It’s a new year, which means you likely made, or know someone who made, one of these two New Years Resolutions:
1. I will be healthier. Also known as I will eat less junk. I will exercise more frequently, go to sleep earlier, not eat cheesecake for breakfast… you get the idea.
2. I will be more organized.
One of the things I love about January and the new year is the urge everyone gets to downsize, or purge, or just organize more efficiently. It seems like December and Christmas is all about more stuff and January and the New Year is all about less. I love that! And I love clever storage solutions to hide, or perhaps display, what you do keep. However, storage solutions can be pricey – so how do you know what to invest in?
Here’s what I do: First of all, I try not to buy close ended pieces. What does that mean? It means things that can be used in only one way – only in the purpose it was designed for. I find these pieces give you the worst bang for your buck, investment wise. For instance, those banana holders – you know the ones, the plastic banana shaped containers that allow you to transport a banana back and forth to work or school without getting squished? It’s pretty close ended. There isn’t too much more you can do with that except store a banana in it, and if one day you decide you don’t like bananas anymore, or become deathly allergic to bananas, that piece is pretty useless to you.
That’s a bit of a silly example but you get the point – buy pieces that can be in countless ways. That way, should your storage needs change, and trust me, they will, the piece is still useful for you.
I’ve gathered a list of 10 of the most versatile storage products out there – things so simple and common that you can find them almost anywhere – or perhaps you already own them. These items are so handy that you could use them in almost any room in your house. Don’t believe me? Just wait and see. Your mind will be blown with the storage options at your fingertips! Let’s go!
Oh, and because I love you so much, I’ve gathered the links to these products on three popular online shopping sites (Amazon, Target, and Wayfair), so you don’t even have to leave your house to obtain great storage. You can thank me later!
1. Over the Door Shoe Organizers – my absolute favorite!
How to Use it: More like, how can you not use it?! I have one of these in almost every room. My daughters each have one – one holds craft and art supplies and the other one uses hers for her large collection of Beanie Boo stuffed toys. The one on the back of my storage closet holds frequently used tool items, like screwdrivers, nails, painters tape, and more. We have a cut down one on the inside of the bathroom closet for extra toiletries and hair products. The one in my craft room holds party supplies, such as streamers, tissue paper, favor bags, and straws.
See more uses for Over the Door Shoe Organizers on my Versatile Storage Pinterest Board.
2. Clear Shoeboxes
How to Use it: This is one of the few storage pieces that I do use for its “intended” purpose – storing shoes that are either not worn often or made of fabric that gets dirty easily. However, I have about 16 of them in my craftroom, storing little things like stickers, glitter, ribbon, etc. I also have them in my kids toy room. They are perfect for collectiosn of smaller toys – think Littlest Pet Shop, Play Doh accessories, toy trucks, etc. They stack so nicely on shelves, and the clear box allows you (and your kids) to easily see what’s inside.
See more uses for Clear Shoe Boxes on my Versatile Storage Pinterest Board.
3. Cutlery Trays
How to Use it: Most of you probably already use cutlery trays as a desk organizer – I’m sure just as many people use it to store pens and pencils as use it to store forks and spoons. But cutlery trays are great for a host of other uses too: jewelry organizer, craft supply storage (I use one for my Project Life cards!), makeup storage… and the list goes on. Basically anything that is small and needs to be divided? This products your go to guy.
See more uses for Cutlery Trays on my Versatile Storage Pinterest Board.
4. Wide Mouth Mason Jars
How to Use it: I could have just labelled this Mason Jars, but I find that for organizing purposes, the wide mouth ones make storage easier because it is simpler to get things in and out of the wide mouth jars. They also stack really nicely – bonus! I use mason jars a lot in my pantry – for baking supplies like brown sugar, corn starch, baking powder, etc. I also use them in my craft room to store little things like stamps and ribbon, which makes them a pretty display as well.
See more uses for Mason Jars on my Versatile Storage Pinterest Board.
How to Use it: Pegboards used to be a thing you only saw in the tool shed, but these days, they are really becoming a stylish storage solution. I have one in my shed of course, but I also have one in my craft room, one in my daughters room, and one will be going in my laundry room when we redo it. My daughter and I use it to store a lot of craft supplies, and she also stores little things on it – for instance, she has a pail of dry erase markers hanging from a pegboard hook. She also has a pail for her electronics chargers when they aren’t in use. They come in a variety of fun metal colors, or you can easily paint a MDF one from the hardware store to make it fully customizable.
See more uses for Pegboards on my Versatile Storage Pinterest Board.
6. Tackleboxes / Toolboxes
How to Use it: Remember when Caboodles were the it thing? It seemed everyone had one of those babies but me. Instead, I bought a black fishing tackle box, which I completely covered in collaged photos. I loved that thing! It housed everything I could need and I got to decorate it. Plus it was something different than the usual hot pink caboodle that everyone had at sleepovers. Now, I still think of tackle boxes and tool boxes as storage pieces around my house. A couple of years ago, I used the toolbox shown above as a portable craft supply organizer. I use hardware storage boxes as snack trays when we travel. And my daughter knows nothing of the Rainbow Loom storage boxes. She uses tackle boxes and hardware boxes to store all of her loom gear.
See more uses for Tackle Boxes and Tool Boxes on my Versatile Storage Pinterest Board.
7. Cube Shelves
How to Use it: This one is pretty straight forward, and in a way, it is used for its intended purpose (storage, shelving), but I chose this piece because it can be used in almost every room for so many different purposes. In our playroom, we have two sets (a 9 cube and a 6 cube), half of which have bins for small toys like musical instruments and barbies, and the open cubes serve as book storage. We used one in my daughters nursery when she was younger to store diapers, wipes, and other baby essentials. We also used one to store our outdoor gear in the porch – things like hats and mitts in the winter, and flip flops and skipping ropes in the summer.
See more uses for Cube Shelves on my Versatile Storage Pinterest Board.
8. Magazine Files
How to Use it: Magazine files are so great because they can sit on a tabletop or they can be mounted on a wall. They can also be mounted to the back of a cabinet, making them useful for storing cleaning supplies under the sink, tin foil and saran wrap in a cupboard, or even hair tools on the back of a vanity door. If you are going to mount it, I would suggest buying a metal or wood one over paper, unless you will be storing something lightweight.
See more uses for Magazine Files on my Versatile Storage Pinterest Board.
9. Spice Racks
How to Use it: I am sure at least half of you have seen the Ikea spice shelves used as book storage, am I right? Whoever did that first was a genius! But you can use this simple and humble storage solution in so many ways: it would look awesome in a rustic styled bathroom, either for toiletries, or filled with mason jars of cotton swabs and q-tips. Place it on a playroom wall and fill with colorful cups to place crayons and pencils in. Two of the most ingenious ideas I saw were to turn it upside down and use it as a shelf and a hanging rod (how perfect would that be for doll clothes?!) and mounted on the side of a dresser (perfect for accessory storage!).
See more uses for Spice Racks on my Versatile Storage Pinterest Board.
10. Rail and Hook Systems
How to Use it: The most clever way I have used this in my home isn’t really that clever at all – but it saved me so much headache. When designing our playroom, I planned to make a dress up storage piece that had a rod for hangers. That way the girls could hang up their dresses after playing. Then, as I was about to get started, I thought – wait a minute. My girls hardly hang up their real clothes. Who am I kidding? They aren’t going to hang this stuff up! That’s when it occured to me that I should use a rod with S hooks. Surely they can slip it on a hook (one can dream at least). That idea saved my sanity – all of the dresses, scarves, necklaces, and more hang neatly from these hooks, on a bar, in our playroom.
I also use in to store craft supplies (of course), hang coloring supplies in the playroom (I place them in a small metal pail which hangs on a hook by its handle), and as an art work display (use curtain clips instead of s hooks). The one I use is Ikea’s Bygel system – the price can’t be beat and there are so many options – but I have given you some more styled options above as well! If you don’t want to mount a rod to your walls, you can also achieve the same result with command hooks (buy the strong hold ones) and a dowel!
See more uses for Rail and Hook Systems on my Versatile Storage Pinterest Board.