Storage is — and will continue to be — a beast many of us fight on a continual basis in our homes. No matter the size of where you live, you almost always feel like you're either dealing with not enough or the wrong kind. Thankfully, we live in world and a time where there are tools that can help us survive not-so-ideal existing storage. Make sure you've got these eight storage secret weapons to help you tame your home's storage beasts.
1. Tension rods
These simple metal rods aren't just for curtains — in a storage capacity they can work wonders in closets, under sinks, in furniture and more. Use them to hold bottles, organize clothes, pretty much anything you can think of. The trick is to open your mind and get creative with these affordable tools.
2. An outbox
This could be a bag, a box, a drawer — anything. Just as long as you have a designated area to collect things you do not need and wish to donate or give away.
3. Bungee cords and plastic bags
Do not doubt the space doubling abilities of these two tools that can take big, bulky items like winter sweaters and comforters and shrink them down to size with the help of a little compression. I'm a big fan of big plastic bags that I put items in to compress and stack, and I've used bungee cords to fold down an extra twin size IKEA mattress that I keep stacked atop a shelf for guests.
4. An extra closet rod
If you're able to install an extra closet rod in your closet, do it! Even consider three if you've got the ceiling height for it. Not only can extra rods help you store more stuff, they can help you organize your clothes into sections that make finding what you want easier. But extra closet rods are also great for folks who rent and may not be able to build into their closets a lot of custom closet organization. Search your favorite home store or Amazon for tools you can hang from a closet rod for your shoes, your boots, your bags and more.
5. The Flip-the-Hanger Trick
While not an actual item, this trick is an essential element to smart closet storage simply because it helps you keep track of what you do and do not wear, making it easier to pare down your wardrobe and have less stuff to store.
6. DIY dividers
It's not just closets that deserve all the storage secret weapons. Your drawers are screaming out for dividers that can help you create smaller partitions to make sense of your drawers' contents. From your sock drawer to your junk drawer, you can buy dividers, but we like the idea of DIYing them, to not only save money but have customizable dividers you can toss out and change as your drawers' needs change. Try recycling cardboard into dividers that will revolutionize how you use your dressers and drawers.
7. Risers and extra shelves
Don't let the existing space between your shelves — the shelves in your cabinets, in your bookcases, in your closets — dictate how much stuff you can store (or perhaps more specifically, how well you can store it). If you don't have the DIY ability to drastically change the actual spacing between shelves that have too much wasted space, invest in shelf risers to make better use of your shelf space.
8. Behind the door hooks
They are great for extra hooks for hanging everyday-use things like coats and bags. But they're a dream when it comes to expanding storage space in a closet. Don't forget they can also quite successfully be used in cabinets to give you more space in kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms, too.
What would you add to this list? What has been your storage secret weapon?
Re-edited from a post originally published 7.26.15-NT