Frugal Storage

Meredith at Like Merchant Ships has a great post on some nifty storage ideas that DON’T require you running to the store to buy more plastic. Like Meredith, I’ve used the odd tote-bag, purse, and back-pack for storage (all our coloring books currently live in an old backpack we picked up at a thrift shop a few years ago).
I like the hooks and nails, too. Another tip that will protect your towels is to sew a small elastic loop to the edge, right in the center of the longest edge. This makes them easier to hang and keeps them off the floor.

I posted a while back about the frugal, what’s in your hand, method we figured out to make cheap bed-risers for some of the beds to make for better under the bed storage.

IN some places we’ve lived when linen space was at a premium, we stored any extra sheets under the mattress of the bed they fit.

Here you can see some of our storage solutions in the previous house, which had maybe three feet of counter space.

Since the HM works at a grocery store, I can get as many cardboard boxes as I want at almost any given moment, so I use boxes a lot now, and when they fall apart, they go out on our burn pile and I get new ones.

When the children were smaller and I did all the laundry I used to be ruthless about going through their clothes and keeping them down to less than ten outfits each (sometimes six, plus a church dress or two). We hung double rods inthe closet, since they were little girls, so that we had a top row for the 8 and 9 year olds and a bottom rod for the 2, 3, and 5 year olds.

Currently, The Cherub doesn’t have a dresser or a closet. She has a board with hooks in it for her shirts and dresses. She has an over the door cloth storage pockets thing where we put her socks, pants, and undergarments.

What are you doing to cope with the things you’re not discarding?

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8 Comments

  1. Emily
    Posted January 6, 2007 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    DHM, we had up to six of us living in a small two bedroom apartment for fourteen years with no storage space other than closets. Then we bought our first home – almost three acres but only a small house. We were so used to storing things creatively that we were able to employ the same methods in our current situation.

    Our favorite is using bureaus – sometimes double stacking them, or using bookshelves on top of them. Voila! Floor to ceiling storage! I have bureaus for linens, towels, craft supplies, you name it!

    We have no space in our kitchen for a table but needed something in the middle of the room because of the lack of counter space. The Lord provided! We found an old locker that fit the bill perfectly – even matches our pine floors. Waist-high, with four square doors that each open to reveal a shelf and drawer. We store our kitchen doodads in there along with a tool kit, batteries, candles, you name it. Its top is a slab of maple that makes a great spot to prepare dinner, mix dough, do crafts, etc. Add a couple of stools and it’s a breakfast bar! All this to say: we love dual-purpose furniture!

  2. Headmistress, zookeeper
    Posted January 6, 2007 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Emily, we do the double-stacked bureaus, or stack hutches or bookcases, too.
    But your locker island! That’s brilliant!

  3. Anonymous
    Posted January 6, 2007 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    My sister and I came up with using our less interesting books to lift my fancy bowls and pitchers up high enough to be visible over the counter edges. Not exactly storage, but it does make everything look better.

    We need more hooks though, a lot more, and we’re not sure what to do it. We have an older home and the mysterious substance inside the walls (chicken wire and asbestos, according to one speculator) sends screws and hammers bouncing. The stick-on kind are never sturdy enough.

  4. Meredith
    Posted January 6, 2007 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    The locker island IS brilliant! I would love to find some wooden lockers.

    DHM, thanks for the link : )

  5. Anonymous
    Posted January 7, 2007 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    My daughter and I have been talking about this for a couple of weeks. We both have been going through storage “stuff” (my garage and her basement) to streamline everything.

    My favorite items to use that are free are Xerox boxes from Kinkos and Staples. They have two or three different sizes and they are very sturdy. They are very much like banker’s boxes but they don’t cost anything.

    Also, I have an inherited china cabinet where I placed my teacup and teapot collection. The teapots are placed in th back on inexpensive cake stands (never more than a couple dollars at garage sales and Goodwill).

  6. Bellen
    Posted January 7, 2007 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    there are 2 people, 2 bathrooms in our home. The bathroom with glassed door -both open- shower (no tub) we use for storage. It is perfectly dry so no mold. Works extremely well for us.

  7. B. Durbin
    Posted January 7, 2007 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    If you are looking for cardboard boxes, inquire at a bookstore. You may only be allowed to take a few at a time, but hey, more trips to the bookstore! The extra benefit to this is that they’re standardized sizes, and are dry.

    Every blanket and sheet set these days comes in a reusable plastic linen bag. Even if you buy these things at discount stores.

  8. Headmistress, zookeeper
    Posted January 7, 2007 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Every blanket and sheet set these days comes in a reusable plastic linen bag. Even if you buy these things at discount stores.

    But not necessarily if you buy these things, as we do, at thrift shops.=)

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