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50 Organizing Tips Youll Regret You Didnt Know Sooner

Conquer clutter once and for all with these brilliant organizing tricks every homeowner should know.

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Toss Old ClothingFamily Handyman

Toss Old Clothing

Clothes you haven't touched in two years need to go. The two-year rule accounts for warmer-than-usual winters or unseasonable summers when you may not wear something you'd usually wear. It also accounts for clothes you've been saving for chores like yard work or painting, without letting you hold on to these items indefinitely. If you're not willing to take the time to try something on to confirm that you still love it, then you can let it go. Learn about Swedish Death Cleaning and if you can apply some of the principles. Just be careful what you donate, there are a number of items you should think twice about donating.

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Pantry Storage: Spice StorageFamily Handyman

Pantry Storage: Spice Storage

Small spice containers use shelf space inefficiently and are difficult to find when surrounded by taller bottles and items. Use a small spring-tension curtain rod as a simple shelf. It's easy to install and strong enough to support the spices. Learn how to make this spice rack in our video tutorial.

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Family Handyman

PVC Curling Iron Holsters

 Hate the messy look of curling irons lying on the vanity or the toilet tank? Here's a tip for you. Use hook-and-loop tape to attach 5-in. lengths of 2" PVC pipe to the vanity door to hold the curling irons. Do the same thing with 3-in. pieces of 1-1/2-in.-diameter pipe to hold the cords. Just measure your curling irons to see how long your "holsters" need to be. Let your curling irons cool before you stow them away.

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Instant Laundry Room CubbiesFamily Handyman

Instant Laundry Room Cubbies

If you don't have cabinets or shelves in your tiny laundry room, buy inexpensive plastic crates at a discount store and create your own wall of cubbies for some small room organization. Screw them to the wall studs using a fender washer in the upper corner of each crate for extra strength for DIY laundry room shelves. The crates hold a lot of supplies, and they keep tippy things like your iron from falling over. Here are some more ideas for small space storage solutions.

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Storing Important DocumentsFamily Handyman

Storing Important Documents

Keep seven years' worth of business-related backup documents to support your tax returns, like final budgets, receipts, and contracts. You can toss nontax related items such as old conference materials, first drafts of final documents, and outdated business cards and brochures. Check out how to get your home office organized to avoid clutter.

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builtin-shelves organizing your basementHouzz

Use Empty Space

Put that empty space under the stairs to use with a built-in storage solution. If your basement is finished, use the space to store toys or movies. If your basement isn’t finished, see what it takes to finish a basement so you know what to look for during a remodeling project.Or if you feel like hiring the work out, learn how to hire a contractor.

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cubbies toy storageAna White

Add Cubbies

Add some cubbies to store toys, books and art supplies. You can add some bins to hide items, such as remotes and cables that you may not want to see displayed. Depending on your space, you can also use the design as a media console.

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Kitchen Storage: Get Rail

Kitchen Storage: Get Rail

Make space in your kitchen by installing a stainless steel rail from which you can hang kitchen utensils, pots, pans, and more. This is a great storage solution if you have unclaimed wall real estate. It doubles as a great place to arrange and/or dry dishtowels and oven mitts. If you're keen on this idea, you'll probably love the design for this ceiling-mounted pots and pans organizer, too.

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Kitchen Storage: Better in a BasketThe Adaptive/Shutterstock

Kitchen Storage: Better in a Basket

You come home from the grocery store with an armful of fresh fruit, but lo and beholdthere's no spare fridge or counter space available. A stylish solution for this storage problem is to hang a single or tiered wire basket from the ceiling. You can store your apples, bananas, and oranges as well as potatoes, onions, and garlic here. Plus, a hanging basket adds visual interest to your kitchen.

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Storage Bin IndexFamily Handyman

Storage Bin Index

Like a lot of other people, my wife and I love large plastic bins. But remembering what's inside each bin is tough, and reading a small label is nearly impossible when your bins are stored high on garage shelves. We solved both problems by labeling our bins with large numbers. Each number corresponds to a page in a binder that lists the contents of each bin. It's simple to change the list, and it's a heck of a lot easier to find what you need by checking the binder than by rummaging through each bin. reader Gerald NaumannEditor's Note:When it comes to bin I.D. tags, we like adhesive storage pouches that let you slip index cards in and out easily. You can find these at office supply stores or online retailers.Find out another reason why three-ring binders come in handy around the house.

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Kitchen Storage: Cabinet Door Knife RackFamily Handyman

Kitchen Storage: Cabinet Door Knife Rack

You can size this knife rack to suit any cabinet door and any number of knives for kitchen cabinet storage. To build this cutting board turned knife rack, you just need a table saw and wood scraps. Run the scraps across the saw on edge to cut kerfs. Adjust the blade height to suit the width of the knife blades. You have to remove the saw's blade guard for these cuts, so be extra careful. Also cut a thin strip to act as an end cap. Glue and clamp the kerfed scraps together and sand the knife rack until the joints are flush. To mount it, use two 1-1/4-in. screws and finish washers.

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Kitchen Storage: Thyme SaverFamily Handyman

Kitchen Storage: Thyme Saver

If your spices are jammed into a drawer with only the tops visible, this nifty rack that slips neatly into the drawer will solve the problem. And it only takes an hour to build. Make it with scraps of 1/4-in. and 1/2-in. plywood. Or build a two-tier drawer spice rack.

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Kitchen Storage: Cutting Board StorageFamily Handyman

Kitchen Storage: Cutting Board Storage

To store cutting boards, mount a rack on a cabinet door. Use a sheet of 1/4-in.-thick acrylic plastic; plywood would also work. You can cut acrylic with a table saw or circular saw as long as you cut slowly. Knock off the sharp edges with sandpaper. Round the lower corners with a belt sander. For spacers, use No. 14-8 crimp sleeves (in the electrical aisle at home centers), or any type of tube or even blocks of wood would work.

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Kitchen Storage: Measuring Cup Hang-Up

Kitchen Storage: Measuring Cup Hang-Up

Free up pantry storage space by hanging measuring cups inside a kitchen cabinet. Position and mount a wood strip so that the cups will hang between the shelves and allow the door to close completely. Mount a second strip for your measuring spoons, then screw in cup hooks on both strips. Learn how to build your own measuring cup storage rackfor more kitchen cabinet storage ideas.

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Plastic Bag HolderFamily Handyman

Plastic Bag Holder

An empty rectangular tissue box makes a convenient holder for small garbage bags, plastic grocery bags and small rags. Simply thumbtack it to the inside of a cabinet door. It's one of our favorite kitchen storage ideas.

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Cabinet Drawer Organizer: Drawer in a DrawerFamily Handyman

Cabinet Drawer Organizer: Drawer in a Drawer

Deep drawers often contain a jumbled pile of interlocking utensils. Our solution is a sliding tray that creates two shallower spaces. Make it 1/8 in. narrower than the drawer box, about half the length and any depth you want (ours is 1-3/4 in. deep). When you position the holes for the adjustable shelf supports, don't rely on measurements and arithmetic. Instead, position the tray inside the drawer box at least 1/8 in. lower than the cabinet opening and make a mark on the tray. Our shelf supports fit tightly into the holes, but yours may require a little super glue. This simple drawer rests on shelf supports.

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Cabinet Storage Organizers: Flip-Down Paper TrayFamily Handyman

Cabinet Storage Organizers: Flip-Down Paper Tray

This tray is perfect for pens and paper. When closed, it's mostly hidden by the cabinet face frame. Hinges and magnets hold this tray in place under an upper cabinet. To install the tray, screw on the hinges first. Then open the cabinet door above and clamp the tray to the underside of the cabinet while you screw the hinges to the cabinet. Need a more robust command center? Here's how to build a message center in your kitchen instead.

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Kitchen Organization: Racks for Canned Goods

Kitchen Organization: Racks for Canned Goods

Use those leftover closet racks as cabinet organizers. Trim the racks to length with a hacksaw and then mount screws to the backside of the face frame to hold the racks in place. The backside of the rack simply rests against the back of the cabinet. Now you can easily find your soup and check the rest of your inventory at a glance with this pantry storage solution. Here's a video on how to build this canned good storage solution yourself.

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Keep Your Spray Bottles in LineFamily Handyman

Keep Your Spray Bottles in Line

Hang spray bottles from a rod to keep them upright. It can be hard to keep spray bottles from falling over and making a mess under your bathroom and kitchen sink. To keep them upright, hang them from a short tension rod (about $12 at discount stores) in your cabinet.An old rod can come in handy in a number of spots in the house.

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Build a Shoe OrganizerFamily Handyman

Build a Shoe Organizer

Store shoes up off the floor in clean, natural wood racks. This simple storage system can handle everything from winter boots to summer sandals, with no mud buildup or scuff marks on the wall. Build one to share or one for each member of the family! Find complete how-to instructionshere.For wet shoes and boots, we recommendthis attractive, simple-to-make tray.

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Skinny Laundry Room CartFamily Handyman

Skinny Laundry Room Cart

A lot of laundry rooms have a narrow wasted space either next to or between the washing machine and dryer, and it's usually a hideout for socks and lint. To take advantage of this space, build a simple plywood laundry room cart on fixed casters to hold detergents and other laundry supplies. Get more easy organizing ideas.

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Clothing Storage Solutions: DIY Tiered HangersFamily Handyman

Clothing Storage Solutions: DIY Tiered Hangers

Short on closet space? Use a lightweight piece of chain to stagger hanging clothing in tall closets to maximize space. Just loop the first link of the chain over the first hanger, and hang subsequent hangers on every other links after. Hang up to six shirts for the rod space of one. Want to get into a closet project? Build your own melamine closet storage system here.

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Three-Ring Tool and Appliance File

Store your appliance and tool manuals in three-ring binders so you can find them when you need them. Insert labeled dividers to organize them for quick reference.

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Monkey Bars

Monkey Bars Wall Unit

When you need storage above your wall unit,Monkey Barshas the solution. Engineered of steel for durability, the system offers custom solutions to get tools and materials off the garage floor and out of your waybut still within reach. You can modify the hook-and-bar system to fit changing storage needs in the future.

Check out 14 more overhead garage storage products.

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fh09sep_501_51_126 ball sports equipment storageFamily Handyman

Corral sports gear

This sturdy ball corral holds a herd of balls and lets kids easily grab the balls at the bottom without unloading all the ones on top. It’s built from 3/4-in. plywood and 2x2s. We made our ball corral 24 in. wide x 33 in. high x 12 in. deep.

The hooks on Bungee cords can be a safety hazard for kids and adults alike. So cut the hooks off the cords (or use elastic cord available at camping, sporting goods and hardware stores). Thread the cord through predrilled holes and secure with knots. Drill the holes slightly larger than the cords to make threading them easier.

We added plumbing hooks and short gutter troughs on the outside of the corral to make it easy for kids to stash smaller balls, helmets and mitts.

Looking for ways to store bikes?Check out eight productsthat can help.

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Efficient Bike Storage

Efficient Bike Storage

Hanging bicycles from the rafters is a great way to save garage space. But even hanging bikes can take up a bunch of room. Here’s a cool space-saving product that puts a new twist on the humble bike hook. TheSaris Cycle Glideis a system of hooks mounted on glides. Once the bikes are on the hooks, they can be slid closer to the wall on the glides that mount perpendicular to the wall. And because the hooks slide back and forth on the lower set of glides, the bikes can be nestled neatly together, taking up a lot less space.This system also makes it easier to take down the bikes when they’re hanging over a parked car, a boat or a big mess like in my garage. That’s because you can pull or push the bikes clear of the obstruction before you lower it. I’ve been using mine for almost a year now, and I love it. You can buy a Saris Cycle Glide for $245 at bike stores or online.

If this style isn’t to your liking check out otherbike storage ideas.

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table-behind-couch globeLittle House Design

Couch Shelf

Try making ashelfthat runs between your couch and the wall. That space can be used as a spot to place a lamp or plants and store the remotes, books and candles.

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Put a Lazy Susan in Your Fridge

Put a Lazy Susan in Your Fridge

A lazy Susan in your fridge keeps small items close at hand.If your refrigerator door shelves are filled with salad dressing and mustard and the rest of the condiments get lost behind leftovers on the top shelf. Keep everything in plain view by storing overflow condiments on a lazy Susan on one of your fridge shelves. One spin and that small jar of capers will be a cinch to spot.

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Turn Your Hangers

Turn Your Hangers

Once you’re gone through your closet and weeded out the unused items, turn all hanging clothing with the hanger facing outward. After wearing an item, return it to the hanging rod with the hanger facing the back of the closet. After one year, all articles of clothing still facing outwards were not worn, and you can consider getting rid of them. Find outhow to get rid of anything.

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Decorative Backsplash Rack

Decorative Backsplash Rack

Backsplashracks offer easy access and stylish storage.Most versions take just a few minutes to install. Backsplash racks have a few disadvantages, though. All your kitchen utensils have to look good, since they’re on display. And if you ever decide to remove the rack, you’ll be left with screw holes in the backsplash; not a big problem with drywall, but ugly and unfixable in tile.

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Expand the Counter with a Kitchen Cart

A rolling kitchen cart is the next best thing to adding cabinets and countertop space. The top provides extra work space when you’re preparing that big Thanksgiving dinner. And the shelves below hold items that would otherwise consume countertop space. If you plan to use a cart for food preparation, choose one with a tough top like butcher block, stainless steel or plastic laminate. Some cart tops are glossy finished woodbeautiful, but not very durable. Carts come in a variety of wood finishes, so there’s a good chance you can match your existing cabinets. Or you can go for an eclectic look with a shiny metal or painted cart.

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Tucked Away Coffeemaker

Tucked Away Coffeemaker

For serious coffee drinkers, stowing the coffeemaker inside a cabinet just doesn’t make sense; you’ll only have to pull it out again in a few hours. Here’s a solution: An under-cabinet coffeemaker is always available and doesn’t take up valuable counter space. Plus: here’s how to get those peskycoffee stains out of carpeting.

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Under-Cabinet Knife Storage Racks

Under-Cabinet Knife Storage Racks

Pull-down racks give you instant access to kitchen essentials without the clutter of spice racks or knife holders. When the cooking is done, the rack swings up against the underside of the cabinet. The acrylic knife rack like the one shown here, or buy a pair of hinges only andmake your own wooden rack to hold knives, spices or other small items that take up counter space.

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Family Handyman

Off-the-Counter Microwave

Tuck the microwave under your cabinets to get it off the counter. Microwave ovens are the biggest space hogs on most countertops. With a few models, manufacturers offer optional mounting kits that let you mount the microwave under cabinets. To raise your old microwave, consider the sturdy brackets shown here. But first measure its height and the height of the space above the countertop; with a larger microwave, you might find that the space under it will be too small to be useful. Plus:check out more quick and clever kitchen storage ideas.

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Tidy File CenterFamily Handyman

Tidy File Center

Countertops are a landing pad for papermail, news clippings and other assorted notes. Get that mess off your counter with folders and a file holder. The one shown here (from an office supply store) mounts with screws or double-sided foam tape. If you don't have suitable vertical surface, get a file holder that sits on the countertop. It will take up less space (and look neater) than a stack of papers. If you're short on space and could use a home office, read up on how to turn your closet into a makeshift home office!

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Joist Space StorageFamily Handyman

Joist Space Storage

Don't waste all that space between joists in a basement or garage. Screw wire shelving to the underside of the joists. An 8-ft. x 16-in. length of wire shelving and a pack of plastic clips (sold separately) costs about 20 bucks. Don't forget that wire shelving also shines on walls. Learn the best practices for installing wire shelving here.

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Closet Nook Shelves

Closet Nook Shelves

Salvage the hidden space at the recessed ends of your closets by adding a set of wire shelves. Wire shelves are available in a variety of widths. Measure the width and depth of the space. Then choose the correct shelving and ask the salesperson to cut the shelves to length for you. Subtract 3/8 in. from the actual width to determine the shelf length. Buy a pair of end mounting brackets and a pair of plastic clips for each shelf. Want more tips on organizing your closet? Check out these 11 clothes storage ideas.

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Two-Story Closet Shelves

Two-Story Closet Shelves

There's a lot of space above the shelf in most closets. Even though it's a little hard to reach, it's a great place to store seldom-used items. Make use of this wasted space by adding a second shelf above the existing one. Buy enough closet shelving material to match the length of the existing shelf plus enough for two end supports and middle supports over each bracket. Twelve-inch-wide shelving is available in various lengths and finishes at home centers and lumberyards.

We cut the supports 16 in. long, but you can place the second shelf at whatever height you like. Screw the end supports to the walls at each end. Use drywall anchors if you can't hit a stud. Then mark the position of the middle supports onto the top and bottom shelves with a square and drill 5/32-in. clearance holes through the shelves. Drive 1-5/8-in. screws through the shelf into the supports. You can apply this same concept to garage storage. See how to build double-decker garage storage shelves here.

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Family Handyman

Storage above windows and doors

The empty wall space above doors and windows is organizational gold! Hang a shelf there and use it for bathroom towels, toiletries, books, files, tableclothsthe list is endless.

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Gino Santa Maria/Shutterstock

Open your mail over your recycling bin


That way, you’ll be less tempted to save unimportant things for later “when you have time.” You’ll keep what’s really important and immediately recycle the rest.

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Cabinet StorageHolder Restaurant Furniture

Cabinet Storage

This cabinet will fit in the back of most SUVs and is a great way to store hunting gear when you travel. The SUV Sportsman Cargo Cabinet features a five-button combination lock (optional) and a pull-out workstation.

Check out these 20 genius camping gear items you can find at Harbor Freight.

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FH11FEB_STRAGE_23-1200Family Handyman

Wire Shelving Rack

You don’t have to buy a fancy rack to store your fishing gear. Screw some short sections of wire shelving to your garage or workshop ceiling. Your fishing rods will be organized and out of the way until you need them.

These 18 life-changing organizing ideas are for hard-to-store stuff.

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Patio Cushions and Camping Gear StorageFamily Handyman

Patio Cushions and Camping Gear Storage

Extra-large Ziploc bags (about $2 each at home centers and online) are great for storing camping gear, patio cushions and out-of-season clothes. Here's a slick trick for getting all the air out of the bag before you seal it. Put your items inside and push out all the air you can by hand. Then seal the bag but leave an opening large enough to fit a drinking straw. Use the straw to suck out the remaining air and then finish sealing the bag.You've got to see these 16 genius camping hacks.

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Vacuum Gear StorageFamily Handyman

Vacuum Gear Storage

It seems like the vacuum cleaner always ends up in one closet and the vacuum cleaner bags in another, and the attachments get shoved under a bed or permanently misplaced. Here's a simple tip that will keep everything together and out from underfoot. Screw a hook to the door of your storage closet and hang a mesh or cloth bag on it. You can store all your vacuum cleaner bags and attachments in one place, and the bag lets you carry everything you need from room to room or up and down the stairs in one trip. Vacuum cleaner broken? We'll show you how to fix it.

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Save that Six-Pack!


Do all of your small bottles in the refrigerator door like to tip over after opening or closing the door?Fortunately, the answer to tidying those wayward bottles is just a recycling bin away.

To keep all of your condiments under control use anempty six-pack holderto hold and organize the condiments in your refrigerator door.

This organization solution is also great for transporting your condiments for a backyard BBQ or picnic!

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Use Slim Bins to Store More

Looking to maximize your shelf space? Look no further. Whether you live in a mansion or studio apartment, keeping dry goods in tall (or flat), skinny containers will help you get more bang for buck. But what about if your kitchen doesn’t have a pantry? Check out these 11 No-Pantry Organization Solutions On a Budget.

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Divide Your Pantry Into Zones

Every pantry worth its salt (pun intended) is divvied up into “zones,” or various cooking stations based on your day-to-day needs. Once you settle on the categoriessuch as weeknight dinners or holiday bakingassign an area in your pantry for each zone and label it. Not only will this trick keep your pantry neat and organized, but it also guarantees you’ll find what you need in a pinch. Need some inspiration? These are the zones every organized pantry should have. Plus, check out these 11 ideas for organizing your kitchen on a budget.

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Under-Sink Storage BinsFamily Handyman

Under-Sink Storage Bins

What's hiding under your kitchen sink? If the space under your sink is anything like ours, it's an overcrowded jumble of cleaning supplies, sponges and plastic bags. Here's a great way to store these items right on the door of the sink cabinet. Cut a plastic storage tub in half with a utility knife and screw it to the inside of the cabinet door through the plastic lip at the top of the tub. Just make sure you position it so you can shut the cabinet door when all your bags and other supplies are in the bin.

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Pullout Towel RackFamily Handyman

Pullout Towel Rack

Pullout towel racks are typically meant for kitchens, but they're also perfect for cramped bathrooms. They keep damp hand towels and washcloths off the counter so they can dry out of the way. You can find pullout towel racks at discount stores and online retailers.

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Closet Storage Ideas: Use Door Space Intelligently

Closet Storage Ideas: Use Door Space Intelligently

Don't forget the door when counting your closet space! Try an over-the-door shoe organizer on the backside of a closet door to organize scarves, belts and other accessories. Or of course, shoes too! Would you rather have your shoes out where you can see them? Make this easy-to-build shoe rack with modern style!