Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Storage space, Where do I get some?

     I have cabinets that overhang the sink and stove, the full length of the kitchen wall, that are 30 inches above the counter.  The house came that way.  I have installed a decorative shelf 12 inches below the cabinets.  I moved the spices and the most frequently used tea set to this shelf.  I raised the toaster off the counter onto the shelf and use the old toaster space for the cooking utensils and a steak knife block.  This freed the cabinets above for storing more of my weekly use items.  That in turn freed space in the pantry for long term storage items.  

     There are all kinds of ways to store your prep goods without adding on a room or renting storage.  You too can find unused space in cabinets, over counters, under furniture or behind it in dead space.

    I found space in my cabinets using a lifting shelf to use all of the space in the cabinet.  Lifters can be purchased in the kitchen wares department of your local Walmart, Target, Dollar General, Big Lots or Family Dollar Store.

     To make your own lifter, cut four 1” x 2” x 6” legs for your lift shelf.  Use up scraps from your personal stash or purchase mis-cuts from the bin usually located near the custom cut saw at your local lumber store.  Find a plank not as deep as the cabinet, (8-10 inches) drill holes in the corners and screw through the plank into the ‘legs’ you have cut.  Place the stand over the goods you use most often.  Continue stacking cans to the rafters!
    At your department store or bedding store you can purchase bed lifters.  These are thick high impact plastic inverted conical shapes with an indented spot in the center of the top.  You lift the leg of your bed and slide the lifter under.  They were designed to fashionably update the design line of your existing furniture to the modern look.  They provide you with additional storage area with space you were never using.  You can use a concrete block but they will break down from the rocking of just getting in and out of bed and they can break a toe if you forget one is sticking out just a little too far!  
     Get the lifters!  Big Lots has them for under $20. I have also put lifters under the dressers.   Now there is another place for under the bed storage boxes! Use under bed storage boxes on sale after Christmas every year. 
     For easy access to the items stored under the bed, I made platforms. I had a piece of 4’ by 8’ plywood cut in 20” pieces four feet wide.  I bought a bunch of casters.  I screwed the casters to the bottom corners of each plywood piece about four inches from any edge.  I can roll the plank in and out with great ease.  You can add a rope handle if you want or drill a couple of thumb size holes.  I place under the bed collapsible shoe storage bags on top of the planks and fill them with prep goods.  I roll them under the bed and use a ruffled bed skirt to cover my stores and to keep away dust. 

     If you look around you can see dead space in your home.  I have a big screen television.  Let’s just say, I inherited it.  I hated the space it wasted and it was way off the scale of my furniture.  I had a box built.  My son built a heavily reinforced box of 2” by 4” framing and he sheathed the box with cheap particle board.  It is painted the same dull black as the television.  It lifted up the TV by 20” and since the box is open to the front, it provides a huge amount of storage area that would have gone unused with the TV sitting on the floor.
     I have two bookcases flanking each side of the entertainment area as high as the TV.  So, now with all the furniture balanced I have six and a half feet of added storage for the books and CDs and DVDs that were once in a cabinet.  Now, prep goods live in those cabinets in secret.  They are out of sight but nearby for easy access. 

     Go look for dead space in your home.  It wants to be filled with your prep goods.

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