks or trousers are made from cotton, you can throw them in the washing machine on a cold, gentle cycle. To protect the material, turn them inside out first and use a mesh laundry bag so the zippers and buttons don’t get damaged.

Wool and silk pants, on the other hand, need to be hand-washed. Follow the same protocol as you would with a dress shirt: fill a clean basin with cold water and a bit of mild detergent, then soak your pants, swish them around, and rinse.  

Once your pants are crisp and clean, air-dry them using this method: lay your pants on a clean towel, then roll the towel up (pants inside) and squeeze out the excess water. Do this a couple times until your pants are damp but not dripping, then lay them flat again.

Storage Tips:

dress pants on felt clamp hangers
IKEA

Don’t try to fold your pants; instead, hang them by the hem from a felt clamp hanger. A felt hanger helps prevent your pants from slipping and stretching, plus it allow the fabric to breathe.

To prevent moths and mold from attacking your pants, place a few cedar blocks or sachets of lavender in your closet.

Pro Tip: Cedar blocks and lavender work well in your linen closet, too.

Dress Shoes

brown business casual leather shoes

Cleaning Tips:

leather shoeshine kit with brush

High-quality dress shoes can last years if you treat them right. That’s why it’s smart to invest in a basic shoe polishing kit so you can shine up your kicks after every couple wears.

Every kit is different, but make sure you have a bottle of leather cleaner or saddle soap, a bottle of leather conditioner, wax, and a couple clean cloths or old cotton T-shirts you don’t mind soiling.

Once you have your kit, follow these steps:

  1. Wipe off debris and dirt on your shoes using a shoe brush or a clean, lint-free cloth.
  2. Next, dab a bit of leather cleaner or saddle soap onto a clean cloth and gently work it into the leather by rubbing in small circles.
  3. Once the shoe dries, rub it with a squirt of leather conditioner to rehydrate and restore the material.
  4. Using an old T-shirt or cloth, rub in a bit of wax, then buff the shoes.
  5. Scrub mud, dirt, and scuff marks off the soles and bottom of your shoes using a toothbrush dipped in baking powder and water. Dish soap works, too.

If you have suede shoes, you can clean them using a mixture of two parts water and one part white vinegar. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and gently wipe down your shoes.

Free Bonus: Check out these  20 genius green cleaning tips and tricks for every room in your home

Storage Tips:

black leather prada dress shoes in box
Flickr/Menswear Market

Keep your dress shoes far away from muddy trainers and sweaty sneakers; store them inside a sturdy shoe box somewhere dark and cool, like the top shelf of your closet or the space under your bed.

If you know you won’t be wearing your shoes for a while, stick a cedar shoe tree (like in the photo below) inside each one — not only does it help retain the shape of your shoes, it also absorbs moisture and reduces odor.

cedar shoe tree with brown leather men's shoe
Menswear Market

Want more smart storage solutions? These 13 easy DIY storage ideas will organize your entire home.

If your closet space is maxed out, use MakeSpace to safely store your suits, dress shirts, pants, and shoes.

Simply schedule a pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll grab everything from your home and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

makespace storage app and website showing a customer's "my stuff" screen

And when you need your suit back for a big event, just browse your convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it back to you.

11 Easy Design Tweaks That’ll Make Your Home Feel Brand New

Even the most timeless decor can feel stale after a while. If your apartment needs a quick makeover, don’t worry about buying a new set of furniture or scrapping all your art.Instead, look to the easily replaceable stuff to get the job done.

Here are 11 simple design tweaks to make your home look and feel brand new — no major renovations or tedious DIY projects necessary.

1. Change (or get rid of) your curtains

spotted curtains
A Beautiful Mess

Curtains are the window equivalent of expertly applied eye makeup. They highlight the view from your windows, add drama, and open up your space. In short, they can completely change the vibe of a room.

If your place feels too dark or heavy, switch your curtains to something white and breezy to let the natural light flow in. Or, if your living room or bedroom feels stark and boring, hang a pair of fun patterned curtains à la A Beautiful Mess.

If you’re not a big fan of curtains blocking your small window, nix ‘em and go bare.

2. Move your bed to a different wall

bed against dark wall with mural
Lemon Thistle

Before you groan about the amount of work involved, let’s get this straight: all it takes to move your bed is a helpful friend and 10 minutes of your time.

By moving your bed to a different wall, you can totally re-work the layout of your room to create more space. Not only that, but moving your bed is a surefire way to feel like you’ve updated your room without actually doing much.

Want to go the extra mile? Here’s how to properly clean your mattress and your bedding for an even fresher look.

Free Bonus: Here are four easy decorating ideas to make your small apartment look bigger

3. Swap out sofa pillows

assorted throw pillows on pink sofa
Cupcakes and Cashmere

Trading out your decorative sofa pillows is the easiest way to refresh your home. Don’t be afraid to mix it up — opt for pillows with different colors, patterns, and textures than your old ones.

If you want a cleaner, more minimalist look, try a set of pillows in complementary neutral tones. For a bold, eclectic aesthetic, mix in a few graphic and striped pillows in vibrant colors. To up the cozy factor of your living room, swap your plain fabric pillows for some with fur or velvet.

Want more ideas on how to create a cozy home? Read our guide on Lagom: the Swedish way of life that seamlessly combines semi-cluttered surroundings and being a full-on minimalist.

4. Install floating shelves

floating shelves with books and artwork
Sincerely, Sara D

A set of chic floating shelves has the power to completely transform an ordinary wall. Of course, they’re ideal for storing and displaying your books, dishes, or vinyl records, but they’re also a simple, more functional alternative to regular old framed art.

5. Paint an accent wall

pastel geometric patterned accent wall
Vintage Revivals

If you’re too scared to paint your entire apartment, pick one wall instead. Choose an area of your home that looks lackluster or uninspired, then zero in on the wall your eyes are most naturally drawn to — that’s the wall you want to paint.

As for the color, there are endless options. You can stick to a soft, subtle shade or pick a bright hue to contrast with the rest of your space. To make your wall extra eye-catching, try painting a pattern like Vintage Revivals did in the above photo.

6. Add greenery

fiddle leaf fig home interior
The Inspired Room

Liven up your home (figuratively and literally) with some strategically placed greenery. Plants add color and texture to a space, plus they make your home feel more lived-in and approachable.

Even better than that is the fact that plants can actually reduce your stress levels (for real).

As for where to display your greenery, anywhere works. Place succulents on side tables, hang glass terrariums from your kitchen ceiling, and tuck potted fiddle leaf figs or rubber trees in living room corners.

7. Hang art in your bathroom

bathroom with artwork and mirror
Young House Love

The ideal bathroom should be functional enough to store your extra toilet paper and beauty products, but also attractive enough to actually enjoy spending time in (and hopefully make flossing less boring).

To spruce up your bathroom decor in two minutes, display a small painting, framed photo, or cool print above the toilet or towel rod.

But first, here are 12 extremely easy ways to declutter your bathroom.

8. Upgrade your rug

blue patterned dining room rug
Honey We’re Home

Rugs don’t just anchor a room, they also add depth, texture, and personality to your space.

If your living room lacks energy and intrigue, get a rug that has a vivid color or graphic pattern. If, on the other hand, you want to bring more calm to your space, swap out a visually interesting rug for one in a solid earth tone.

Don’t forget about kitchens, bathrooms, and long hallways, either — a fresh, cool rug will give these areas new life.

9. Paint your front door

bright blue interior of front door
Young House Love

If your front door is run-down, faded, or covered in peeling paint, it can inadvertently make the rest of your home look and feel old.

To refresh your entryway, give your front door a new coat of paint. Try bright white, sleek black, a pop of neon, or a cool accent color to bring out the different shades in your decor.

Free Bonus: Check out these 15 amazing multi-purpose entryway storage hacks and ideas

10. Install a pendant light

modern pendant light in bright new office
Cupcakes and Cashmere

A hanging pendant works for two reasons: 1) it adds light to your space and 2) it makes a cool focal piece.

Hang one above your dining table, work area, or entryway.

You can even get rid of the ugly fluorescent lights in your bathroom and hang a small, pretty pendant in there instead (the soft, flattering glow will make you smile every time you look in the mirror).

11. Store your stuff with MakeSpace

An empty MakeSpace storage bin that reads "Pack me."

The most underrated design trick out there? Decluttering and letting go of the stuff you no longer need.

For the things you do keep but don’t have storage space for (like your bike, luggage, or snowboard), use MakeSpace.

Simply schedule a pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll pick up everything from your home and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

And when you want something back from storage, just browse the convenient online photo catalog of your stuff and click a button to get it delivered right away.

12 Clever Ways to Organize Your Book Collection

If you’ve been in the habit of carelessly cramming your books wherever there’s an extra inch of shelf space, it’s time to step up your organization game.

A solid book organization system doesn’t just make it easier to find what you’re looking for — it also makes you more likely to actually pick up a book and read.

Organizing your favorite reads doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming, either. We’ve rounded up a list of 12 easy, smart ways to organize your books — no professional librarian experience necessary.

Pro Tip: Before you organize your books, you may want to declutter. Here’s how to decide which books to keep or get rid of.

1. Separate your hard covers and paperbacks

book organization by paperback or hard cover
Flickr/Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill

Divide your hardbacks and paperbacks for a cleaner, more streamlined look on your bookshelves. It’s also a great way to organize if you’re a visual person.

2. Arrange your books by color

books organized by color
Honey We’re Home

This organization strategy is ideal if you’re the type of reader who tends to associate certain stories with their covers, or if you’re just really into the idea of statement bookshelves.

The best part about this method is that you can get super creative — stack your colors, try an ombré pattern, or opt for a rainbow look.

Pro Tip: If you like color-coordinating your books, try doing it to your wardrobe, too.

3. Don’t be afraid to stack books

stacked books
Flickr/EvelynGiggles

Keeping all your books in neat rows is a thing of the past. If you want a handful of select books to stand out, stack ‘em. You can stack by theme, cover, or size, and keep stacks on their own or use them to break up a row. There’s no wrong way to do it.

4. Organize books by genre or subject

books organized by genre
Flickr/Alan Levine

Group your mysteries together, your travel memoirs, your 18-century English literature novels, your cookbooks, and so on.

Organizing by genre and subject makes it a cinch to find the right book for your current mood and interests, so you’ll know exactly where to look when you need to satisfy your World War II curiosity or want a little romance story to spice up your Saturday night.

5. Display your favorite books front and center

display your favorite books
Flickr/Dan Taylor-Watt

Instead of lumping your favorite books in with all their mediocre peers (then frantically scanning the shelves every time you want to reread them), display them front and center where they can shine.

Free Bonus: Having trouble fitting your books on your shelves? Check out these 9 creative book storage hacks for small apartments

6. Organize your books alphabetically

alphabetical book organization
Flickr/Sarah J.

Alphabetical organization works best if you remember book titles and author names more than genres and plot points. It’s also ideal if your collection of books is so massive it’s basically a mini library.

Even better than the sense of accomplishment you’ll get from organizing your books alphabetically?

The satisfaction you’ll feel when your friends stop by to borrow a book and know exactly where to find it.

7. Organize your books according to how they made you feel

woman reading while sitting in bean bag chair

Maybe some books made you weep with sadness, while others had you laughing aloud to yourself at two in the morning. Maybe you read books so gripping you didn’t leave your couch for hours at a time. Maybe some books inspired you to pursue your passions, while others shattered your innocence. Maybe you read books that changed your life, and others that made no impression at all.

If you tend to have strong emotional responses to books, this organization method is an awesome way to categorize and distinguish what you’ve read.

8. Group together the books you haven’t read yet

new books never been read
Flickr/Brittany Stevens

Gather all the books you haven’t read yet and place them in their own special TBR (To Be Read) section so they don’t get lost among the other titles.

The best part?

You always have a book or two (or maybe five) to reach for when you need a fresh new read.

9. Arrange your books by height and size

bookshelves organized by height

Keep books of similar size and height together to give your collection a clean, uncluttered feel. The goal here is to create straight, even lines with the tops of your books — no staggered mountaintop rows allowed.

10. Separate your books by author: contemporary or classic

jane-austen-books-grouped-together
Ciao Domenica

This method works best if you have a diverse collection of old and new books. We’re talking Stephen King and Toni Morrison types, plus your Fitzgeralds, Austens, and Hemingways.

You can define contemporary and classic however it suits you: living and deceased authors, books written before and after a certain date, or books published in specific time periods.

11. Organize books by the condition of their covers

books with worn covers
Flickr/Alan Levine

This is another way to limit visual clutter on your bookshelves. Keep your torn, tattered, and weather-faded books all in one place, and your books with beautiful, well-kept covers in another.

12. Separate fiction and nonfiction

books separated by fiction and non-fiction
Flickr/George Redgrave

Every bookstore around the world employs this method because it’s simple and classic. Just group fiction books together and store everything else in another spot. Easy.

 

For all the books you can’t fit on your shelves but don’t want to say goodbye to, use MakeSpace.

Simply schedule a pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll grab everything from your home and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

And when you need that box of 1980’s crime novels back, just browse the convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it straight to you.

How to Wash and Store Your Winter Coats

Spring is officially here. But before you start scheduling outdoor picnics to celebrate that extra hour of sunlight, you may want to add one more item to your spring cleaning list.

The task in question?

Washing, organizing, and storing your winter coats. Because you don’t want a pile of sweat-stained, smoky, rain-splattered jackets and puffer vests cluttering your closet when you need to make room for shorts and open-toed shoes.

But before you set aside your winter outerwear for the next few seasons, read on to learn how to properly clean and store your winter coats to keep them in tip-top shape.

How to Wash Your Winter Coats

1. Check the care tag for instructions

laundry care tag in coat
Paige Smith

This is the first rule of thumb when washing anything. The care tag will usually have all the information you need, like whether or not your coat is machine-washable, which wash cycle and water temperature it needs, special instructions about specific detergents, and how to properly dry it.

Needless to say, you should interpret these instructions as rules, not suggestions. Your coat will thank you.

2. Pre-treat stains

treat stains on coat with detergent
Paige Smith

If you haven’t washed your winter coat all season, it probably has a few stains from food, dirty snow, puddle splashes, or just serious armpit sweating.

Pre-treat these stains with a stain remover or a squirt of Dawn dish soap. Apply the treatment to the stain, then let it soak for 10 minutes before tossing it in the washing machine or scrubbing it with a wet cloth.

3. Fasten all buttons and zippers

black plastic zipper on down winter jacket

The metal teeth on zippers can damage other clothes in the washing machine. To minimize the potential of snags and tears, it’s best to zip, fasten, and button everything on your coat before washing it.

This also helps your coat retain its shape as it tumbles around in the machine.

4. Wash similar materials together

similar winter coats hung together on rack
Wikipedia Commons/BrillLyle

When certain opposite materials rub together, it can cause pilling, fading, or degradation to your clothes.

To keep your coats in prime condition, always wash them separately or with clothes of similar materials. Keep wool with wool, nylon with nylon, fleece with fleece, and so on.

Want more smart cleaning tips? Learn how to clean your bedding in five easy steps and how to wash and store your mattress properly.

Down Jackets, Parkas, and Puffer Coats

black puffer coat with plaid scarf and red sweater
Honey We’re Home

As a general rule, nylon and puffy, down-filled jackets, coats, and vests can all go in the washing machine. Wash them on a gentle cycle with cold water and regular detergent.

You can dry your puffer coats in the dryer, too. Besides being way more efficient than air-drying, the dryer is actually better for your these types of garments since it helps evenly re-distribute the down material. Just keep it on a low or gentle cycle.

To help fluff up your coats, add a couple wool dryer balls to your load. Dryer balls are an easy, eco-friendly alternative to fabric softeners and dryer sheets — they soften and fluff your clothes, reduce wrinkling, and speed up the drying process.

If you’re in a pinch, clean tennis balls are also great fluffing tools.

Free Bonus: Check out these five insanely easy (and ridiculously effective) cleaning hacks

Wool Coats

black wool coat with silver zipper
Fabulous Fashions 4 Sensible Style

Regular detergents, hot water, and normal washing machine cycles can all cause the fibers in wool to break down or shrink. That’s why it’s crucial to be extra gentle with your fancy wool coat.

You can either hand-wash it in a tub with cold water and baby shampoo, or put it in the washing machine on a delicate cycle. If you do this, make sure you use cold water and a detergent specifically designed for dealing with wool products.

To dry it, lay your coat flat and use your hands to gently reshape the shoulders and arms as it dries.

Fleece Jackets

multi colored geometric pattern fleece jacket
Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski

Fleece jackets are a year-round staple, but they do double-duty in the winter as comfy indoor loungewear and outdoorsy, sweat-proof outerwear. To freshen up your fleece jackets, turn them inside out, throw them in the washer, and set your machine’s settings to “cold” and “gentle.”

Your fleece will get linty and pilled — and may even become less water-resistant — if you wash it with materials like cotton, so be sure to keep it separate from your other clothes.

Hang it up to air-dry.

Leather Jackets, Suede, and Fur

hanging black leather jacket

Don’t even attempt to wash your fur coats, leather jackets, or suede trenches at home. Take them to your local dry cleaners for a thorough, high-quality cleaning.

4 Easy Tips For Storing Your Winter Coats

1. Use wooden hangers

wooden hangers on black sheet
Flickr/dahon

Coats made of natural materials like leather, suede, wool, and down need a little room to breathe. Hang them on sturdy wooden hangers so they can retain their shape and stay wrinkle-free.

If you want to go the extra mile, cover your coats in fabric garment bags to protect them from dust and mildew.

Pro Tip: Before you hang your coats, you may want to get organized. Here’s how to easily organize everything in your closet (for cheap).

2. Stack coats in plastic storage boxes

coats-stored-in-plastic-bins
Paige Smith

To save hanging space, store your fleece and nylon coats in plastic boxes. Gently fold and stack your coats so they don’t get misshapen.

If you have a pile of puffer vests and jackets made from polyfill (as opposed to down feathers), you can use vacuum-sealed plastic bags to squish them down to half their size and save double the closet space.

Free Bonus: While you’re at it, learn how to easily store your other winter accessories like hats, gloves, scarves, and boots

3. Store coats somewhere dry, cool, and dark

coats in dry dark coat closet
Just A Girl and Her Blog

To avoid moisture build-up, mold, and damage from sunlight, store your coats someplace clean, cool, dry, and dark. Aim for a spot that hovers around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your closet or entryway space is maxed out, slide your storage box below your bed or place it on the top shelf of your linen closet.

Want more clever tips for storing your winter necessities? We’ve got you covered: learn how to store your skis off-season, how to store your snowboards and snowboarding gear, and how to store your shoes, boots, and sneakers.

4. Store your coats with MakeSpace

MakeSpace ARKit app storage plan estimate screen
Download the MakeSpace app

If your apartment is short on space, use MakeSpace to safely store your winter jackets and coats.

Simply schedule a pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll grab everything from your home and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

And when you need something back, just browse your convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it back to you.

8 Stylish Ways to Display and Store Art in Small Spaces

All artwork — whether it’s a curated piece for a gallery wall, or a portrait of a pug from the flea market — deserves a good home.

But that can be tough when your home is small. And it’s even tougher when the only decent wall space you have was recently taken over by your DIY clothes rack.

Before you shove your art beneath your bed or host an impromptu sale for your collection, though, let us help you out.

You can still store and display art in your small space — you just have to get a little creative. Here are eight ingenious ways to display your art when you’re pressed for room, plus five tips for storing it.

8 stylish ways to display your art:

1. Display small artwork on bookshelves

a bookshelf with some knickknacks and small art displayed

Your bookcase isn’t just good for housing your collection of pine-scented candles and Jack Kerouac novels — it makes an awesome art display, too.

Small pieces of artwork fit perfectly on bookshelves, and serve as a unique way to break up your rows of New York Times Best Sellers.

Free Bonus: 9 Creative Book Storage Hacks for Small Apartments

2. Use large artwork as your room’s statement piece

oversized tapestry art hangs from a bohemian room
SF Girl By Bay

Maybe you don’t have enough space in your tiny apartment for the chic sectional you wanted or the red velvet chairs you envisioned yourself using for afternoon tea parties (here’s a roundup of stylish space-saving sofas and coffee tables perfect for a tiny home).

But that’s okay. Instead of statement furniture, embrace the idea of statement art. Hang your biggest and boldest piece somewhere visible and prominent. Since it’s just on the wall, it’ll add style to your home without cluttering or overwhelming it.

3. Consider the style of your art when figuring out where to display it

a woman approaches a work of art to examine it closer

Graphic artwork with bright, vibrant patterns is easy to see from a distance, whereas art with intricate scenes or small details is better observed up close.

If you own the type of art that makes people squint their eyes or walk toward it to get a better look, display it in a more intimate space. Think places like above a desk, leaning atop a dresser (check out these Ikea hacks to get the dresser of your dreams), or in a narrow hallway.

On the other hand, if you have art that’s best viewed from afar to see how the colors and details connect on a larger scale? Hang it above a sofa, bed, mantelpiece, or dining table.

4. Take advantage of narrow spaces for mini galleries

four photos hang in a narrow corner
Apartment Apothecary

If you have a diverse collection of cohesive artwork, don’t stress about finding a spot for each individual piece. Group them together instead.

Entryways, bathroom hallways, and even corners (like in the photo above) make ideal gallery spaces.

Your blank wall will be filled with something beautiful and you’ll have a cool area to bring guests when you want to show off your taste in art. That’s a double win.

5. Use the leaning method

a piece of art is propped up against the wall next to a bed
Paper & Stitch

Out of space to hang your favorite pieces?

Here’s an idea as stylish as it is easy: Place your art on top of a desk, nightstand, or dresser and lean it against the wall.

Simple. Chic. No nails required.

6. Create a tranquil window scene with your art

natural artwork hanging in a small space

A print from nature or a gorgeous landscape piece make the perfect figurative window to open up your space.

Bring the outdoors into an area of your home that doesn’t get a ton of natural light.

Free Bonus: 7 Easy Ways to Fill Your Apartment With More Natural Light

7. Place large and small pieces alongside one another to add depth

This method is the low-key alternative to a gallery wall.

Instead of grouping 10 unique pieces or hanging just two identical paintings, strike a balance: Pick three or four pieces in different shapes and sizes.

The look will add dimension to your space without feeling chaotic.

Pro Tip: Try these 4 easy decorating ideas to make your small apartment look bigger.

8. Hang art in unexpected places

two tranquil art prints hang above turkish towels in a bathroom
Monika Hibbs

Showcase your art where you’d least expect it. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, lean a frame or two against your hearth.

Prop a piece on your open kitchen shelves, or hang one above your toilet or bedroom doorway.

5 Smart Tips for Storing Your Art

1. Clean it first

a pile of clean brushes lie stacked together on a table

Gently wipe dust off your artwork with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. If you have wood or metal frames, spray them with a protectant polish to prevent rusting and disintegration.

Don’t want to muster your masterpiece? Check out Apartment Therapy’s tips for cleaning all kinds of artwork.

2. Cover your art with a cloth

artwork lies on a bench next to some cloth that will cover it

If your art is framed, tape cardboard pieces to the corners to protect it, then drape a clean cloth, blanket, or piece of felt over it to prevent dust and dirt from settling.

If you’re transferring your art to a new home or storage facility, wrap it with a blanket or cloth and place it in a sealed plastic bag to prevent water damage during the move.

3. Store your art in a clean, dark, temperature-controlled space

a lightbulb shines on a piece of art in a dark room

Changes in temperature can cause your art to expand or contract, which leads to warping, stretching, and cracking over time.

Steer clear of spaces like attics and basements, as the moisture build-up from high humidity can lead to mold.

Same goes for bright, sunny places, since intense light exposure might fade your artwork over time.

Your best bet is to keep your art in a clean, dry, windowless space that stays around 70 degrees Fahrenheit all year.

4. Keep your artwork separated

two botanical prints lying side by side

If you’re storing multiple pieces of art in the same small space, keep them cushioned against one another with foam or padded blankets.

Whenever possible, keep your artwork off the floor (hang it on a closet wall or use open shelf space) to protect it from mold, dirt, and potential moisture.

And remember: Stack your pieces standing up (like books on a shelf), not lying flat.

5. Let MakeSpace store your art for you

The MakeSpace storage bin of Ashley Albert, owner of the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn, NY.

For all the framed posters and flea market finds you don’t have room for, use MakeSpace.

Simply schedule a FREE pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll grab everything from your home and carefully transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

And when you want that massive 3-by-5 forest print back, just browse the convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it straight to you.

This article was written by Paige Smith, a freelance writer from Orange County, California who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics.

10 Intoxicating Ways to Store Your Liquor at Home

Whether you’re a liquor connoisseur, self-proclaimed mixologist, or just a lover of fresh cocktails, you probably have at least a small collection of hard alcohol at home.

But if you’re low on kitchen cabinet space (who isn’t?), where do you store your bottles of tequila and gin?

Here’s a hint: A well-styled bar cart, though aesthetically appealing, isn’t always the answer.

Here are 10 creative ways to store and display your liquor, plus three quick tips about how to do it safely.

Free Bonus: Take a look at these 13 easy DIY storage ideas to organize your entire home

3 Safety Tips For Storing Liquor at Home

1. Keep liquor out of direct sunlight

dark liquor stored in cabinet no sunlight

Harsh UV rays can damage your liquor over time (and might even change its color), so it’s best to store your bottles away from streaming sunlight.

2. Store liquor at room-temperature

whiskey stored at room temperature
Flickr/Matthew

Unlike white wines and champagne, hard liquor can and should be stored at room temperature (yes, even vodka).

It’s perfectly fine to chill your gin or tequila in the freezer before you drink it, but the cold temperature won’t extend the alcohol’s shelf life.

Another thing to keep in mind: while liquor generally stays good for years, once it’s opened the alcohol will begin to oxidize, which can significantly lessen the flavors over time.

3. Store liquor in a secure spot

safe and organized liquor bottle storage
Honey We’re Home

You can’t exactly glue your glass bottles to your kitchen shelves for maximum stability, but you can be smart about where you choose to store them.

Here’s the basic rule: Don’t store liquor in a place where it could come crashing down on someone’s head in the event of an earthquake or crazy accident.

And if you have children or pets, be extra careful: opt for high shelves with rails or utility carts with protective sides.

Free Bonus: Check out our list of the 12 best IKEA hacks and ideas for every room in your home

8 Fun Ways to Store Your Liquor at Home

1. Display liquor in a chic tray

lucite bar storage tray
Cupcakes and Cashmere

This method is simple, classic, and elegant, to boot. All you have to do is find a tray that matches your style (snakeskin, lucite, metallic, leather — the options are endless) and load your liquor into it.

You can display the tray on a side table, vanity, or kitchen counter.

2. Turn a console into a bar cart

console table bar storage
House Beautiful

Liven up a console table by using it as a makeshift bar cart. You can dedicate the entire surface to your liquor display, or mix your bottles with other decorative elements like a vase, sculpture, or stack of books.

Free Bonus: Here are 10 DIY storage and furniture projects you can make in less than one hour

3. Store liquor on open kitchen shelves

open shelf liquor bottle storage
The Creativity Exchange

Open shelves in a kitchen or dining room are usually reserved for glassware and china, but why not add your fancy alcohol to the mix.

It’s no-brainer storage, plus it adds a fun stylistic element to what could easily be a very plain shelf set-up.

Pro Tip: Learn how to organize your entire kitchen with these 11 clever tips.

4. Turn a sewing machine cabinet into a liquor cabinet

DIY-sewing-machine-liquor-cabinet
Pinterest/Andy Dobbins

If you have an old sewing table you’re no longer using, transform it into a one-of-a-kind storage space. The table’s small side cabinet is just big enough to hold all your favorite booze.

And if you don’t have a vintage sewing table on hand (who does, really?), don’t stress. You could easily repurpose a side table, nightstand, or secretary desk to hold your liquor collection.

Pro Tip: Declutter your cabinets first using these 15 actionable tips from certified professional organizers.

5. Use a wine rack

wine rack liquor storage
Etsy/CedarOaks

Who says a beautiful wine rack can’t be repurposed as a cool liquor display?

Nix the reds and whites and use the shelf solely for the hard stuff.

Free Bonus: How To Properly Store Wine At Home

6. Display liquor among your books

liquor storage book shelf
Little Black Door

Showcase your prettiest liquor bottles alongside your book collection. Not only does liquor make a unique decorative addition to a bookcase (or China cabinet, like in the photo above), but it’s also a surprisingly convenient storage spot.

After all, who doesn’t love to sip a glass of whiskey while curling up with a good book? Hemingway would approve.

7. Build a DIY liquor cabinet

DIY wall mounted liquor cabinet
A Beautiful Mess

Sometimes you just want a designated storage space for your liquor, one that’s unique, crafty, and functional. We get it.

This charming DIY project from A Beautiful Mess hits all those points. Not only does this liquor cabinet safely store all your alcohol, it doubles as stylish wall decor wherever you hang it.

Free Bonus: Check out these 11 DIY wood pallet ideas that’ll increase the space in your tiny apartment

8. Display liquor in a mini bookcase

bookcase liquor bar storage
Pinterest/Jessica Police

Turn a small, unused shelving unit into a cute stationary bar set-up. Just clear the shelves and add bottles of liquor, glasses, napkins, and cocktail mixers.

The bookcase’s petite size makes it easy to tuck into a kitchen nook or living room corner.

9. Store liquor in an IKEA cart

ikea raskog bar cart
This Fairy Tale Life

IKEA’s Raskog utility cart makes the perfect liquor storage solution. It’s attractive, sturdy, and big enough to accommodate your liquor collection without taking up too much space.

The best part? You can easily wheel it between your kitchen and dining room whenever you need to mix a fresh cocktail.

Want more IKEA hacks? These seven ideas will upgrade your entire home.

10. Let MakeSpace store everything else

For everything you can’t fit in your home (like the collection of vinyl records and shoes you moved to make room for your liquor display, #priorities), use MakeSpace.

Simply schedule a pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll grab everything from your home and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

And when you need something back, just browse your convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it back to you.

Cheers to that.

11 Helpful Tips For Hosting Overnight Guests In A Small Apartment

Hosting overnight guests always requires some work, but it’s extra challenging when you live in a small apartment.

If your mind is spinning with visions of beauty products cluttering the bathroom counter and suitcases splayed open across the living room floor, don’t worry.

Accommodating guests in a space-challenged apartment doesn’t have to be a nightmare, or even a lesson in patience. With some extra effort and a positive attitude, you can make the experience comfortable and enjoyable for everyone.

Read on for 11 clever tips to host overnight guests in a small apartment with ease:

1. Clear your space to make more room for guests

clothes hanging on a garment rack

The first thing you should do to prepare for overnight guests is give your space a thorough cleaning. Pick up scattered clothes and shoes, toss the pile of junk mail on your entryway table, wipe down all surfaces, and vacuum the floor. (Need more genius cleaning tips? Click right this way.)

Next, walk through your apartment and find areas where you can make room for your guests’ belongings. Leave a few hangers open in the coat closet, or invest in a garment rack to make unpacking easier. You can even rearrange your coffee table or sofa to make a spot for luggage.

Clear space in the bathroom, too — whether it’s an entire cabinet drawer or just a shelf riser.

Pro Tip: Check out these incredible cleaning tips to get your place sparkling on short notice: 26 dazzling deep cleaning tips and 35 powerful spring cleaning tips and tricks from professional organizers.

2. Invest in an air mattress

a woman sits on a bed with a mug of tea and a journal
Homey Oh My

If you don’t have a futon, pull-out sofa, or guest bedroom complete with an actual bed, your best bet is to invest in a high-quality air mattress.

Wirecutter rounded up the best air mattresses currently on the market. Here are some key takeaways: Look for extra cushions, a velvet-like top so the sheets don’t slide around, and a pump that plugs into the wall.

3. Gather your coziest blankets and sheets

an organized linen closet
By Stephanie Lynn

You may not be able to provide your guests with a five-star mattress that’s somehow equally soft and firm, but you can give them the next best thing: comfortable sheets and cozy blankets.

You already know to use cotton or linen during warmer months, and flannel sheets during colder ones. On extra chilly nights, The Washington Post advises laying a blanket between the mattress and bedding to provide additional warmth.

Don’t forget the pillows! Liz Marie recommends keeping a variety of pillows out, so guests can choose to their liking. Also keep out a few extra blankets… just in case.

Free Bonus: How to clean and store bedding in five simple steps

4. Make your living space sleep-friendly

a nightstand and a couch in a white room

If your guests are sleeping in your living room or another common area, do what you can to make it a comfortable experience.

First and foremost: Position your guests’ air mattress strategically.

The best spot is near a lamp or light switch, so they don’t have to fumble around in the dark. Also, make sure you have curtains or blinds that block out streaming sunlight and the glow from street lamps. If not, opt for a snug, high-quality eye mask.

If possible, Reader’s Digest recommends positioning the mattress at the foot of your sofa so your guest has a makeshift headboard.

Other thoughtful additions, like a white noise machine, fan, power strip for charging devices, and effective earplugs, can make all the difference between a restful snooze and a night of tossing and turning.

5. Stock up on bathroom necessities

a perky bathroom with a pink shower curtain and flowers on the counter
Honey We’re Home

Your guests may not have their own room, but they can still have a taste of hotel life with little pampering embellishments.

Think mini toiletries (especially convenient if you grabbed some the last time you stayed at a hotel), color-coordinated towels, and even a bathrobe or slippers.

Free Bonus: How to easily clutter-proof your bathroom in only five steps

6. Use a folding screen for privacy

a bright rattan-woven folding screen divides a room in two
Sugar & Cloth

When hosting guests in a studio, privacy is hard to come by. A folding screen  makes  perfect temporary room divider and extra changing area.

Free Bonus: Learn how to create a foyer using a room divider

7. Fold up your guest’s bed and sheets during the day

a closeup of two pillows lying on the ground
Imperfect Homemaking

If you have a tiny living space, consider putting away your guests’ bed during the day so you have more room to hang out. Yes, it’s a hassle to unmake and remake the bed. But the extra breathing room will be well worth the 10 minutes of effort.

Store your sheets, pillows, and deflated air mattress in a nearby coat closet or stack them in a basket to slide into the living room corner.

Another option? If you’re tight on space, stash them in an empty suitcase under your bed.

Free Bonus: This real estate agent’s top three tips for living in a small apartment can help you maximize your space

8. Set up a chair as a makeshift luggage rack

a canvas overnight bag lies next to a white chair

If your guests have a place to put their stuff, it’s less likely to spill into other parts of the home. Give them a convenient spot to store their luggage, whether it’s a chair, bench, or ottoman.

9. Keep snacks, drinks, and breakfast foods on hand

a full, spacious and open kitchen
Just A Girl And Her Blog

When you’re hosting guests in a small space, it’s important to make your daily rituals and meals as easy and stress-free as possible.

Buy tasty snacks, fill the fruit bowl, and load the fridge with a variety of drink options. Leave a pitcher of water and glasses out and readily accessible to all.

And, unless you’re the type who loves to whip up individual omelets or veggie quiches, opt for pre-made or quick breakfasts. Think cinnamon rolls, bagels and cream cheese, pancakes, or yogurt and granola.

10. When in doubt, go out

a closeup of a woman's hand holding a beverage while out at a bar

Even with careful planning, a small home built for one can feel cramped with two or more inside.

If you feel cabin fever coming on, go out for a drink nearby, or go for a walk around the neighborhood.

11. Use MakeSpace

When all else fails and you need to make more room for your guests, use MakeSpace. We’ll store your surfboard, bike, coffee table, space heater, and more while your sibling or BFF commandeers the living room.

Simply schedule a pickup (your first pickup is free!) and pack your stuff. We’ll grab everything from your home and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

And when your guests are gone and you’re ready to restore your home to normal, just browse your convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it back to you.

This article was written by Paige Smith, a freelance writer from Orange County, California who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics.

The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning and Storing a Wedding Dress [12 Tips, With Pictures]

To no one’s surprise, wedding dresses are the most high-maintenance clothing item out there. Not only do they occupy quite a bit of space, the process of cleaning and preparing them for storage is much lengthier and more complicated than, say, storing suits and dress shirts.

To add to the challenge, wedding dresses need to be cleaned and properly put away as soon as possible after the wedding.

That means before you can kick back and revel in your newlywed bliss, you should take the time to read this information and formulate a plan for dealing with your wedding duds. (Go ahead and crack open a bottle of champagne as you do it — we won’t tell.)

Read on to learn everything you need to know about cleaning, storing, and caring for your wedding dress.

Cleaning Tips:

a row of wedding dress on a clothing rack

Cleaning a wedding dress, much like finding it, is no simple thing.

The sheer amount of layers, fabrics, details, and embellishments involved means you can’t just throw your dress into the washing machine or send it to the dry cleaners. Instead, you need to have it professionally cleaned, ideally by a wedding gown preservationist.

Yes, this is a real — and totally necessary — thing.

Wedding dress preservationists will do everything for you. They’ll note the material and quality of your dress. They’ll locate the best cleaning products for the job. They deodorize it, wash the dirt from the hem, and remove the small, invisible sweat and oil stains that cause discoloration over time. Then, they’ll package it properly, and hand your dress back to you in one big, pretty box.

That being said, depending on the material and design of your dress, you may be able to clean it yourself. If your dress has zero embellishments and isn’t made with delicate fabrics like silk, taffeta, or lace, you can follow these steps to clean it.

  1. Spot-clean the small stains on your dress using a wet cloth and stain remover. Let the remover sit for a few minutes, then dab the stain away with the cloth. A word of caution: Different types of stains require different cleaning agents. So do different types of fabrics. So know the stain and material you’re working with before you start. If you want to be extra safe, test your stain remover on a tiny area on the underside of your dress to make sure it doesn’t ruin the material.
  2. While spot cleaning, place a piece of cloth between each layer of the dress so the stains and cleaning products don’t transfer.
  3. Use a hair dryer to blast the stain once you remove it. (Air-drying may cause water rings.)
  4. Wash the dirty dress hem in the bathtub with warm water and mild soap. To do this, you’ll need to lay the top part of the dress on the floor on a clean towel so it stays out of the water. Let the hem soak for a couple hours, then use a cloth or toothbrush dipped in detergent to gently scrub the hem before rinsing.
  5. To clean the bodice of the dress, turn it inside out and use a toothbrush and detergent to gently scrub sweat stains.
  6. As a final step, rinse the entire dress in a bathtub with warm water. Gently swish it around, then fold it over a clothes rack to dry.

On a roll with your cleaning? Check out these 20 genius green cleaning tips and tricks for every room in your home.

Storage Tips:

a single wedding dress hangs near a window

Hanging your dress long-term will stretch the fabric. It’s best to store it inside an acid-free archival box, which is specifically designed to preserve clothing and prevent yellowing and deterioration.

Before you put your dress in the box, follow these steps:

  1. Peel back each layer of the dress and cover it with acid-free tissue paper. Do the same with beaded or embellished areas so the fabric doesn’t snag when you fold it.
  2. Loosely fold the dress. That means no creases, pulling, or clean lines allowed. First, fold the sleeves (if any) behind the bodice, then fold the bodice over the skirt, and finish by folding the rest of the skirt over the bodice.
  3. Wrap the entire folded dress in a layer of washed, unbleached muslin to protect it further. Never cover your dress in plastic, since it can trap moisture inside and cause mildew.

When you’re choosing where to store your dress, remember the CCDD rule: Pick a place that’s cool, clean, dry, and dark. The top shelf of your closet or the space under your bed works perfectly.

Want more smart storage tips?

We’ve got you covered.

Learn how to store yoga mats, dog toys, beauty products, luggage, and more.

3 Unique Ways to Store Your Wedding Dress

You may be thinking to yourself: I spent all that money on a wedding dress just so I could wrap it up and stick it in a box I’ll never open?

If you want to enjoy your dress on a regular basis rather than save it for the future, then toss the storage rules out the window and get creative.

These display methods, while gorgeous, will almost certainly expose your dress to sunlight, dust, changing temperatures, or pets. All of which have the potential to permanently damage it.

That said, if you value temporary art over preservation, here are some unique ways to store your dress:

1. Display the dress in a shadow box

a wedding dress stored in a shadow box
Pinterest/Sarah McBeth

If you don’t want to store your dress out of sight, let it shine in a giant shadow box. You can fill the extra space with photos and memorabilia from your wedding day.

Think: dried flowers from your bouquet, polaroid snaps, or copies of your vows.

2. Put the dress in a frame

a framed wedding dress on an entryway table
Pinterest/Misty Bennett

If your wedding dress is a masterpiece (one you have no intention of wearing again), let it double as art.

Display it in a glass-covered frame so you can admire its embellishments and beauty day in and day out.

3. Hang the dress on a mannequin

a wedding dress on a mannequin in an otherwise empty room
Flickr/sagesolar

Hanging your wedding dress on a fashion mannequin is a bold move. And it can also be a stunning statement piece for your bedroom or living space.

But what if your apartment is short on space?

Use MakeSpace to safely store your wedding dress, shoes, or memorabilia.

Simply schedule a pickup (your first pickup is free) and pack your stuff. We’ll grab everything from your home and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

Want your dress back to show off to friends or gaze lovingly at from the comfort of its box? Just browse your convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it back to you.

This article was written by Paige Smith, a freelance writer from Orange County, California who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics.

18 Alluring Ways To Organize A Bathroom Without Drawers And Cabinets

In the definitive ranking of bathroom storage solutions, a set of deep drawers tops the list, followed closely by a discrete medicine cabinet or under-the-sink cupboard.

But what if your bathroom has none of these options? What if all you have is a toilet, a pedestal sink, and a heavy heart?

Before you give up and resort to piling your bathroom products in a plastic bin on the floor, know this:

There are a surprising number of unexpected storage possibilities in even the tiniest of bathrooms.

With a few unconventional tools and strategies, you can easily organize and store everything from toothpaste and toilet paper to hairbrushes and makeup.

Keep reading to discover 17 alluring ways to organize a bathroom without drawers and cabinets.

1. Mount baskets to the wall to organize your bathroom products

5 wire baskets mounted vertically on a white bathroom wall
Use Beautiful Home via I’m An Organizing Junkie

Take advantage of your empty wall space. Hang a set of wire baskets to keep the clutter off your bathroom counter. They also make it super easy to find and grab what you need when you’re getting ready in the morning.

Free Bonus: 42 Bathroom Storage Hacks And Solutions That’ll Help You Get Ready Faster

2. Hang a medicine cabinet

a white and wall-mounted DIY medicine cabinet with a mirror
Flickr/Kevin Marsh

Medicine cabinets are ideal for the bathroom because they hide your most embarrassing products and keep them within easy reach.

If your bathroom doesn’t have a built-in medicine cabinet, you can install your own. Head to your local hardware store and look for a medicine cabinet with a towel bar or an extra shelf.

3. Store bathroom supplies in a rolling cart

ikea raskog utility cart storing toiletries, a houseplant, towels, and more
A Beautiful Mess

When you don’t have an under-the-sink cabinet to store your bathroom necessities, get help.

Enter: The ever-versatile IKEA Raskog cart. Take a cue from the women behind A Beautiful Mess and use it to organize towels, toiletries, and extra supplies.

Free Bonus: 12 Best IKEA Hacks And Ideas For Every Room In Your Home

4. Add a side table to your bathroom

a poem in a gold picture frame above a blue side table next to a green chair in a bathroom
Sincerely, Sara D

A small side table adds a punch of much-needed personality to a sterile bathroom. That, and it’s an excellent way to organize some of your necessities.

Use it to store a stack of towels, a basket full of toilet paper, or your perfumes or colognes. If your side table has a drawer, even better. Stock it with extra soap and toothpaste.

5. Store bathroom essentials in cutlery caddies

3 ikea fintorp bathroom storage caddies hanging by hooks on a rail
11 Magnolia Lane

Much like kitchen counter space, the bathroom counter is prime real estate. This smart storage hack from 11 Magnolia Lane saves precious counter space by using a wall-mounted IKEA Fintorp rail with hooks and utensil holders to store bathroom essentials like toothbrushes and combs.

6. Install floating shelves

2 white DIY floating shelves storing a wicker tray, glass container of q-tips, wire basket of toiletries, clock, and plant
Make It & Love It

When you’re running out of storage space, go vertical. Floating shelves add dimension and height to your bathroom, while also offering space to store beauty products and supplies.

Just make sure to use baskets, bins, or trays to corral your stuff and keep it organized.

Free Bonus: 15 Breathtaking Floating Shelves That You Don’t Have To DIY

7. Display nail polishes in an acrylic rack

container store acrylic rack storing bottles of nail polish
Cupcakes and Cashmere

Save your hidden storage space for pimple creams and extra shampoo. Your collection of colorful nail polishes is instant vibrant decor, so put it on display.

Mount a sleek double acrylic spice rack on the wall à la Cupcakes and Cashmere. Or steal a spice rack from your kitchen.

8. Organize toiletries in a wire basket on your counter

a two tiered wire basket organizer storing q-tips, toothbrushes, hand towels, mouth wash, and more
Golden Boys & Me

What’s even better than a basic tray to show off your bathroom products?

An elegant two-tiered organizer. Golden Boys & Me knows that a two-tier wire stand takes up little counter space yet offers double the storage.

Just remember the secret weapon of stylish organization:

Use small glass jars and containers so each item has its own place.

9. Use a narrow shelving unit to hold supplies.

a narrow white corner bathroom shelving unit with a cabinet
Flickr/Bonsoni.com

When it comes to storage space in your bathroom, less is definitely not more.

Have an extra few feet of space?

Add a narrow shelving unit to your bathroom to compensate for the lack of cabinets and drawers.

Free Bonus: Easily Clutter-Proof Your Bathroom In Only 5 Steps

10. Let your beauty products double as decor

a hurricane glass on a bathroom counter storing bars of ivory soap
Organize & Decorate Everything

Some things are just too pretty to hide behind closed doors or inside an opaque basket. Fill a glass hurricane or vase with your most aesthetically pleasing products. Think: cotton balls, soap bars, lipstick, or nail polish.

Want more fun storage hacks for your beauty products?

Here are 16 amazing beauty product storage ideas you’ll love.

11. Repurpose an old ladder as rustic towel storage

3 white towels on rungs of an old white ladder leaning against a bathroom wall
Funky Junk Interiors

Who needs cabinets and wall hooks for your bathroom towels when you can use a rustic ladder instead?

Lean an old ladder (sand it down so you don’t get splinters) against your bathroom wall and hang towels off its rungs.

It’s simple, functional, and ridiculously charming. All your guests will be jealous.

12. DIY a Mason jar organizer

DIY mason jar organizers storing makeup brushes, cotton balls, flowers, and q-tips
The DIY Playbook

Everything looks cuter inside a Mason jar, even Q-Tips. If you need proof, look no further than this adorable Mason jar organizer project from The DIY Playbook:

It’s pretty, and it can store everything from makeup brushes to hand creams.

Two birds, one stone, zero disappointment.

Free Bonus: 10 Brilliant Mason Jar DIY Ideas For Your Tiny Apartment

13. Store hair tools in a hanging file box

a file box hot tools organizer mounted on the side of a bathroom sink cabinet
Dream Green DIY

Hair tools are tricky to organize for three reasons:

  1. They’re bulky.
  2. They have long cords that get easily tangled.
  3. They’re dangerous to store next to other products when they’re still hot from use.

That’s why this DIY file box holder from Dream Green DIY is the perfect solution. The project takes less than five minutes to do, occupies minimal space on the side of your sink, and is heat-safe.

Want more awesome DIY project ideas?

These 13 easy DIY storage ideas and solutions will help you organize your entire home.

14. Display your scents on a DIY perfume stand

a black and white striped DIY perfume stand storing 4 perfume bottles
Simply Darrling

This beautiful DIY perfume stand made by Simply Darrling couldn’t be any, well, simpler. Just glue a cool plate to a pillar candleholder and voilà! You have an elevated perfume holder that rivals any vintage cake stand.

15. Store towels and toilet paper in hanging baskets

3 hanging wicker window box baskets storing towels and toiletries
Our Fifth House

If shelves bore you, mix up your vertical storage with a set of matching hanging baskets. This rustic DIY storage project from Our Fifth House uses wicker window boxes and sturdy metal hooks to easily organize supplies like towels and toilet paper — without eating any floor space.

16. Organize your makeup using a decorative magnet board

magnetic makeup storage board
Laura Thoughts

When you don’t have space to hide your stuff, make it look good enough to put on display.

This brilliant DIY makeup magnet board from Laura Thoughts fits the bill. It looks like art and keeps your products within arm’s reach.

Free Bonus: 11 Beautifully Easy Makeup Storage And Organizing Ideas

17. Organize supplies in an over-the-toilet cabinet

over the toilet cabinet
May Richer Fuller Be

The area above your toilet has major storage potential. Unlock it by installing an attractive over-the-toilet cabinet.

From there, you can organize toilet paper rolls, hand towels, toiletries, shower supplies, candles, or whatever makes you happy.

18. Effortlessly store your extra stuff in MakeSpace

After you organize your bathroom, start decluttering the rest of your home.

Still have stuff you need to store?

Use MakeSpace. We’ll store whatever you love but don’t have room for, like your window A/C unit, surfboard, CD and DVD collection, luggage, and more.

All you have to do is schedule a pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll pick up everything from your home, transport it to our secure temperature-controlled storage facility, and create an online photo catalog of your stuff.

When you need something back from storage, simply browse your online photo catalog, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you.

You can create bathroom storage from baskets, plates, and ladders. But when your bathroom-without-cabinets-and-drawers can store no more, use MakeSpace.

This article was written by Paige Smith, a freelance writer from Orange County, California who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics.

13 Miracle Solutions For Arranging And Organizing A Kitchen Without Cabinets

Having an organized, clutter-free kitchen makes everything from cooking dinner to making coffee a thousand times easier. But what if your kitchen doesn’t have cabinets? Where are you supposed to put your plates, mugs, and snacks?

The answer: Wherever they can fit.

When there’s no obvious place to store dishes, food, and appliances, you have to think outside the cabinet. Here are 13 genius ways to arrange and organize a kitchen without cabinets:

1. Store kitchen tools on a pegboard

a pegboard hangs in the kitchen with cooking supplies like a cutting board and knives
Elizabeth Joan Designs

A well-designed pegboard isn’t just beautiful to look at, it’s also the key to maintaining your sanity in the kitchen — cabinets or not.

Why?

Because a pegboard organizes your cooking tools in a functional and aesthetically-pleasing way. Which saves you from having to rummage through multiple drawers just to find your whisk.

Pro Tip: You can also use a pegboard to organize your hats, ties, and scarves.

2. Install floating shelves

floating shelves hold plates and a plant near a window in a white kitchen
Lemon Thistle

Floating shelves add style and personality to your kitchen while also housing your favorite dishes.

The best part:

They don’t take up any of your precious floor space.

Go minimalist with your shelves. Or jazz them up with potted plants, cookbooks, and framed photos.

3. Use a rolling kitchen cart

a white rolling cart has been styled as a portable espresso vessel
A Beautiful Mess

Even the smallest of kitchens can accommodate a rolling cart. They’re surprisingly stylish and can provide tons of storage in a small space. If you need more space, simply roll the cart to your living room or dining nook.

Take a cue from the ladies behind A Beautiful Mess and give your cart a theme: Espresso Cart, Baking Cart, Snack Cart — you get the idea.

Or just put your extra dishes and cooking essentials on the kitchen cart and call it day.

Free Bonus: 7 Smart Ways To Save A Ton Of Space In A Small Kitchen

4. Hang coffee mugs on a rack

a small coffee station with a shelf and hanging rod that holds mugs
The Inspired Room

No room to stack your mugs?

Hang ’em on a pretty rack instead. If you don’t have a coffee mug rack, repurpose a wooden coat rack or sleek towel rod with sturdy hooks.

Bonus points if you can create enough space for a coffee station below your mug display.

Free Bonus: 11 Clever And Easy Kitchen Organization Ideas You’ll Love

5. Add storage to your kitchen island

A handmade kitchen storage island with drawers that pop and slide open
My Love 2 Create

This kitchen island with pantry storage from My Love 2 Create is a serious game changer.

The bad news: You’ll have to block out a Saturday afternoon to get your materials and build the kitchen island.

The good news: You’ll be thrilled to have a portable kitchen island with plenty of storage space for food, silverware, dish towels, cutting boards, and more.

So worth the hands-on work.

Want more awesome DIY ideas that won’t hog your Saturday?

Check out these 10 DIY storage and furniture projects you can make in less than one hour.

6. Store dishes on a bookcase

a large brown bookcase has been converted into a storage space for dishes
Not Just A Housewife

Bookcases are the casual cousin to a fancy glass-paneled china cabinet.

A multi-shelf bookcase can easily hold an entire collection of dinnerware, plus extra items like cookbooks, jars of cooking ingredients, and a cutting board.

7. Maximize your drawer space

an organized kitchen drawer with items separated with clear containers and organizers
Organizing Made Fun

In a kitchen without cabinets, drawers are your saving grace. They hide your unsightly but necessary kitchen tools (like citrus squeezers and meat tenderizers) and make everything easy to reach.

The trick to a well-organized drawer is to take advantage of every inch of available space.

How?

Go crazy with drawer dividers and stacking bins.

Free Bonus: 12 Next-Level Ways To Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets, Drawers, And Pantry

8. Turn your cooking necessities into countertop decor

three clear canisters with gold lids hold flour, sugar, and oats
Sincerely, Sara D.

Don’t have space to hide your baking and cooking ingredients?

Put them on display: Buy a set of matching jars and fill them with grains, flours, seeds, nuts, sugar, and dried pasta.

Free Bonus: 48 Kitchen Storage Hacks And Solutions That Will Instantly Upgrade Your Life

9. DIY a wood pallet spice rack

a multi-level spice rack made of pallet wood holds a number of spices
Make It & Love It

Don’t give your spices the drawer treatment, where they’re bound to roll around and spill.

This clever DIY pallet spice rack from Make It & Love It saves space and keeps everything organized and easily accessible.

Hungry for more space-saving DIY wood pallet ideas?

Take a look at these eight cheap and easy wood pallet projects that will revitalize your home in no time.

10. Store food in baskets on the counter

a grey wicker basket lined with a white towel holds three loaves of packaged bread
Honey We’re Home

Rather than hiding everyday staples like bread and fruit, store them front and center on your kitchen counter.

Get a stylish wire or wicker basket, cover the interior in cloth, and fill it up with your go-to foods.

Want more smart kitchen tips?

Learn how to cook in a small kitchen with ease.

11. Use a wall-mounted pot rack

a hanging pot rack over a white kitchen stovetop
Imperfect Homemaking

Hang a sturdy pot rack above your sink, stove, or kitchen island. It’s an easy and artistic way to store your collection of pots and pans.

12. Store silverware in Mason jars

three mason jars are filled with spoons, forks, and knives on a countertop behind a loaf of monkey bread
Deliciously Organized

If your drawers are filled to the brim with spatulas and rolling pins, store your silverware in Mason jars on the kitchen counter.

To limit the scrape of metal against glass, fill your jars with rice. Doing so will keep your forks and spoons stable and scratch-free.

Free Bonus: 10 Brilliant Mason Jar DIY Ideas For Your Tiny Apartment

13. Let MakeSpace pick up and store your extra stuff

Let go of the stuff you don’t need. Then pack your extra kitchen stuff and schedule a MakeSpace pickup (your first pickup is free!).

We’ll pick up everything from your home, transport it to our secure temperature-controlled storage facility, and create an online photo catalog of your stuff.

Need something back from storage?

Browse the convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you.

This article was written by Paige Smith, a freelance writer from Orange County, California who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics.

12 Relationship-Saving Ways To Share A Closet With Your Significant Other

It’s hard enough to maintain order in your own closet, let alone one you share with your significant other. After all, sharing a closet means two personalities, two wardrobes, and double the amount of shoes in a tiny space.

If that mental picture sends you into panic mode, don’t worry. It’s totally normal to be a bit stressed about giving up space that was once all yours.

But before you start searching for studio apartments, know this: Sharing closet space is totally doable. You just need some creativity, smart planning, and an open line of communication with your partner to make it happen.

Read on to learn how to successfully share your closet space with your significant other.  These 12 practical tips will help you divide your space, stay organized, and hold onto your sanity:

1. Declutter first

sharing closet hangers
The Organised Housewife

The key to maintaining an organized closet is to limit what goes inside it. Before you start arguing with your partner over who gets the highest shelves, you each need to cut down the amount of stuff you had in your individual closets. That means clothes, shoes, accessories, costumes, and tools, for example.

Separate your things into categories, then sort through your belongings one by one. Donate any item you don’t love or wear regularly.

Need help decluttering?

Read these 15 actionable decluttering tips from Certified Professional Organizers. Or use our KonMari method cheat sheet  to declutter your home like Marie Kondo.

2. Organize your closet together

shared organized closet
Just A Girl and Her Blog

Even if your partner doesn’t have the tidy gene (and claims to trust your judgment), it’s important to organize your closet as a team.

Discuss your habits, morning routines, and which items you wear regularly. Doing this will help you figure out how much space each person needs and where to store certain clothes.

If you both get ready for work at the same time, try storing your stuff on separate sides of the closet to avoid getting in each other’s way. On the other hand, if you use the closet at different times of the day, you might be able to share drawer and hanging space more easily.

Above all, remember this:

You don’t need to split your closet space 50/50 if you don’t want to. Just focus on organizing your clothes in a way that makes it easy for both of you to get dressed in the morning.

Free Bonus: How To Easily Organize Everything In Your Closet (For Cheap)

3. Store off-season items elsewhere

assorted boots stored in a clear storage bin without the lid
Paige Smith

Limit your stuff to the basics. Store the pieces you wear every day front and center, and stash off-season items — like skirts, shorts, sandals, and bathing suits — in your coat closet or a bin under the bed.

Pro Tip: These 53 insanely clever bedroom storage hacks and solutions will help you save serious space.

4. Label storage boxes

labeled storage boxes in the closet
A Beautiful Mess

If you’re low on drawer or shelf space, store dress shoes, scarves, belts, and hats in baskets or shoe boxes.

Just make sure to label or color-code each person’s boxes so it’s easy to find what you both need when you’re scrambling to choose an outfit before work.

Free Bonus: 13 Easy DIY Storage Ideas That’ll Organize Your Entire Home

5. Use cohesive hangers

matching velvet hangers hanging shirts
Flickr/Emily May

Matching hangers are like non-stick pans and cordless vacuums — you don’t think you need them, but once you start using them you can’t imagine ever going back.

Coordinating hangers limit harmful visual clutter in your closet and help save space. Velvet hangers in particular are super slim and take up half the room their bulky wooden and plastic counterparts do.

Pro Tip: Use Hang A Bunch multi-purpose hangers to hang six times as many clothes on just one hanger.

6. Take advantage of every inch

organized closet storage
Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer

When you’re combining two wardrobes into one closet, you need as much space as possible to keep your things organized and accessible.

Use high shelves to store bins. Mount sturdy hooks on the back of the closet door (here are eight more hidden storage areas in your home). And take advantage of open floor space to store a shoe rack or small dresser.

7. Designate a place for dirty laundry

master bedroom closet laundry hamper
Clean Mama

No matter how tiny your closet is, make space for a laundry basket or hamper. Having an easy place to stash your dirty clothes means they won’t end up in smelly piles on the floor. If that won’t keep the relationship strong, we don’t know what will.

8. Take advantage of vertical storage space

tie storage closet
Our Fifth House

Vertical storage space is a serious game-changer. Even the smallest, most poorly designed closets have plenty of vertical storage possibilities.

Here are five:

  1. Install wall hooks to hang belts, hats, robes, and handbags
  2. Use key racks as jewelry displays
  3. Save shelf space by storing sweaters in a hanging organizer.
  4. Hang a shoe rack on the back of your closet door.
  5. Use a towel rod for scarf and tie storage.
shoe rack on back of closet door
Paige Smith

Want your stuff to double as art?

Take a cue from Our Fifth House and create a pretty heel display using a curtain rod and an extra piece of molding:

crown moudling heel storage
Our Fifth House

9. Use convenient storage solutions

hanging clothes in an organized closet
Our Fifth House

The more convenient it is to put away clothes, the more likely both of you are to do it. That’s why it’s smart to use storage solutions that make sense for you and your partner.

If you both hate folding clothes (here’s how to fold and store 10-20 more shirts in the same space required to hang 10), get rid of the shelves in your closet and install an extra hanging rod.

Or, if your partner dislikes bending down to put his shoes away, store them in a hanging organizer.

Bottom line: Make your closet work for you two, not against you.

Free Bonus: 5 Problems With Your Bedroom Closet (And How To Solve Them ASAP)

10. Purge often

small closet organization
Flickr/Emily May

Every couple months, set aside time with your partner to reevaluate your stuff and decide what you want to keep.

Get rid of anything ill-fitting, unloved, unworn, or damaged beyond repair. Paring down your stuff simplifies the process of choosing an outfit and makes it easier to organize your closet. Win-win.

Free Bonus: A Professional Organizer Shares Her 8 Best Tips For Decluttering Your Home Once And For All

11. Stay on your side of the closet

man side of the closet
Just A Girl and Her Blog

Respecting one another’s space and belongings is key to maintaining shared closet harmony. Make an effort to keep your area of the closet tidy and don’t let your collection of workout shorts or jean jackets overflow into your partner’s zone.

If you’re running out of room for your stuff, consider donating a few items (MakeSpace offers free Goodwill donation pickups in NYC, Chicago, and DC) or rotating pieces from storage.

12. Let MakeSpace pick up and store your extra stuff

Let go of stuff you don’t need. Then, let MakeSpace store everything you and your partner can’t fit in the closet.

Simply schedule a pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll pick up everything from your home and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

The best part:

When you need your swimsuit and/or carry-on back, browse the convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the items’ photos, and we’ll deliver them to you.

This article was written by Paige Smith, a freelance writer from Orange County, California who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics.

15 Things You Should Get Rid Of Now For a Cleaner, Calmer Home

Decluttering your home is a big undertaking. It takes a considerable amount of energy to sort through your stuff to figure out what you should keep or get rid of.

Luckily, there are certain items you don’t need to think twice about before tossing. We’ve compiled this handy, no-brainer list of clutter culprits for you, so all you have to do is follow our lead.

Below are 15 things you should get rid of right now for a cleaner, calmer home, plus tips on the best ways to do it.

Free Bonus: Decluttering Flowchart: Finally Expel Clutter From Your Home

1. Meaningless knick-knacks and souvenirs

Porcelain elephants are lined up on a dark surface

If your travel souvenirs and random knick-knacks (like your plastic Big Ben replica or porcelain elephant) don’t enhance your decor or bring you happiness, bid them adieu.

Pro Tip: If your stuff is valuable, consider selling it on OfferUp.

2. Books you don’t plan to read

A small collection of books are lined up on a shelf
Flickr/Jay Cross

Are you actually going to crack open that beginner book of Italian, or dive into Les Misérables for the first time?

Be honest with yourself, and donate the books you no longer have the desire or time to read. Here’s how to decide what books to keep or get rid of.

You’ll have more space for the stuff you love, like your vinyl record collection. Plus, you won’t feel guilty every time you look at your bookcase.

Need more space for the books you do keep?

Check out these nine creative book storage hacks for small apartments.

3. Worn-down shoes

a closeup of a pair of old running shoes
Flickr/Erno Mijland

If you reach for the same one or two pairs of shoes over and over, consider getting rid of your collection of old, dusty footwear.

Here’s how to store the shoes, boots, and sneakers you save.

Pro Tip: Since shoes take 30 to 40 years to decompose in landfills, it’s better for the planet if you repurpose or recycle them instead of tossing them. If your kicks are in good condition, donate them to an organization that gives shoes to people in need, like Soles4Souls or One World Running.

Planet Aid accepts all shoes in any condition. Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program will take your worn-down athletic shoes and recycle the material to manufacture athletic surfaces like tracks and tennis courts.

4. Old Halloween costumes and school uniforms

A child's school uniform complete with a satin bow and shoes
Flickr/MIKI Yoshihito

Your high school volleyball uniform might be sentimental, but chances are you won’t miss it when it’s gone. Same goes for those polyester Halloween costumes and masks cluttering your storage closet.

Get rid of the clothes you’ll never wear again. Then use this guide to clean and store your remaining Halloween costumes and decorations.

5. Cards

A small, closed envelope resting on a table
Flickr/amy gizienski

It’s tempting to save cards for sentimental reasons. But if you don’t purge them often, you’ll have boxes full of notes you never look at (and probably forgot you saved).

Recycle your holiday cards (you’ll get new ones next year, anyway!) and any birthday, thank you, or “just because” cards that have brief, generalized messages.

Only save the ones that have special meaning to you.

6. Expired beauty products

a white bathroom sink hosts a number of toiletries
Flickr/J B

Believe it or not, beauty products like lotion and shampoo have an expiration date (Real Simple has a guide to checking makeup expiration dates).

To free up space in your bathroom cabinets, toss all your expired skincare, hair care, and cosmetic products, especially makeup and sunscreen that’s no longer fresh.

Here are 16 clever beauty storage ideas and solutions for the products you have left over.

Important: Recycle the plastic containers from your beauty products so they don’t end up  in landfills. Sign up to be part of Terracycle’s free and super easy Personal Care and Beauty Recycling Program. Or drop off your empty and thoroughly rinsed containers at a nearby Origins store. Origins recycles empty containers from any brand at any time.

7. Kitchen utensils and appliances you never use

A white, spacious kitchen with an oven and open shelving
Flickr/Emily May

There’s no sense in organizing your kitchen drawers and cabinets to accommodate bulky appliances and obscure gadgets you never use. If it’s been months since you dug through your cabinets to find your pasta maker, meat thermometer, or mini-loaf pan, put them in the donation pile.

Save your precious kitchen storage space for your go-to items, like your French press or blender.

Free Bonus: 11 Clever And Easy Kitchen Organization Ideas You’ll Love

8. Formal wear you only wore once

a formal blue bridesmaid dress hangs from the door, ready to be donated
Paige Smith

You might love your BFF, but that bright-green bridesmaid’s dress from her wedding isn’t doing you any favors. Neither are any suits, gowns, or formal attire you don’t wear at least annually.

After you declutter (our KonMari method cheat sheet will help you do that), learn how to easily organize everything in your closet.

Pro Tip: Sell your formal wear at your local Buffalo Exchange or online with Poshmark, Prom Again, or The Dress List.

9. Desk and craft supplies

Colorful art supplies are grouped together in six tin canisters

Unless you’re a hard-core crafter (or you have a child in grade school), you don’t need multiple boxes full of dull pencils, promo pens, and scrapbook stickers.

Organize your desk, and narrow down your supplies to the basics. Then donate the rest.

10. Your collection of CDs and DVDs

A small collection of old CDs and DVDs are gathering dust on a wooden shelf
Flickr/Karl Baron

There are a couple practical reasons to hold onto your CDs and DVDs, like in case your WiFi gets spotty and you can’t stream music and movies. But finding space and time to store and organize a massive collection of outdated physical media isn’t always worth it.

If your stack of Good Charlotte CDs and Austin Powers movies is taking up prime real estate in your bedroom or living area, get rid of them so you have more space for the things that matter.

Free Bonus: Should You Keep CDs And DVDs? How To Store And Sell Them For Cash

11. Half-used spices and expired food

A closeup of 3 spices in 3 separate plastic spice bottles
Flickr/Andrew Malone

Double your kitchen cabinet space in two seconds by tossing out all your expired food. While you’re at it, get rid of spices you’ve never used or don’t particularly like. Bye, fennel.

Pro Tip: Trash your expired food, but make sure to recycle or reuse glass and plastic containers.

Free Bonus: 7 Smart Ways To Save A Ton Of Space In Your Small Kitchen

12. Accessories that aren’t your style

A collection of chic women's scarves on a wooden floor
Flickr/emma

You know the ones: The black leather purse with the rhinestones, the paisley scarf you bought on impulse in London, or the tie your brother-in-law gave you two Christmases ago.

Accessories, whether sunglasses or a belt, are designed to add extra flair to your wardrobe. But if you don’t feel confident and cool when you wear them, they’ll never make it out of your closet.

Donate the accessories you don’t love. Then use this list of 13 easy DIY storage ideas and solutions to organize the rest of your stuff.

13. Wire hangers

Old wire hangers are crammed together in a dimly lit closet
Flickr/Michael Lehet

If your closet is full of flimsy wire hangers you’ve had since the early 2000s, it’s time to let go. Trade them in for a matching set of wood or velvet hangers.

Free Bonus: 5 Problems With Your Bedroom Closet (And How To Solve Them ASAP)

Some cities prohibit you from putting wire hangers in your recycling bins. Check your city using Earth911’s Recycling Center Search. Either way, you can always donate your hangers to your local dry cleaners or drop them off at a recycling center near you.

14. Instruction manuals, expired coupons, and old magazines

A sizable pile of old magazines like Food and Bon apetit
Flickr/Jessica Spengler

Cut down on clutter (and save your sanity) by recycling all the unnecessary papers you’ve accumulated over the years.

First on the list: Stacks of outdated, unread magazines, expired coupons, junk mail, and all those useless instruction manuals you saved but never once relied on to restart your TV.

Free Bonus: 13 Painless Ways To Organize, Store, And Get Rid Of Paper Clutter

15. Electronics you don’t use

A pile of old phones like Blackberry and Vodaphone
Flickr/Enrique Dans

It’s safe to say you won’t need your old iPod mini or dead Blackberry, well, ever.

Get rid of these outdated devices, along with random chargers, USB cords, and any other technology you don’t use on a regular basis (like your Kindle, or the Dell computer you haven’t opened since you got a Mac).

Pro Tip: You can’t just throw electronics in the trash. You need to be thoughtful about how you dispose of them. For old or broken electronics, find a responsible recycler (otherwise known as an e-Steward) near you. Staples, Best Buy, and Apple will also take your old products. Just make sure to delete your data first.

Donate Your Stuff

A box full of books ready to be donated
Flickr/Alper Cugun

Give your things new life by donating them. The Salvation Army is always looking for gently-worn shoes, clothes, and formal wear, as well as books, kitchen tools, and household supplies.

The same goes for Goodwill, which will take your old electronics, too. And if you live in NYC, Chicago, or DC, MakeSpace can even pick up your donation and drop it off at your local Goodwill — for free.

After you let go of the stuff you don’t need, use MakeSpace to store your off-season clothes, bike, surfboard, luggage, A/C unit, and more.

Simply schedule a MakeSpace pickup (your first pickup is free!) and pack your stuff. We’ll pick up everything from your home and carefully transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility.

And when you want something back from storage, simply browse the convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you.

This article was written by Paige Smith, a freelance writer from Orange County, California who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics.