Tuesday, October 29, 2013

homemaking hack #11: find storage in weird places


Okay, so I must love you guys a lot to show you this kind of organizational embarrassment. But I figure if you're still around after my last homemaking hack, I can't scare you too much. ;)

Here is our bathroom storage solution BEFORE:


Here's the story: as far as we know, our house is so old they didn't have bathrooms/toilets in it when it was built in 1895, so they added bathrooms by closing in parts of rooms. Our main bathroom is huge, but our most usable bathroom is about 2.5 x 5.5 feet in size. Since it has the only shower, this is also the bathroom that we all use to get ready. Which means all of our {my} toiletries are in the tiny bathroom. :) It's small for 6 people, but that's just part of having an old house, I think. 

I had this cart in there that created storage but it also took up 45% of our usable floor space in the bathroom. I've tried it in both places it will fit as you can see: 


But as I was thinking about it the other day, I realized almost everything I actually USE is in the basket over the toilet or my makeup bag. I didn't need three drawers full of stuff. In fact, the cart was mainly full of three years of hotel toiletries and products that didn't really work for me but I didn't want to throw away.

So we had this old dresser we repainted that we use for Zane's clothes now in the family closet area... in a stroke of common sense {not genius by any means, ha!}, I decided to move it into his room and use a drawer in it for bathroom storage!

On Saturday I cleaned out that cart full of old stuff:


And hallelujah, here is the AFTER: 


I only kept a drawer full {probably still too much!} and the rest was history. :)


I love how much lighter everything feels when you don't have transparent drawers of old junk taking up space. :D And this little project even inspired me to finally put the handles on the dresser and use it as a changing table again!


I love getting a little more organized and making things work that we already have. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at getting a cute basket drawer system for that bathroom and couldn't bring myself to spend the money on it. Turns out there was a better, free solution that helped me cut out clutter and use what I already owned. And it freed up all of the 4.5 sf. of floor space in the bathroom. Yay! :D

check out other homemaking hacks here!

Do you ever find unusual spaces to organize and store things?
I hide all of our gifts we buy under the bed too! {don't tell the kids! hahah!}. And here's the strange way we carry Legos on trips sometimes!

Any old house owners/lovers out there with me? :) 
I think having an old house and only 3 tiny closets forces me to keep less stuff- which is such a great thing! I sometimes get overwhelmed by how little storage space I have, but in reality it's actually a blessing.

23 comments:

Dawni said...

YES! large house but no storage!!

Sabel Sisney said...

My Mother does this and it gives them so much storage. The house is 100 yrs old, so it's got character but no place to store anything really. This is a great solution to not having storage area's.

BlessedMommy said...

I am absolutely loving your homemaking hacks! I don't live in a huge house, but it's big to us when we went from one kid and a tiny 2 bedroom apartment to a huge 1600 sq ft 3 bed 2 bath home. It was already full of stuff because it was my husband's grandparent's for about 25 years before it was ours. So it needs a little love and a LOT of updating and decluttering (his grandpa left everything for us....even the crazy cat what nots:/ ). So I am loving the inspiration you are sharing with us!!! Thank you so so much!! Your blog is such a blessing and pick me up for me.

Rebekah said...

I need someone to come into my house and help me figure out how to better organize/store. I love reading these posts, but don't really know how to do it myself with limited space, about 12 or 13 hundred sq feet.. Enjoy your blog!

Heather Pace said...

Wet have an old, small house with very little storage. We got a crash course in throwing stuff away when we moved here and we have an odd little addition on the side of the house that was only being used to suite junk we hadn't gotten rid of yet until I read your idea about the family closet. That's where we have our children's drawers now and there's so much more room in their room. We're working on getting a closet system in there so we can tear out the closet in the bedroom. Our rule now is if we don't need it and don't have room for it, we don't keep it. It horrifies my mamaw who was raised not to throw anything away. She keeps asking me what if we need it someday. We've been married four years and we've yet to need 10 sets of blankets or three sets of dishes. We just buy paper plates if we're expecting a lot of people. Then, it cuts down on dishes, too! :-D It's a win-win. Lol.

Heather Pace said...

Simmering that helped me was a book I found at LifeWay called Organizing for Life. :-)

Sabrina Matthews said...

I hope you didn't throw out that head massager! I just bought one at Kirklands and I have to say it's one of the best weird inventions YET! I love mine! Best 3.99 I've spent in a LONG time! :)

Sophie from France said...

I fell lucky: I have a old (1900) and huge house, and a lot of storage! A closet or two in almost every room (bedrooms, kitchen, entryway...) except in bathrooms. But i'm pretty organized and I like every thing to be tidy (with 6 kiddos???Am I crazy???)
So the stock of toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap ... are the stairs to the cellar, and in the bathroom, there is that which is used every day. And as we renovate the house, it will get even better (closet also in ALL bathrooms!)

Susan Kramer said...

We definitely live in a small house built in 1890 with ONE closet!! I use an antique washstand in our one bathroom for storage and it's been such a blessing!

Betsy said...

We have very little storage as well, but we are figuring things out to make it work.

Andrea Davis said...

I love the idea of a dresser for bathroom supplies. We use one in the laundry room to keep all our homemade laundry supplies, soaps, blankets, etc.

MinorDetails42 said...

I also live in an old house with little storage in my bathroom. I like to buy travel-size bottles for my day-to-day stuff because I like trying different things. And for the stuff I can't live without, I bought travel containers and GoToobs and keep small portions in my little drawer. I stash the larger bottles/boxes elsewhere. Every Friday when I clean the house, I refill my little Toobs. Takes like 2 minutes. GoToobs have this neat little top that keeps liquids and gels from running out. They are a little pricey, but worth the investment. Added bonus: I'm ALWAYS ready for a road trip lol.

Kate Jacobs said...

Love great ideas like this, and old houses. Your hacks give me great ideas and encourage me to implement them! Thanks!

Angie Lois said...

I am tempted to covet your TWO bathrooms. We are a family of six sharing one bathroom. Imagine....potty training twins, multiple people having the stomach flu...you get the point. We are blessed to have one large closet that provides for all our bathroom storage needs. Well, at least we don't need to use an outhouse. We will survive ;)

Anonymous said...

I hope you didn't throw out your hotel soaps, etc! Food Banks are always needing that kind of thing. My family runs a community food bank my mom started almost 30 years ago and we have a table by the entryway that we put little stuff on and people are allowed to take 5 of any combination. They really enjoy having the freedom of choice... something you don't miss until you don't have it any more.
My tip from experience on the storage problem is SHELVES. They're up off the ground and out of the way! If it's for things you don't necessarily want seen you can put up some brackets and hang a little curtain on the fronts.

jess corbin said...

Our little old house built in 1925 is also low on storage and takes some creativity to keep things organized. it is a blessing in that it makes you think about what you really need and we have been able to somewhat keep control of how much stuff we are accumulating. I have thought back many times to how simple the families back in that time lived. They probably had a few outfits at most *a* coat, pair of shoes, set of sheets... kind of inspiring and helps me simplify!

MommiDonni said...

Don't throw away! Donate!! Somebody else could always use what you have no need for. One mans trash is another mans treasure! :)

MommiDonni said...

pppWe just moved into a new house that has more storage than the house we moved from. But because the house we moved from only had 3 closets (one in each of the 3 bedrooms) we had NO storage. I didn't even have a pantry in the kitchen. I bought an old antique cabinent that has doors and 8 shelves of storage. It worked perfectly as a pantry. We -moved it to our new house now and its so pretty and adds extra space even now that we have a real pantry. I also had a problem finding storage for things like our sheets and blankets. I visited an Amish community and bought a large cedar chest and it holds all our sheets and blankets. When I pull them out to put fresh linens on our bed they always smell so amazing. And the chest looks pretty at the end of the bed. Our daughters like to sit on it. For storing our towels, I rolled them up and stacked them in a cabinet we bought for over our toilet. Little things like that created room and space where we had little. And bringing that with us to this house which has extra storage has left me amazed and wondering how I am going to fill that extra space! :)

Anonymous said...

We lived in a small 2 bed, 1 bath house and completely renovated it while lived there for 3 years. I kind of miss that house with its simplicity and the fact that we were forced to be creative with storage. Now we have a large 4 bedroom, 3 full bath house and plenty of storage but alas, it seems hard to let go of things and our large storage downstairs is shelved with rubbermaid containers. With two moves since the little house, we have actually downsized over the years and try to make sense of what we keep vs what we need. I am inspired of what to do with some items people mentioned here. Thanks for the help.

Bible Babe said...

For seven years my family (me, husband and adult son with special needs) lived in a 35 foot travel trailer--by choice. I learned how to prune our posessions to what was truly needed, and to store them as efficiently as possible. Now that we live in a three bedroom home with two bathroooms, I still work to keep our stuff at the lowest possible amount, and I use the small space storage lessons I learned to keep my home clutter free.

Anonymous said...

I love how you used what you already had. God has been showing me over and over that I already have everything I need.

Anonymous said...

100 years ago they had their *Sunday-best* outfits, including shoes and hats, and one set of winter outerwear, possibly with boots, but often the men tugged rubbers over their best shoes and the ladies might have pattens - sort of a high wooden, rubber-soled clog that strapped onto their best shoes to raise them up out of the snow or puddles. Maybe a set or 2 of long johns as well, 2 pairs of pajamas or nightgowns, a robe and slippers, & a few changes of underwear. Corsets and later girdles for the ladies, because pantyhose hadn't been invented yet and they had to keep up their stockings somehow. Then a pair of everyday shoes or workboots - a shoe organizer or shoe closet would've been unheard of except for the uber-rich - and probably no more than a few changes of clothing that were worn and aired and worn again, until laundry day rolled around.

One of my grandmothers was still using her old wringer washer, that my grandfather purchased after they bought their house in 1938, when I was a little kid, so laundry was quite the chore then, especially if one didn't have a newfangled washing machine and had to use a washboard and tub to do it in. The less clothing there was to launder, the better.

A change of sheets, one to wash and one to put on the bed while the other dried, which could take days in winter, and used the same towel and washcloth until laundry day, too. Baths - no showers - usually on Saturdays nights in preparation for church in Sundays, unless a man worked a dirty job, because it involved heating water and hauling it to the tub, then emptying it out after.

Simpler times=not all it's cracked up to be!

Anonymous said...

My bathroom is crazy-huge. I could lie down with my head at the vanity and my toes still wouldn't touch the tub! It's absurdly wide, 6' x 10', and yet it has so much wasted space.

It has the world's narrowest linen closet tucked behind the tub, with a big waste of space of 2.5 ft at the bottom that has no shelves at all, so it's not nearly big enough. It has 4 shelves and the top one is too high to reach without a stepstool, plus is situated behind the top of the wall, so you have to stick your head under the door molding to get at it, and there's no light in there. The mirrored medicine cabinet is small, with just 3 shelves, and wasn't even recessed. There's an irritating extra-tall 36" vanity with double doors and no shelves inside. The tub surround hasn't got so much as a soap dish in it, let alone a spot to park shampoo etc. Who builds a tub/shower with no shelves in it? Weird, considering the place was built in 2001!

I found a white shower curtain liner at Kohl's that has sturdy mesh pockets in it - so they drain - to hold all the shower supplies. So far its's holding up after a year. I still have my old baby dresser - my kids used it, too - and I put that in there to hold sheet sets, since I can only fit in 2 on a shelf in the linen closet. In the vanity I corralled necessities into tall baskets. I used the top of the dresser and my old over-the-tank shelf unit for decor, because I'd rather look at that than at TP etc.

Don't know what was up with the architect on this room. Even the towel racks are wrong. One is at the far end of the tub where you wouldn't get out - now blocked by the dresser - and the other is 2 ft away on the other side of the linen closet - now blocked by the hamper. No towel ring at the sink at all. The contractor even put the studs at the edge of the tub in wrong so that I couldn't center towel hooks there and have a measly inch at the very edge to work with rather than 4" as it should've been. I so want to gut and redesign this huge bathroom to actually USE its space!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...