Nine Ways to Improve Storage in Your Home
By: Danny Lipford
While these nine storage projects are DIY friendly, there are also companies available that specialize in building and installing storage solutions. You can also purchase premade storage units at home improvement centers as well as ready to assemble kits.
Track type closet storage systems can make much better use of closet space than a single shelf and hanging rod. To install track storage:
- Remove the existing shelf and rod.
- Lay the components out on the floor to see how they fit together.
- Use a stud finder to locate and mark the position of studs.
- Secure the horizontal track to the back wall near the ceiling with toggle bolts where there aren’t any studs, and wood screws where there are.
- Position vertical standards on the wall every 24” or less, and secure them to the wall using toggles or screws.
- Use a hacksaw, bolt cutters, or reciprocating saw to cut metal shelves to length.
- Mount shelf supports on standards.
- Position wire shelves, hanging rods, and wire baskets on shelf supports.
Laundry Room Cubbies
Increase storage space in a laundry room by adding a storage unit to hold individual laundry baskets for each member of the family. Construct the unit from ¾” medium density fiberboard (MDF) to fit the space available. Support the shelves using 1”x 2” wood cleats attached to the sides of the unit.
Under Bed Drawer
Utilize wasted space under a bed by building a large drawer from MDF that slides under the bed. Attach casters to the bottom and a handle on the front to allow it to slide in and out. Premade plastic storage drawers are also available, or you can mount casters on the bottom of old dresser drawers.
To increase attic storage, add a hanging shelf to the rafters:
- Construct “L” shaped brackets from 2x4s cut so they match the slope of the roof and desired width of the shelf.
- Pop a chalk line along the rafters to aid in aligning the brackets.
- Screw the brackets to the rafters, making sure they’re aligned and level.
- Slide shelf in place and attach to the brackets.
Kitchen Lid Rack
To keep pot lids handy, mount a towel rack on the inside of a kitchen cabinet door to store them on:
- Attach one of the brackets to the door stile, making sure the screws are short enough to keep from coming through the door.
- Cut the towel bar to length using a hacksaw, and smooth the end with sandpaper.
- Insert the towel bar in the attached bracket and screw the other bracket to door.
- Put the lids on the towel rack with the handles facing out.
Custom built bookcases are great for storing books and displaying family photographs:
- Cut MDF to size for the cabinet parts and shelves.
- Assemble the cabinets.
- Prime and paint the cabinets before bringing inside.
- Construct a recessed base to provide a kick space below the bookcases.
- Install the bookcases on top of the base and secure to base and wall.
- Attach a face frame to the front of the bookcase.
- Use a router to cut a molded edge in the front of the overhanging top and attach it to the bookcase.
- Fill any nail holes, and apply a final coat of paint.
Toilet Topper Cabinet
Mount a cabinet above the toilet to add more storage space to your bathroom. Premade units are available at home centers, or you can make one yourself from MDF. When using MDF in a high humidity area like a bathroom, paint all the sides and edges to keep it from absorbing moisture.
Adding a recessed medicine cabinet is another way to add storage space to a bathroom. Nutone’s locking bath cabinet fits in the space between two studs and features a keyed lock to keep medicine safe from children.
- Use a level and square to mark the opening.
- Turn off the electricity, and cut out the opening with a drywall keyhole saw.
- Slide the medicine cabinet in place and attach to the studs on either side with screws.
Recessed Wall Cabinet
This recessed wall cabinet is made from solid oak and oak plywood and serves as a charging station for cell phones as well as a place to hang keys. An overhanging lip on the face of the cabinet hides the rough edge of the hole while an electrical outlet mounted inside the bottom door provides power for chargers.
More Storage Solutions
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Plastic Storage Boxes in the Shop
Clear plastic storage boxes are great for holding nails, screws, and small hand tools in the shop. The removable dividers can be positioned to accommodate various length items while the clear plastic case allows you to easily see what’s stored inside.
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Black & Decker Gecko Grip Level
Black & Decker Gecko Grip Levels have rubber pads that grip the wall without leaving marks. The 3’ level has sliding marking targets for aligning holes while the 2’ version includes a built-in torpedo level and stud finder. Gecko Grip Levels are available at The Home Depot stores.
Thinking Green with Danny Lipford:
Eliminate Plastic Shopping Bags
Over 500 billion disposable plastic shopping bags are used and discarded every year with less than 1% being recycled. Eliminate the need for disposable plastic bags by bringing reusable cloth bags with you to the store whenever you shop.
Power tools used on Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford® are provided by Ryobi.
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