There used to be a show in Japan called The Ito Household, which invited viewers to send in their home videos about innovative money-saving gadgets (sometimes useful, sometimes just completely silly) they constructed out of old cardboard boxes and useless things around the house for cash prizes. The show was a huge success because it made being frugal fun.
ShopSmart, a consumer report magazine launched in 2006 for shoppers whose time is money, has easy and enjoyable tips on how to save on storage products. “No one should spend $20 for a shoe box bin or $30 for a linen-lined basket to keep their house in order,” said ShopSmart Editor-In-Chief Lee Freeman. Here’re some of the quickest, and most money-saving projects to create storage in your house:
1. Got leftover wrapping paper from the holidays? Use it to decorate old shoe boxes to hold office supplies, remote controls and toiletries. ShopSmart also recommends using contact paper, fabric or leftover wallpaper to jazz up those boxes. The best part of this project is that it’s free!
2. Over-the-Door shoe bags and hooks—tricks from your college dorm days. The best way to increase limited storage space is to take advantage of every surface and square foot possible. ShopSmart recommends you use shoe bags for more than just shoes; use them to store gloves, hats and scarves and even put them in your bathroom to hold blow dryers, curling irons and toiletries. A helpful suggestion: Place hooks where you tend to drop things.
3. Another way to maximize limited storage space is to have gadgets that allow flexibility. Lazy Susans let you store things deep within a cabinet without clutter. Just spin that Susan ’round and find what you’re looking for!
4. Baskets, trays and metal tins are great resources to store extraneous things from around the house. Use them in your office, kitchen and bedroom so you’ll have a smart place to keep all your treasures.
Check out our tips on how to smarten your storage space in the attic and the basement.