Tips on Organizing those Otherwise Difficult-to-Store Items

DIY overhead garage storage ideasNot everything fits snugly into a square space, in fact, few things do. We are surrounded by things that are hard to store, such as decorative items, cords, craft supplies, and hardware. Since this is the case for just about every home, we have provided some organizing tips that we hope you find most helpful.

Extension Cords

Slipping small extension cords into a paper towel tube is a great way to keep them safe and tangle free.  Prior to storing, write the length of the cords on the tube for quick reference when you need to use one. Using a paper towel tube is also a great way to recycle and reduce trash output.

Make use of door wall space by putting small screw eyes diagonally (about 8 inches apart) on the inside of a garage or shed door and threading a bungee cord through them is another way to keep extension cords safe and out of the way. You can coil and store a few extension cords this way, with minimal nails and screws. You can also mark each extension cord length with a piece of tape folded in half around the cord. This type of storage will not interfere with the opening and closing of the garage door.

Jumper Cables

Jumper cables are a necessity in every working automobile and they are usually haphazardly tossed in the trunk.  To have them ready at moments notice, wrap the cables around the spare tire for easy access. You could also utilize the paper towel roll for this as well

Be careful not to coil cords too tightly as this can cause breakage in the wires which may be discovered when you need to use the cables! Tight coiling of any type of cord may render breakage over time, especially with temperature changes between seasons; so coil cords loosely.

Patio Cushions, Camping Gear, and Clothing

camping gear stored in garageStoring clothing, cushions, and other cloth type items is one area you can really save a lot of space, with the right method. Home centers have huge Ziploc bags for storing winter clothes, camping gear and patio cushions when not in use. These bags may even be found at Walmart or purchased online.

The trick is to get all the air out prior to sealing the bags.  Once you filled the bags with your things, manually expel as much air from the bag as possible by pushing down on it from the bottom, up to the top where it zips, then seal (but leave a tiny space for the size of a drinking straw).

Use the straw to suck out the rest of the air in the bag and then seal. A more efficient way of doing this would be to purchase vacuum-seal bags in which you can use your vacuum hose to suck the air out.

Clothing and other cloth-type items sealed in bags with air can cause funky odors over time, as the air goes rancid. Expelling all the air will not only compress the volume of the bag up to half it’s size, but it will also keep clothing fresh and odor-free. You could also slip a dryer sheet into the bag before sealing. Doing this will also save you a big laundry load when you need your seasonal clothing! Take note that bags do become a little heavier when they are vacuum-sealed.

Belts and Other Hang-Ups

Belts are usually not one of those things that we think too much about, until we need one, of course.  You can make a belt holder to fit your individual needs.  All you need is a wooden hanger and some shower curtain hooks or loops.  Small handbags can also be hung on this DIY belt rack.

You can also purchase a special belt hanger to hang your belts, scarves, purses, ties, and other accessories you might own. It would be best to avoid coiling your belt as this could cause stretching of the leather or fabric of the belt, especially around the most used belt holes.

Musical Instruments

Floor stands for your guitar are not only very expensive, but it leaves your instrument exposed to curious little hands, pets, and other dangerous elements, unless you have the closet space specially for your instrument, which is usually not likely.  Hanging your guitar/banjo or other large string instrument on the wall is a thrifty option

The trick is not to head to the music store and lay out more cash for the hardware that isn’t necessary. For under $5 bucks you can find utility hooks at a home improvement store than will do the same job.

When using hooks and determining the wall space for hanging, consider the weight of your instrument. If you have dry wall or any kind of hallow spaces in your wall, be careful to chose a space over a board in the wall so that the weight is well supported. You wouldn’t want your instrument falling off of a hook in a hollow space.

Hanging your instrument can also serve as a decorative display in your home.

Fishing Rods, skis, and snowboards

skis and snowboard storageWhere do you store your fishing rods and winter sport equipment when the season is over?  If you have the wall space and would like to display them, you could purchase or build a cabinet, but you don’t have to sacrifice your money and/or space if you don’t have it.

Simply attach small wire shelving to the ceiling in your garage and your rods or skis will slip in safely while staying out of the way until the next season. You can also use wide sheets of particle board in your garage ceiling and slide them up there along with other lighter weight crates, boxes, and outdoor gear. This will allow you to maximize your garage floor space and utilize every area of your garage.

Bikes and Car Tires

Bikes and summer/snow/spare tires can take up the most space around your home. Rather than using half of your garage or shed floor space, you can make or buy wooden racks for tires and hanging bikes. These can be made quite simply with a few 2×4’s, or you can hang them by those already present in your garage ceiling. Secure them with bungees and trailer ties so that they are not at risk of falling on your car or anything else on the floor.
Remember, a successful storage solution is organizing your home according to your personal needs and what works best for you. Making your home look like a container store picture isn’t your goal here, but rather creating a fairly clutter-free home with your things in spaces you can access and find them.

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