03/28/2014 10:17 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

7 Overlooked Spaces Where You Can Maximize Storage

By Candace Braun Davison

Home experts show us how to make the most of our jumbled, cluttered and oft-forgotten areas with a few easy-to-master organization tricks.

  • Find a New Spin
    Alejandra Costello of Alejandra.Tv
    The cabinet under the bathroom sink could be really useful for stowing toiletries—if it weren't for that massive, space-hogging U-shaped pipe. Thankfully, there's a workaround: Place plastic, stackable containers on either side of the pipe, creating two towers to hold your extra toilet paper, shampoo and cleaning supplies. Then, stick a Lazy Susan directly under the bend in the pipe, which you can use to store small bottles, such as those containing vitamins or nail polish, or jars of Q-tips and cotton balls, says Alejandra Costello, the blogger behind Alejandra.Tv. The whole project will only set you back about $19.
  • Mind the Gap
    Courtesy of ClassyClutter.net
    That six-inch space between your fridge and wall can do more than hide the broom and dust pan. Instead, try squeezing an entire pantry in there, suggests Mallory Nikolaus and Savannah Kokaliares, the DIY bloggers behind ClassyClutter.net, who created a step-by-step guide on their site for doing exactly that. In the tutorial, Nikolaus creates a narrow, wooden shelving unit on wheels that you can slide out from between the wall and fridge and uses it to store all of her spices and canned goods, effectively doubling her kitchen storage space.
  • Turn Monopoly on its Head
    Alejandra Costello of Alejandra.Tv
    If grabbing a board game from a towering stack causes an impromptu game of Jenga, consider Costello's strategy: Line up the games vertically, on a shelf or in a drawer, as you would books. That way, you can see the names of all of the games at a glance, and you can easily pull one out without sending others toppling.
  • Double Your Closet Space
    Courtesy of 320 Sycamore
    No matter how crammed our closets get, most of us can peer inside and see the back of it. If you see white wall just above or below the hanging rod, try lowering the rod 12 inches and adding an extra shelf at eye level, which can be used to store bulky clothes, such as folded sweaters and jeans, says Barbara Reich, author of Secrets of an Organized Mom. If you see white wall from the bottom of your hanging blouses to the floor (3 feet, or so), consider installing an extra rod, which will give you twice as much space to hang things.
  • Clean Up Your Crisper
    Deep drawers are clutter-collecting abysses, and the ones in your refrigerator are no different. Fruit, vegetables and bagged salads can pile up in there, which is why Costello recommends restoring order with a plastic file box. Yes, the kind sold at office-supply stores. The boxes come in four sizes, she explains, which can be used to tidily pack up your bagged produce. They're great for packages of cold cuts, which you can stack—you guessed it—vertically, so you can easily grab what you need (and see what you're running low on). No more digging around—ever.
  • Show That Caddy Who's Boss
    Alejandra Costello of Alejandra.Tv
    Though shower caddies are designed to declutter that ever-toppling wall of shampoos, conditioners and body washes surrounding the tub, the top shelf is rarely used -- or becomes a hassle to use -- because the containers can't fit around the showerhead. If you move the caddy to the opposite wall of the shower, using one suction-cup hook to hold it up, and two more, on either side, to keep it from swaying any time you reach for the shaving cream, you can make use of all of the shelves, Costello says. Bonus: Product addicts could hang two caddies side by side. It's a simple fix, yet it's one of the most popular tips she's ever posted online.
  • Organize a Hangout
    Behold, the last frontier for underused space: The inside of your doors and cabinets. Over-the-door hooks can hold purses, and we've all seen shoe organizers, but this space can also double as a jewelry box. Or a corral for cookware. Simply hang a piece of pegboard to the door, then attach hooks to hang whatever you see fit—be it necklaces and bracelets in the bedroom or cookie cutters, mugs and measuring cups in the kitchen—Reich says.

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