Sunday, September 20, 2009

Savvy How To: Food Storage Solutions

 Savvy How To: 
Creative Solutions for Food Storage Clutter

Food storage is definitely an important part of investing in your future. But for many, storage options may have them bursting at the seams. Storing and organizing your food in small spaces may seem overwhelming and maybe even impossible. However, finding room to keep yourself organized in limited spaces can be simple, though it does require a little planning and some elbow grease. Beyond traditional shelves and cupboards, there are many creative and efficient options for food storage. I asked my readers for their suggestions on how to creatively store food and here are a few of their ideas:

Make Food Furniture: Yes, you read that right. Why not turn your boxes, cans and crates into furniture that serves double duty? Jan Barker of Payson suggests: “How about putting a round piece of wood on top of a stack of boxes or buckets and a round tablecloth on top of that to create an end table or nightstand?– Try filling hinged ottomans with a case of corn or beans. Or what about covering a small shelving unit with fabric and topping it with glass for an instant vanity table, says Riana Jasperson of Santaquin. It's easy to disguise self-rotating can units with a little fabric and wood. One click in the World Wide Web provides a plethora of detailed plans to custom build your own “cloaked” shelving unit. Or take an even easier route and use extra #10 cans as support for plywood shelves. Furniture solutions are a do-it-yourselfer's dream and certainly an inexpensive alternative.

Closets Aren't Just For Coats: You may have an unused coat closet or even “dead space” overhead just waiting for shelving, says Sadie Cunningham from Mona. Years ago, in my small-town home in Southern California, I didn't even have a coat closet. I had to get creative! I utilized the space under the stairs in one of those weirdly misshaped angled closets by simply installing a hanging rod for coats and a series of shelves just above the rod. I filled the shelves with “vacuum saver” type bags full of blankets and pillows and even created ample space for a family game shelf. Small shoe organizers and bookshelves readily purchased at hardware and retail stores lined the angular walls to provide extra storage. Stacey Johnson of Cumming, Ga., didn't waste space here, either! She installed shelving and even “cut a hole in the drywall at the back under the stair's landing and framed the hole.” Hanging a no-sew curtain with a shower rod can easily hide storage items, not to mention it also adds a “cute dimension,” Johnson says. You can also utilize closet doors for additional storage. “I use shoe storage organizers (the ones that hang behind doors), Ale Wortmann of Springville says.

Bedroom Follies: Under the bed is a treasure trove of space waiting to be filled by things other than dirty socks and broken toys. You can raise your bed to new levels by adding bed risers that can increase storage space by 12 inches or more. Use an extra long bed skirt to cover your secret stash! Once you've created space, use “under the bed storage containers, fill them up and just slide them under all the beds in the house” says Julie Taggart of Pleasant Grove. Taggart even organizes her bathrooms this way. Using shoe-size clear containers she stacks and organizes personal hygiene items under the bathroom vanity. “Buy one for toothpaste, another for deodorant, another for razors, etc.– You can stack them a few high, using what is normally wasted space.

Don't let the lack of square footage deter you. Being prepared and getting organized will pay off when you're eating food today at last year's prices!

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