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Where do you put stuff away?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I'd love to get more organized, our place is seriously messy, but we've got a problem: there's no place to put things. Bookshelves, dressers, closets... we just don't have a lot of those things. It's not that we have too much stuff, we really don't have all that much, but we don't have places to put the things that we have. So how do you organize if you don't have places to put things?
post #2 of 32
If you have the space for bookshelves, try freecycle and see if you can get some. If not, how about wall shelving? We got shelves from Home Depot and dh put them up. They're white pressboard or something (not exactly my area of expertise ) and held up by white brackets. They're not fancy, but the walls are white so they fit well enough. A lot of toys just go on the floor but they are in bins at least. I like these snap lid ones I get from Walmart (sterilite? pearlite? something-ite). They're see through and have lids that even the 3 year old can handle. And they stack really nicely
post #3 of 32
Do you have space above your kitchen cabinets? I bought some square baskets on sale and keep the kids art & craft supplies as well as some favorite kitchen toys in them. Has made a big difference in my kitchen.

HTH and that I get some additional ideas...I always get sort of freaked out about extra "stuff" at this point in the year...

BJ
Barney & Ben
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
Our kitchen cabinets are up against the cieling; I can't reach the top shelves at all, and can only reach the middle ones while climbing on the counters or the stove, which doesn't happen to much now that I'm well into the second trimester of pregnancy.

I'd love to get some wall shelves, but that would require something that we don't have... money, a level, and a stud finder. We'd also need zillions of them... Even regular shelves are so expensive, though, and the "cheap" way to do (wooden planks and cement blocks) it is more expensive than it seems, and dangerous if you've got small kids running around.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
I'd love to get more organized, our place is seriously messy, but we've got a problem: there's no place to put things. Bookshelves, dressers, closets... we just don't have a lot of those things. It's not that we have too much stuff, we really don't have all that much, but we don't have places to put the things that we have. So how do you organize if you don't have places to put things?
Oh my, I could have written this! We have the exact same problem - pretty much one closet in the whole house. No linen closet, no hall closet for coats, no bookshelves -- it's pretty bad and we need some serious help too. Thanks for posting this question. I can't wait to hear what the mamas suggest! I love the basket idea for art supplies in the kitchen.
post #6 of 32
How about under bed storage? But then you'd have to buy something for that. Either plastic bins or cardboard bins that fit under beds.

I can't think of any way to organize things without having *something* to do it in. Do you have anything you could use? Cardboard boxes even? Shoeboxes? If you have a shoestore in your area, try their dumpster. We've gotten nice boxes from our local shoe store dumpster

Do you have an active freecycle in your area?
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
We sleep on two twin mattresses on the floor, there is no under-bed area. We've still got things in cardboard boxes, but they get yucky very quickly when you've got two little kids around... And the few plastic storage boxes we have are already quite full.

I will try freecycle... just as soon as I have a computer upon which I can check my email. : Those things (read: stuff that's really useful) tend to go very quickly, and people want them picked up the same day, so it's absolutely impossible when the only way that you can check your email is 2 hours away at your IL's house. *sigh* The crappy computer issue strikes again!
post #8 of 32
Unfortunately, my skills lie more with reorganizing existing storage rather than dealing with non-existant storage. I've avoided buying new furniture like 5 times in the past year by rearranging how I thought things needed to be.

I will say that shelves and containers or just stacked containers work far better than dressers for ease of use. So if you're debating between a bookcase and a dresser (or given the relative costs, 2 bookcases and a dresser) definitely go with the cases.

Laundry baskets also make nifty organization devices, especially for toys, craft projects, and off season clothes. (Except, they too work better with some shelving.)
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
Those things (read: stuff that's really useful) tend to go very quickly, and people want them picked up the same day, so it's absolutely impossible when the only way that you can check your email is 2 hours away at your IL's house.
Try posting a "wanted" (Wanted: bookshelf or wanted : storage bins, etc). Then any replies will only go to you. I ask for things sometimes and am about 50/50 on getting them.

I keep wanting to put my bed on the floor. Get rid of the dustbunnies,
post #10 of 32
My parents used long boards held up with cinder blocks as shelves when they had tons of books and no money for "real" shelves. Garage sales and thrift stores usually are where I get furniture items...

love and peace.
post #11 of 32
The boards and cinder blocks idea.
How about milk crates? Or finding wood to recycle into shelving.
I have the same problem Re: space. I think if I had the time to reorganize and some good stackable storage containers I could make it work.
post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
Boards are not cheap... at least, I don't know where to find them if they are. Cinderblocks are definately cheap, but once again only if you can find them; in my old town, there was a lumber supply/storeyard literally two blocks from home, and always a guy who was willing to carry the blocks out to the car, but here I'm having a heck of a time finding them. I also haven't been able to find milk crates anywhere for free/cheap; they tend to cost as much as those plastic, small boxes in stores, and I don't have a hook-up with a Turkey Hill delivery guy.

Where do you find this stuff?
post #13 of 32
What about those office storer boxes? You know cardboard kind that comes flat, about 10 or maybe 20? to a box and you fold them yourself. They also have lids to help keep things clean.
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
10 or 20 to a box?! I've only ever seen sets of 3... where do they come from?
post #15 of 32
we have found free wood at a cabinet maker shop. We have found super cheap wood at the Habitat for humanity store. My husband made the boys a super tall bed frame out of found wood and their futon frame, and now we can store laundry baskets under there. that takes care of a lot of it. We get laundry baskets from goodwill
post #16 of 32
I asked dh and he said he bought the archive boxes from the newsagent, and that yes there was 10-15. I'm in Australia though, so maybe they just come in bigger lots here.
post #17 of 32
About the wood -sometimes you can call around and find a recycled wood place or selvage yards..... a lot of towns have them and sometimes you can find neat stuff to get really creative. Also, alot of stores -home depot, osh and mom and pop joints will let you take the wood scraps for free, or at least very cheap. I've built a few wooden bookshelves this way -for under 10 bucks. You have to have the tools though, I suppose...
post #18 of 32
Rynna, I'm pretty sure you've already covered this one, but what I would do is walk around the neighborhood on trash night and find storage units that people are throwing out.
post #19 of 32
I've found a *fantastic* junk shop near me. Some old guy runs it and you'd never want to bring kids in there. He must have four or five football fields worth of junk out back but the inside is an absolute treasure trove for people willing to dig. Nothing is priced, he just looks at your pile and names a price. Anyhoo, I've found oodles of baskets - laundry and woven and lots of other containment vessels - crates, buckets, etc. This place is a tad bit off the beaten path and isn't pretty from the outside. Any chance there's a place like this lurking around? Good luck!
post #20 of 32
This is a strange thought, but for now, maybe getting boxes from a copy store. The paper comes in these pretty sturdy boxes and I am sure they would be happy to get rid of some. If someone says no, ask another employee, or the manager. I would also put the work out to your in-laws. Can't hurt to ask!
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