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Mandas Mom
No space anywhere

have a modular home that has little or no storage space. The cabinets in the kitchen are very deep, very user unfriendly, and a disaster to keep organized. There is wasted space everywhere that there is space. I have very little space for putting away unused items or seldom used items except in a pole barn that is over 200 yards away. I hate my house a far as room for storage, but love where it is located, on a bluff with a terrific view. I am desperate for ideas. Please help me. My husband is little help because of his schedule, he is a college professor and always busy. I work full time also and am depressed because of the shape of the house. I have not done thorough house cleaning for a couple of years because of this situation. Please help.E-mail Address:tjb

A. Spruce
Re: No space anywhere

You don't mention a budget. It's possible that a contractor could install more/better shelving in the cabinets to make them hold more and more user friendly. They could turn an unused refrigerator or freezer niche into a cabinet/closet. They could change out your existing cabinets with something more user friendly. What other things could be done depend upon the layout/design of your house.

If you've got little to no budget, then strategic use of furniture such as a chest of drawers, armoir, etc., could be used as storage units with little to no modification. I live in a mobile home with a similar problem as you've described and I've added shelving to cabinets, modified cabinet shelving, installed a closet where an upright freezer used to live, and various other things to increase storage space. In an unusable "breakfast nook", there are a big help are a stack of corner boxes that house all the cookbooks in the kitchen, a bakers rack for wine storage and small appliances, and an antique table where other things are hidden underneath and the top has house plants on it.

Re: No space anywhere

If you find that your base cabinets are too deep and stuff gets lost in the back, you could outfit them with deep, full length drawers that ride on "full extension" glides. Then, you can simply pull the drawer all the way out to get the stuff in the back. Some people prefer systems that use a wire basket instead of a wooden box as the drawer.

Also, look for unused space that isn't traditionally thought of as storage space. For example, a planter shelf or space above cabinets (especially if you have a vaulted ceiling) could be turned into cabinets for long-term storage.

You might be able to hang some shelves from the ceiling of your garage, above where the hood of your car sits.

In your bedroom closet, put some shelves under part of the hanger bar; there will still be room for shirts above the shelves, and to the side where there are no shelves you can still hang longer things like dresses and slacks.

You could put a long, narrow table behind the sofa. Get one with solid ends to hide the space. Use it for home decor and a lamp or two on top. Then use the space under it for storage. You'll have to move the couch to get to it, but it might work.

You might be able to convert attic space above a garage into storage by installing pull-down stairs. Be careful not to overload this space, as it probably hasn't been engineered for storage. Also, don't store anything here that would be negatively affected by extreme heat (120-150 degrees or more) or freezing temperatures.

And the last piece of advice: do you really need it? Most of us just have too much stuff. There is a principle that the wealthiest people are those who have learned to do with less.

Gray Watson
Re: No space anywhere

Molly Maid and a professional organizer consultant.

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