All posts by Paige Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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.


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

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.

19 Bodacious Backyard Storage Ideas, Tips, Hacks, And Solutions You Need To Try

Outdoor storage isn’t exactly straightforward. Unlike a home that has closets, cabinets, and drawers to hide your unappealing possessions, a backyard is wide open, meaning you have to think outside the box to organize and store your stuff.

But no matter your backyard situation — whether you have a teeny balcony, medium-sized patio, or sprawling lawn — there are plenty of easy, practical ways to store your landscaping tools, pool cleaning equipment, gardening materials, kids’ toys, and more.

Read on for 19 bodacious backyard storage ideas, tips, hacks, and solutions that will transform your outdoor space into an organized, clutter-free paradise.

1. Turn a bookcase into an outdoor storage bench

outdoor padded bench
So You Think You’re Crafty

This genius tutorial from So You Think You’re Crafty repurposes a narrow bookcase to make a padded storage bench . Just gather some foam, fabric, a can of paint, and bam — your tired bookcase is reborn as a dual-purpose seating area.

As far as storage possibilities go, get creative:

Fill the cubbies in your bench with towels, blankets, baskets of gardening tools, or pretty planters.

Want more cool DIY storage ideas?

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

2. Revamp your tool shed

outdoor storage shed
The Cavender Diary

Tool sheds are a convenient, efficient way to store the equipment you need to maintain and spruce up your backyard — like lawn mowers, landscaping tools, planters, and hoses.

The only problem?

Tool sheds don’t always feature a smart design on the inside.

If that’s the case, take a cue from the men behind The Cavender Diary and make a few basic changes to upgrade your tool shed.

Tear out bulky shelves. Install an IKEA Grundtal rail, utensil holder, and S-hook to hold small gardening tools. Add wall hooks. Or hang a sturdy bin to store items like fertilizer and plant spray.

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

3. Use a hanging organizer to store gardening tools

hanging shoe organizer garden equipment
The Coupon Project

A hanging organizer is the baking soda equivalent of organizing tools: It fixes every problem.

You can use hanging organizers to store shoes, winter accessories, makeup, beauty products, crafts, and even cleaning supplies, so why not use them in your backyard, too?

Stuff the pockets with your gardening gloves, clippers, plant stakes, twine, and seed packets like The Coupon Project did, then hang it on the wall of your greenhouse or tool shed.

4. Make a DIY garden hose holder

DIY Garden Hose Holder
Love Grows Wild

This clever DIY garden hose holder accomplishes three important things:

  1. It keeps your hose accessible
  2. It prevents your hose from ending up in a tangled pile on the ground
  3. It looks surprisingly chic sitting in your garden.

What more could you want?

Check out the full tutorial at Love Grows Wild.

5. Build an outdoor coffee table with storage

outdoor coffee table with storage
Organize & Decorate Everything

This outdoor crate coffee table with storage is the ultimate fun yet practical DIY project. Organize & Decorate Everything breaks down the full process, but here’s the gist:

  1. Gather a few wooden crates (try your local farmer’s market or winery).
  2. Slap them with a fresh coat of paint.
  3. Glue them to a piece of sturdy plywood in the shape of a square.
  4. Add caster wheels, and voilà — you have a portable rustic coffee table with plenty of storage for bar essentials, gorgeous air-purifying houseplants, or maybe even some books.
Free Bonus: How To Decide What Books To Keep Or Get Rid Of

6. DIY a covered kids car garage

Outdoor Toy Car Organization
Mom Endeavors

No more tripping over tricycles, toy cars, and skateboards scattered around your backyard. Corral your kids’ toys and gear in this mini covered kiddie parking garage by Mom Endeavors.

The DIY storage unit — built from PVC pipes, a corrugated plastic panel, and cloth — expertly hides your kids’ outdoor stuff, but is still easy enough for them to access.

7. Turn an old shutter into a towel rack

DIY shutter towel rack
The Decorating Duchess

If your dilapidated, weather-beaten shutter is almost falling off its hinges, give it a new identity: flip it on its side, install a few hooks, and call it a shutter towel rack.

You don’t even have to paint it or sand down the edges if you don’t want to. The ramshackle look will only add to its rustic, antique charm.

Free Bonus: Want more vintage pieces turned storage solutions? Check out these eight cool vintage finds to help you control clutter.

8. Hide your garden hose in an outdoor planter

outdoor planter hose storage
That’s My Letter

If you’re sick of dragging your hose to and from the backyard to water your plants, or leaving it in a messy pile in the middle of your garden because you’re too tired to put it away, here’s your solution:

Store the hose in a pretty outdoor planter. It’s simple, convenient, and actually looks good.

Read the post on That’s My Letter to learn exactly how to set up your own secret hose-hiding planter.

9. Build an outdoor buffet cabinet

DIY outdoor buffet cabinet
Oleander + Palm

Depending on your personality, backyard setup, and weekend routine, you might have a variety of different storage needs. You may need to store shovels, gravel, and extra terra cotta pots.

Maybe you have to make room for pool tools and kids’ toys. Or, you may need a place to store your party necessities.

Whatever the case, Oleander + Palm’s gorgeous DIY outdoor buffet cabinet is just the thing you need to easily host dinners, brunches, and game nights al fresco. The buffet top serves as a mini bar, while the cabinets hold everything from candle lanterns to glassware.

Free Bonus: For more DIY fun, check out these 11 DIY wood pallet ideas that will increase the space in your apartment.

10. Store firewood in a DIY firewood cart with wheels

DIY Rolling Firewood Cart
The Wood Grain Cottage

Cabin owners and mountain dwellers know how quickly a basic supply of firewood can stack up (pun intended) and take over your entire deck, patio, or garage.

To prevent this from happening, invest a Saturday afternoon into constructing your very own stylish and ultra practical rolling firewood cart à la The Wood Grain Cottage. It’ll help maximize your outdoor space and keep your logs organized.

And did we mention it’s portable? Skip the heavy lifting and just roll your firewood wherever it needs to go.

Want more smart home storage hacks?

These 12 best IKEA hacks and ideas will upgrade your entire apartment.

11. Hang gardening tools on a piece of wood

DIY garden tool organizer

Have an old wooden plank laying around from your last DIY project?

Give it new life as a simple garden tool rack.

You don’t need a plain piece of wood, either. Repurpose an old coat rack, hockey stick, or longboard to add some personality to your storage.

12. Construct an outdoor storage bench

DIY Outdoor Storage Bench
Sand and Sisal

An outdoor storage bench is a no-brainer for your backyard. It’s a dual-purpose item that saves space, holds up to harsh weather, and looks great among your patio furniture. Especially if you build it yourself with help using Sand and Sisal’s DIY outdoor storage box tutorial.

Use it to store outdoor pillows, blankets for cozying up around the fire, games, pool toys, or towels. If you have enough seating space, it also doubles as a buffet table or drink station.

13. Use a wood pallet to store pool toys

pallet pool storage
Funky Junk Interiors

Pool toys are some of the worst backyard clutter offenders. They come in a variety of (sometimes bulky) shapes and sizes, making them difficult to store unless you have a dedicated shed or massive bin to stash them in.

Luckily, thanks to this smart DIY wood pallet project from Funky Junk Interiors, you don’t need either of those options to store your pool toys. A basic wood pallet with a few added hooks on the front can accommodate pool noodles, rafts, kickboards, squirt guns, and even cleaning equipment.

Free Bonus: How To Start Decluttering Your Home: 15 Actionable Tips From Certified Professional Organizers

14. Design a vertical cinder block planter

vertical cinder block planter
The Garden Glove

If you don’t have enough surface area to spread out your collection of herbs, plants, and flowers, go vertical using this DIY cinder block vertical planter tutorial from The Garden Glove.

All you need are some cinder blocks, heavy-duty construction glue, and a bit of imagination. Make your planter as tall or intricate as you like.

And if you’re not a fan of the urban grey vibe, spray paint your blocks to match your outdoor decor.

Pro Tip: Don’t stop with your yard. Give your home a green makeover, too. Here are the best house plants and planters for anyone who lives in a tiny apartment.

15. Organize kids’ toys in weatherproof baskets

plastic basket toy storage
Useful Beautiful Home via I’m An Organizing Junkie

Even your littlest tots will be able to declutter following these simple yet extremely effective organizing concepts from Useful Beautiful Home (and our decluttering flowchart).

Just pick up a few lightweight plastic bins to store your kids’ assortment of toys. Bonus points if they’re color-coordinated, stackable, and perforated so dirt and water can fall through the bottom.

16. Transform a cabinet into a potting bench

DIY cabinet potting station
The Organised Housewife

If you have an outdated armoire, bookcase, or cabinet in your home, don’t throw it away. Bring it to the backyard instead. The Organised Housewife proves that a good scrub and a fresh coat of paint can transform an old cabinet into the perfect outdoor potting station.

Store gardening gloves, tools, and seed packets in the drawers, then use the shelves and cupboards to hold bags of soil, pesticides, and extra pots.

17. Build a wooden bench with crate storage

outdoor wooden crate storage bench
The Kim Six Fix

This wooden bench with crate storage project from The Kim Six Fix puts a fun twist on a classic storage bench. Use the open storage bench to slide in a couple of wooden crates that are perfect for storing blankets, towels, gardening tools, or kids’ toys.

If the weather turns foul, simply carry the crates inside to protect your belongings.

Up for more creative DIY projects made from wood?

Try these eight cheap and easy wood pallet ideas that will revitalize your home in no time.

18. Hang storage buckets on your fence

hanging outdoor storage buckets
Bless Our Nest

Even backyards have vertical storage possibilities.

Enter: The minimalist backyard toy storage solution from Bless Our Nest. Just screw a couple hooks into your fence and hang a durable plastic bucket from each.

It’s a simple, foolproof way to keep your kids’ toys organized and within easy reach.

19. When your backyard storage is maxed out, use MakeSpace

If you don’t have extra storage space for your stuff, use MakeSpace. We’ll store your bike rack, snowboarding gear, skis, surfboards, paddleboards, yoga mats, pet toys, and more.

All you have to do is schedule a pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll pickup 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.

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

The Only Moving Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Congratulations on your new home! Before you pop the champagne, it’s time to get down to business. Moving is no small feat – the sheer amount of planning and coordinating involved is enough to make even the most organized person feel panicked.

No need to stress. These comprehensive moving checklists tell you exactly what to do before and after you’ve settled into your new place, so you can focus on the task at hand instead of worrying you might be forgetting something important.

The list is long, but take it step by step. Soon enough, you’ll be relaxing in your new home, completed to-do list and celebratory glass of bubbly in hand.

Click any of the links below to jump to a specific checklist:
Before Move-In
After Move-In

Before Move-In

1. Figure out what to sell or donate.

a living room with a big bookshelf

As soon as you know you’re moving, walk around your current home and make a list of all the pieces of furniture and indoor and outdoor decor you plan to sell or donate. From there, determine which pieces you can realistically live without until you move into your new home (like the accent chairs you never sit on), and either drop them off at a nearby donation center or begin the selling process online with an app like OfferUp.

Pro Tip: Check out our detailed guide on where to donate furniture, clothes, books, toys, cell phones, and more.

2. Pare down and purge.

a closet that has been decluttered
Just A Girl And Her Blog

Declutter by category and start with whatever feels easiest to you, whether it’s books, clothes, or decor. As you sort through your things, try not to overthink it: If you love something and use it regularly, keep it. If not, let it go.

And remember: Every item you get rid of before your move is one less thing you have to bring with you.

Free Bonus:   Here’s what to store and toss before moving.

3. Research moving companies.

a woman is smiling while holding moving boxes
Flickr/Meathead Movers

After you scour online reviews and testimonials, narrow your list of moving companies to three or four, then make some calls to get direct quotes. The cost shouldn’t be your sole deciding factor, though – inquire about the company’s insurance policies, timeline, method, and liability practices, too.

4. Stock up on moving supplies.

a box of moving supplies
Flickr/Guy Kilroy

When you finally get in the flow of packing, you don’t want to halt your progress with a trip to the store for more boxes. Save yourself the hassle and pick up everything ahead of time. Collect  different-sized boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap or padded blankets, scissors, trash bags, and tools.

5. Take photos of your house before you pack.

a colorful wall with a bright shelf

Walk through your space and snap photos of each room from at a least a couple different angles. Include close-ups of gallery walls, styled bookcases, and tabletop surfaces.

That way, when you’re setting up your new home and can’t remember where you hung the bird painting or how you arranged your coffee table books, you’ll have a solid resource to refer to.

6. Complete a change-of-address form.

a closeup of a mailbox outside

If you’re game to wait in line, you can do this at your local post office. Otherwise, the quickest and most convenient way to update your address is to visit

7. Transfer your utilities. the hand of a man working at his computer


Gather the contact information for your various utility companies (internet [here’s how to compare providers], cable, gas, water electric, trash, sewage), then sit down to make some calls. Schedule the shut-off day for the day following your move, then pay off any existing fees. If you’re using the same providers, you can update your mailing address and schedule an activation day for your new home.

If you’ll have different providers, follow these two steps:

1. Call and schedule activation dates for the day before your move.

2. Give your previous providers your new address in case they have final bills or deposits to send.

8. Back up your computer.

a woman sits on the couch with her computer
Sugar and Cloth

Don’t take any risks when it comes to your computer – back it up in at least two places, like the cloud and a hard-drive backup disk. Do the same with your phone. Your digital information is just as important as your physical stuff, so make sure it’s all protected.

9. Arrange transportation for your pets.

a woman smiles at her really cute dog

Several weeks before your move, figure out where your pets will be during the process. Are they going to hunker down in the backseat of your car with blankets and toys? Rest in pet cargo on a plane? Stay with a friend until you’re settled in your new place?

Once you’ve taken care of logistics, pack your pet’s food, favorite toys, and medication, as well as any other essentials like pet beds, collars, and leashes.

Free Bonus:  Here’s everything you need to know about safely moving with dogs and cats.

10. Cancel or forward subscriptions.

a pile of magazines on a coffee table

Moving homes is the perfect excuse to assess whether or not you actually want the newspapers, magazines, and catalogs that arrive in your mail. If you don’t want them, cancel them and rejoice in the extra money you’ll save. If you do want them, call customer service and update your mailing address.

11. Double-check the dimensions of your new home.

a well-lit room and a sofa

You fell in love with a sectional and think it’ll be perfect in your new living room. There’s just one problem:

It’s about two feet too big on each side.

Avoid this nightmare. Sell your used furniture online.

Now before you start ordering furniture for your new place, be sure you have the measurements and scale right. Note the square footage, ceiling height, and window height of each room, as well as its general configuration and any stand-out characteristics like pony walls or chair rails. Then invest in any of these stylish space-saving sofas that will actually fit in your home.

12. Make copies of important documents.

a closeup of filed papers
Clean Mama

Dedicate an afternoon to sorting through your files and making copies of insurance papers, medical records, birth certificates, social security cards, and tax returns.

Better yet, scan these papers to your computer (or phone with Scanbot) in case the hard copies get damaged or lost during the move. If you’re worried about keeping private files on your computer, store them in a password-encrypted folder.

13. Pack fragile items first.

A closeup of fragile items that have been packed away

Before your energy flags and your motivation inevitably diminishes, focus on safely and efficiently packing fragile items like dishes, art, and holiday decorations. You can save the easy, no-brainer tasks, like packing clothes and linens, for last.

Free Bonus:   These 10 genius packing tips make moving so much easier. 

14. Pile heavy items inside your rolling suitcases.

a collection of books inside a suitcase
The Organised Housewife

Haul out your rolling luggage and fill it with all the heavy, bulky stuff you don’t want to carry. Think: books, boots, or even bottles of wine and jars of food.

15. Insure your stuff.

a red sofa and a houseplant in a living room

Everything you put on a moving truck, especially big items like pianos, chandeliers, and art, should be insured in case it gets damaged or stolen. Check with your homeowner’s insurance provider or ask your moving company if they offer insurance for an additional fee.

Afterward, take inventory of your valuable items. Record their current condition and snap photos in case there’s a dispute or mishandling.

Free Bonus:   These 41 easy moving and packing tips will save you tons of stress, money, and time.

16. Carry small valuables with you.

the contents of an overnight bag

Pack valuable items, like expensive cameras, laptops, jewelry, and passports, in a bag that you carry with you during the move.

17. Donate non-perishable foods.

a closeup of non-perishable beverages
The Merry Thought

Despite your best efforts to polish off everything in your pantry, you’ll probably still end up with a couple unopened boxes of pasta, cans of soup, or bottles of olive oil the night before you leave.

If you don’t want to lug these non-perishable foods with you, drop them off at the nearest shelter or church. You can also see if Move for Hunger serves your area.

18. Label your boxes like a boss.

Free printable moving labels. Print on copy paper and cut out, and using Scotch Brand Moving and Packing Tape to attach to boxes and bins
A Tidy Mom

The key to painless unpacking is to over-prepare. Search Pinterest and you’ll find countless ways to label your boxes. You can create a number key, use color-coded tape, or cover each box with detailed Sharpie notes.

However you decide to do it, make sure you record the following three things

  1. Which room the box goes in
  2. A general description of what’s inside the box
  3. A detailed list of the box’s contents

That way you won’t have to dig through three boxes marked “Kitchen Utensils” just to find your whisk.

19. Pack an overnight bag.
An overnight bag next to a chair


Fill a carry-on sized bag with everything you’ll need to get settled into your new home, like toiletries, medication, pajamas, shoes, and a couple days’ worth of outfits.

20. Clean your house.a green duster sweeps a hardwood floor


You know the drill: vacuum, scrub, and polish every surface until it looks new – or, at least, better than when you lived there. You can either hire a professional cleaning crew to take the work off your hands or follow our ultimate move-out and move-in cleaning checklists.

While you’re at it, consider scheduling a cleaning team to get your new home in shape before you move in, or arrange to show up early so you can clean it yourself before unpacking.

Want more brilliant cleaning tips, hacks, and tricks?

Try these 20 genius green cleaning tips and tricks for every room in your home.

After Move-In

1. Take photos of your place and note any damages.

a giant empty room

Before you start schlepping boxes and moving furniture inside your new place, do a quick walk-through and record any existing damages. Take photos of broken window treatments, carpet stains, chipped paint, or anything else significant.

2. Inspect your boxes.

an assortment of boxes for moving
Flickr/Nicolas Huk

Go through your boxes and look for tears, dents, or any kind of mishandling so you can report it to the moving company if needed.

3. Clean up.


some cleaning supplies gathered in a bucket
Flickr/Nicolas Huk

Even if you’ve already given your place a deep cleaning, it’s still a good idea to spruce it up before you move everything in. Vacuum the carpet, wipe down countertops, and dust drawers and shelves before you put anything away.

4. Set up the bathroom.

a white bathroom with a blue striped shower curtain
Flickr/Wicker Paradise

Right away, make sure you have a functional and clutter-proof bathroom. Hang a shower curtain and stock the bathroom with plenty of toilet paper and hand soap.

Free Bonus: When you’re ready to start unpacking, check out these 42 bathroom storage hacks and solutions that will make getting ready so much easier.

5. Check the gas and water valves.

a close up of a water valve
Flickr/Liji Jinari

Your utilities should be activated by this point, but it’s still a good idea to double-check that everything is working properly. While you’re at it, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are on and loaded with fresh batteries.

6. Set up your technology.

A collection of Apple products on a desk
Flickr / Robert Hawkes

Take the time to hook up your TV or plug in your desktop monitor. The unpacking process will be so much more enjoyable if you can stream your favorite Netflix show or listen to Spotify as you unload boxes.

7. Check the fridge.

a kitchen with hardwood floors and steel appliances

Plug in your fridge and set it to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Keep your freezer at zero.

8. Unpack the kitchen.

wooden floating shelves in a kitchen
Lemon Thistle

Unpacking the kitchen is a tedious process, so it’s smart to get started right away. Don’t worry about organizing everything in your kitchen perfectly yet. Start by putting away the basics, like pots, pans, dishes, mugs, and silverware. Go ahead and set up everyday appliances like coffee makers, toasters, and microwaves, too.

9. Make the beds.a bed next to flowers on a nightstand


Spend a few minutes making your bed with fresh sheets and your favorite comforter or duvet.

A cozy bed instantly makes a new space feel more familiar and lived-in, and you won’t have to stress about sleeping on a bare mattress when you hit the wall after a long day of unpacking.

10. Go shopping for essentials.

a pile of groceries on a kitchen table

Before you’re completely zapped of energy, take a quick trip to the grocery store to load up on a few snacks and easy meal staples to hold you over as you settle in.

11. Let MakeSpace pickup and store your extra stuff

If you need help storing your stuff before, during, or after the moving process, schedule a MakeSpace pickup. We’ll pick up any items you don’t need right now, like your snowboarding gear, skis, and other winter gear.

Then, we’ll transport your things to our secure temperature-controlled storage facility, and create an online photo catalog of your stuff so you always know what you have in storage.

The best part:

When you want something back, simply log into your MakeSpace account, select the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you.

Top image via Death To Stock

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

8 Expert Solutions For Your Toughest Moving Problems

Moving: it’s exciting, exhausting, and seriously stressful. Finding and securing a new home is challenging enough, but the actual process of moving – the packing, the schlepping, the logistics – can easily send you into meltdown mode if you’re not properly prepared.

That’s why it helps to have a working knowledge of the most common moving predicaments you might find yourself in, plus how to handle them. Below, we talk to professional organizers and moving gurus for their advice about what steps to take to ensure a smooth, pain-free move.

Read on for eight expert solutions to your toughest moving problems.

Problem 1: You waited too long to book a moving company.

a woman is smiling while holding moving boxes
Flickr/Meathead Movers

If you wait until the last minute to reserve the help of a moving company, you may find that your top choices are already booked up. “This leads to customers having to go with moving companies with less-than-reputable reputations,” says Dan Heydebrand, Owner of Lift NYC Movers.

The Fix:

Heydebrand says it’s crucial to finalize your moving date as soon as possible so you can schedule a reliable moving company. “To find a good moving company, check reviews online,” says Heydebrand. “A few bad reviews is normal and OK as long as the vast majority of reviews are positive,” he explains.

Another pro tip: If your friend recommends a good moving company, ask if the company gives discounts for referrals, suggests Heydebrand. “Moving companies love repeat customers and usually have some incentive to keep them coming back year after year,” he explains.

Free Bonus: 41 easy moving and packing tips that will make your move dead simple

Problem 2: You’re rushing to pack.

an assortment of boxes for moving
Flickr/Nicolas Huk

“The most common problem I encounter with clients is that they leave the packing to the last minute,” says Professional Organizer Abbey Claire Keusch. Think: clothes still folded in the closet, art still hanging on the walls, and miscellaneous items covering every countertop.

When you’re scrambling to pack your stuff, you’re more likely to toss things in boxes without a clear organizational strategy. This can make the unpacking process much more tedious and confusing than it needs to be.

The Fix:

“As soon as you know you’re moving, start packing,” says Keusch. Gather packing supplies (like boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and tape), then start with the stuff you use less frequently or don’t need on a daily basis, Keusch says. “Pack like items together and clearly label each box. [Then] stack the boxes out of the way,” she advises.

Heydebrand also suggests reaching out to your moving company for extra assistance. “If you want help or feel overwhelmed by packing, just call the movers and let them know in advance,” he says. “They can bring extra guys or extra materials to ensure there are no last-minute surprises.”

Free Bonus: 10 packing tips that make moving so much easier

Problem 3: Your stuff requires special packaging.

a delicate chandelier hangs from the ceiling

“People often forget that some of their items need special care,” says Nimrod Sheinberg, Sales Manager for Oz Moving & Storage in New York City.  Things like flat-screen TVs, art, mirrors, dishes, computer monitors, lamps, chandeliers, and certain pieces of furniture require extra time and attention. “Most of these items need to be disassembled prior to being moved, [while] others need specific packing instruction, like antiques that need crates and extreme care to prevent damage,” Sheinberg explains.

The Fix:

As early as possible, start gathering the necessary supplies for packing your fragile items. This includes the sturdy boxes your stuff was originally packaged in. As Sheinberg says, “Remember how things entered the apartment, because that’s how they will need to leave.”

A few weeks prior to your move, give your movers a detailed inventory of all your belongings that require special packaging or handling. That way, they can allot space for these items in the moving truck and schedule enough time to help you pack and transport them.

Free Bonus: How To Pack Glassware And Dishes [Instructographic] and How To Pack Picture Frames [Instructographic]

Problem 4: Your new building has time restrictions on service entrance or elevator access.

the outside of a residential building

Many apartment buildings, especially in big cities like New York, have limited access to service entrances or elevators. “It happens a lot where a customer will ask us to be at their pick-up building at 8 a.m. because they want to get an early start, but most elevator buildings in Manhattan will not allow movers into the building until 9 a.m.,” says Heydebrand.

He also says certain housing complexes don’t allow movers to remain in the building past a certain hour, which could mean you won’t have enough time to unload everything if you schedule an afternoon move.

The Fix:

The best way to avoid a time conflict, Heydebrand says, is to speak with the building’s super or management about their policies and restrictions ahead of time, then plan your moving schedule accordingly. “Give your movers some extra time, considering traffic and other things that might cause a delay in getting to the new building,” he advises.

Free Bonus: 19 NYC apartment hunting tips that will save you tons of money and stress

Problem 5: You didn’t purge before your move.

a pile of clothes await in a donation box

Downsizing your stuff is a key step in the packing process. It’s also one that, if you skip, inevitably complicates your entire move. Barbara Reich, Professional Organizer and author of Secrets of an Organized Mom, says not purging before your move means you either: 1) end up spending money to move things you’ll eventually throw away in your new home or 2) waste time trying to get rid of things as the movers help you pack.

The Fix:

“Whether it is something that you no longer find useful, that is broken, or that you just don’t want, take time before you pack up to get rid of the stuff that you should be donating or throwing out, anyway,” says Michelle Hale, organizer and co-founder of Henry & Higby. “Plus, getting rid of those items before the move helps make the move-in process quicker because you won’t be wasting time sorting the items in your new home,” she explains.

Need some help getting started with decluttering?

Here’s a handy guide on what to toss and keep before your move.

Problem 6: Your furniture won’t fit in your new home.

MakeSpace movers lifting a couch on the stairs
“If certain items do not fit in elevators or up the stairs, or even in the apartment with your other furniture, the movers will have to charge a fee to bring the items to the dump unless you can figure something else out,” explains Heydebrand. To make matters more difficult, “most buildings will not let you throw away bulky items such as furniture,” he says, “and you can get a ticket for leaving bulky items outside in the street.”

The Fix:

“Create a floor plan for the new space and map out where each piece will go,” Keusch advises. Measure your furniture, and be sure to take into account your new home’s square footage, ceiling height, and window height, as well as the specific layout of each room. “Leave yourself enough time to either sell or donate anything that won’t fit, or is no longer needed,” Keusch says.

Free Bonus: 8 tips for selling used furniture online fast (and for the most money)

Problem 7: You don’t know where things are going in your new place.

a large pile of packed boxes
Flickr/Nicolas Huk

“Don’t let your movers (and their muscles) go to waste during the move-in process by having them put boxes and furniture just anywhere in the house,” says Hale.

If you don’t have a system in place for directing your movers and determining where your various boxes and pieces of furniture should end up, your stuff will be scattered everywhere.

The Fix:

“Take time before the move to plot out where all of your furniture and stuff should go, and then start packing accordingly,” advises Hale. She recommends labeling your boxes with their contents, then color-coding them by room so you know exactly where each one is headed.

“Then make sure you have at least one person directing the movers so boxes end up in their final destination and furniture is placed right the first time,” Hale says. “This will help minimize the amount of heavy moving you need to do on your own so that you save your back and can focus on unpacking and getting organized in your new space,” she explains.

Problem 8: You didn’t pack your essentials separately.

toiletries splayed out on a bed
Flickr/Patty Ho

After a long day of moving, the last thing you want to do is rummage through five boxes marked “bathroom” just to find the toilet paper. Or spend 40 minutes ransacking every bag searching for your iPhone charger. Or wear the same clothes for two days because your extra T-shirts are piled beneath bags of shoes and winter coats.

You get the idea: Packing a separate bag with your MEIs (Most Essential Items) is imperative.

The Fix:

“Pack an overnight bag with jewelry, valuables, important documents, clothing for the next day, and toiletries,” advises Reich. Don’t forget other necessities like chargers, laptops, reading glasses, earplugs, eye masks, medication, and food for your pets (check out our ultimate guide to moving safely with your beloved cats and dogs).

Want more awesome moving tips (on everything from moving during the winter to cleaning your place before a move)?

We’ve got you covered.

If you need help storing your stuff before, during, or after the moving process, schedule a MakeSpace pickup. We’ll pick up any items you don’t need right now, like your snowboarding gear, skis, and other winter gear.

Then, we’ll transport your things to our secure temperature-controlled storage facility and create an online photo catalog of your stuff so you always remember what you have in storage.

And when you want something back, simply log into your MakeSpace account, select 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.

Organize Your Storage Closet in 13 Glorious Ways

Without a solid organization system, storage closets often end up serving as the drop point for all the stuff you can’t fit anywhere else in your home.

Before you know it, that heap of cleaning rags and kitchen appliances has become so massive you can barely shut the closet door.

If the chaos in your storage closet has rendered it either nonfunctional or very distressing to use (see above scenario), don’t despair. You can turn it around with some thoughtful planning – plus a couple strategic wall hooks.

Read on for 13 tips about how to organize a smart storage closet that actually makes your life easier.

1. Figure out what you need to store in your storage closet

closet clutter
Flickr/Emily May

A storage closet has limitless possibilities (no, really). You can use it to store coats, cleaning supplies, Christmas decorations, Halloween costumes, pet toys, or whatever else you want.

To prevent things from getting out of hand, make a list of items you absolutely need to store that don’t already have a designated space in your home. Maybe it’s your vacuum and extra linens, or your snow gear (like skis and snowboards) and sports equipment.

Free Bonus: Here's  how to organize your linen closet in 11 super simple steps

2. Use shelves and built-in rods to create different sections

Entry closet shelf baskets
Just A Girl and Her Blog

Take advantage of existing storage systems in your closet to serve as obvious dividers between your stuff. Then organize things by category or likeness. If your closet is empty, install a coat rack, tension rod, or pair of shelves to double your available space — we promise those two hours of DIY work will be so worth it.

Free Bonus: These 13 easy DIY storage ideas will organize your entire home

3. Store cleaning products in a portable bin

Cleaning products portable bin
Copy Cat Chic

Corralling your cleaning products into a single bin with a handle accomplishes two things: 1) It keeps all your sprays and disinfectants in one place, and 2) it makes household cleaning easier because you can grab the bin and carry it anywhere.

Pro Tip: Use these five insanely easy cleaning hacks to whip your place into shape

4. Hang brooms and Swiffers on wall hooks

wall hook storage
The House on Hillbrook

Take advantage of vertical wall space — no matter how narrow — to hang brooms, dustpans, and mops from sturdy hooks. This method keeps your cleaning tools neat and organized while also opening up your floor space.

5. Utilize vertical space on the back of the door

back of the door storage
Organizing Made Fun

You can use the back of a door to hang just about anything. Take a cue from Organizing Made Fun and install wire baskets to hold cleaning products, extra cloths, and paper bags.

Or hang wall hooks to store purses, bags, or backpacks, like in the picture below.

purse bag door storage
By Stephanie Lynn

Better yet, use an over-the-door pocket organizer to store cleaning products, wrapping supplies, or cold-weather accessories like gloves, scarves, and hats.

cleaning supply door storage
Flickr/Hey Paul Studios

6. Limit hanging clothes to seasonal outerwear only

outerwear closet storage
Flickr/Hywell Martinez

Don’t bring your entire wardrobe into your storage closet. If you plan on hanging clothes, limit your choices to items you reach for on your way out the door. Think seasonal necessities like coats, jackets, and scarves.

Free Bonus: Check out our helpful guide for organizing everything in your closet on the cheap

7. Store suitcases on upper shelves

luggage shelf storage
Paige Smith

To keep your floor space clear and uncluttered, store suitcases horizontally on your highest shelves. Just make sure the suitcases are empty and your shelves are sturdy — you don’t want to get knocked in the head when you’re reaching for the vacuum.

8. Use boxes with labels

label box closet storage
Flickr/Bill Bradford

You can store everything from DVDs and paper files to table linens and extra Kleenex in matching boxes. Label each box with a detailed description of its contents so you never have to rummage through your stuff to find what you’re looking for.

9. Store blankets in a stylish basket

blanket basket storage
Copy Cat Chic

Tuck extra throw blankets into a chic basket you can transport to the living room when the weather starts to get chilly.

10. Use wall hooks to hang backpacks and bags

wall hook bag storage
Imperfect Homemaking

The genius of a wall hook lies in its simultaneous simplicity and versatility. Mount it wherever there’s an extra foot of space in your closet, and suddenly you have a spot to hang your favorite purse, reusable grocery bag, briefcase, or umbrella.

11. Use plastic drawers for smaller items

Organized Entry Closet
Just A Girl and Her Blog

Plastic drawers are perfect for storing smaller items like cleaning rags, medicine, first aid kit supplies, tools, craft materials, or extra toiletries.

12. Use a utility cart

craft closet utility cart
Young House Love

A utility cart is a smart way to store the stuff you need to access easily. Bonus points if it rolls. You can organize it according to a theme — cleaning materials, household tools, office supplies — or just fill each shelf with whatever fits neatly.

13. Store your stuff with MakeSpace

For everything you can’t fit in your storage closet, use MakeSpace.

Pack a MakeSpace bin with clothes, shoes, and other stuff you'd like to store in on demand storage.


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 your surfboard or set of golf clubs back, just browse the convenient online photo catalog of your stuff, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it straight to you.

Top image via Flickr/Emily May 

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