38 DIY Storage Hacks for a Tidier Home

Save your credit card from those trendy container stores! You can corral clutter in some of the trickiest areas with simple tools to keep your home organized.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
8-minute read

Get organized anywhere

Shoe-in for all-purpose storage

Those over-the-door hanging shoe organizers aren’t just for shoes! Keep them all over the house—their handy cubicles will hold anything, from accessories to toiletries to spices to remote controls and video games. In kids rooms, the easy-to-reach pockets make toy cleanup a cinch.

A basket beyond the kitchen

A hanging fruit basket can hold much more than fruit. Try using it in the bathroom to keep washcloths and bath toys handy—you can hang it right over the shower bar. Or put it to work storing old rags in the garage or basement. Fill it with balls of yarn in an area where you knit or crochet. Have it hold hats and gloves near an entryway.

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An attractive solution

Magnetic knife strips are a handy kitchen idea, but they can stretch a lot farther. They’ll grab keys near the door, matchbox cars in the playroom, nail clippers and bobby pins in the bathroom, and all kinds of tools in the garage. We’re positive you’ll find all sorts of uses!

Make removable labels

Not ready to commit to sticky labels? Just use plastic wrap! You can write right on the wrap secured around the item.

Gift wrap contained

Have an old hamper you no longer need? Repurpose it as a place to store gift wrap! Rolls of wrapping paper fit perfectly inside, and you can hang door hooks over the edges for rolls of ribbon and gift bags.

Create a dropbox

There’s one place in every household that gathers clutter like a magnet: gloves, scarves, and hats in the wintertime; sunglasses, sunscreen, and baseball caps in the summertime; house keys, gum, iPods, and cell phones all the time. Maybe it’s your entryway or the bottom of your stairs? Make a plan to contain it all! Place a small galvanized tub or other container in that hot spot, and divide it into compartments using strips of cardboard or foam core. Each family member gets a compartment to stick go-to on-the-go items inside.

Soap dish key holder

Tired of searching for your house keys every time you’re getting ready to step out the door? Install a mountable soap dish on a wall near the entryway, and stick your keys in the dish when you enter the house. Problem solved!

Stock up on toolboxes! Toolboxes are perfect for all-around storage—we use one to store craft supplies, another for extra school supplies, and yet another to actually hold our tools. As a bonus, they’re super portable, so you can use them for any activity that requires you to travel.

Clean closets and drawers

Shoebox dividers

Keep bureau drawers under control by using shoeboxes to separate underwear, socks, tights, and whatever else gets quickly stuffed in there when company comes.

Make your own closet

You’re in desperate need of more closet space, but you can’t afford a fancy armoire. Here’s what to do: Find two old doors at a yard sale or scrap yard. Paint or decorate them how you please, then hinge them together. Place the doors in the corner of the room at a 90-degree angle to each other so that you make a “box.” Use one as the door of your new closet, and the other to hang shelves and attach a bar to. (Drill into the wall or bolt to the floor for more stability—just don’t tell your landlord we put you up to it!) Suspend a clothesline between them for additional hanging. It may not be fancy, but we bet your friends will be impressed!

More storage space for kids

If a child’s room has a super-small closet or no closet at all, there’s a fun and simple solution. Simply loft their bed, then attach a clothing bar to the wall in the space beneath. Enclose the area with curtains to create a mini dressing room (according to mom and dad) or a secret hiding place (so says your kid).

Pillowcase it! Never misplace part of a sheet set. After washing and folding the pieces, put the whole set right inside one of the pillowcases—it’s a convenient way to make sure everything stays in one place.

Better boot storage

Boots never seem to fit quite right into any organizer designed to hold shoes. But you can keep your boots from just hanging out on the floor by hanging them with pant hangers! You can prevent the hangers from leaving marks on your boots by placing a thick piece of fabric or newspaper around the top of the boots before hanging them.

File your flip-flops

Flip-flops and sandals store neatly inside a letter organizer or magazine holder. They’ll stay nice and tight out the way—yet easy to grab when you need them.

When the wine runs out . . .

Got an empty wine carton left over from your last boozy gathering? Instead of tossing it, reuse the box for shoe storage—place all of your out-of-season footwear into the sizable container, and tuck it away until next year.

Frame your shoes

Have space under a bed or dresser for storage? Stash shoes there with easy access. Simply organize them on top of an old, large picture frame to create a shoe tray that slides easily.

Wrangle with rings

If you have one of those plastic rings used to hold together six-packs of soda, save it for your closet! It’s perfect for organizing scarves, belts, ties, or anything else you can thread through the plastic holes. Just hang one ring from the six-pack plastic over the top of a hanger and use the other five to neatly hang your accessories.

From shower to closet

Got new curtain rings? Use the old ones to organize your coat closet. Hammer a nail into the wall, then hang a couple of curtain rings on it. They can be used to grasp items like gloves and hats, or you can run a scarf through one.

A hanging accessory board

If your accessories live in a jumbled pile on a shelf or inside a drawer, consider this crafty hanging setup. Mount a pegboard to a wall inside your closet, then hang accessories like belts, scarves, purses, hats, and gloves on the pegs. They’ll be organized and out of sight!

No-cost no-slip hangers

Tired of finding clothes on the floor, but not so keen on the prospect of buying all new padded hangers? Make your own: All you need is a hot glue gun! Dab glue onto the shoulders or bottom rung of the hangers. Let it dry, then remove any flyaways around the spots of glue. Once the hangers are completely cool, hang your clothes and voilà! Shirts, dresses, and pants stay put. Another option: Wrap pipe cleaners around instead of gluing at those spots—the friction will help clothing stay put.

Closet space saver

The next time you get a free keychain, use it to create more space in your closet! Just run the head of a hanger through the key ring, then hang another hanger from it. This trick creates a cascading hanger system. S-hooks and even soda can tabs can accomplish the same purpose, if you don’t have keychains already on hand.

Screen your jewelry

Necklaces getting in a tangle or hidden away where you forget about them? Create a clever display to keep jewelry organized and front and center. All you need is a large picture frame (no glass), a few nails and a hammer, and either chicken wire or window screening. Attach the wire or screen across the back of the frame, then use the grid to hang necklaces, bracelets, even dangle earrings. Simply storage that looks gorgeous, too!

Home base for bracelets

A smart way to showcase bangle bracelets: Use a wall-mounted paper towel holder! Install it near your dressing area or vanity, and your colorful bangles will be organized and easy to find.

Tuck into a tray

Store small jewelry in the compartments of an ice cube tray, and stick it inside a drawer. If you need multiple trays, stack one on top of the other to save space. Egg cartons work, too.

DIY earring organizer

Love to repurpose old stuff? Turn an unneeded cheese grater into a holder for your earrings! The larger holes are perfect for hanging earrings by their hooks, while the smaller holes can hold studs with detachable backs. You’ll have a much better way of viewing and selecting your jewelry if it’s hanging together in an orderly fashion. Plus, the DIY shabby-chic effect is totally charming.

No more craft clutter

Scrapbook storage in unexpected places

Love scrapbooking? Store the large pages and any other artwork in a cardboard pizza box! Not only are they sturdy and easy to stack and store, but they’re also free—the best perk of all. Ask a nearby pizza joint if they can spare any extras.

Portable beads

An old CD jewel case lined with double-sided tape can be used to store beads for arts and crafts projects. This is especially handy if you like to bring supplies with you to beading groups or on vacation.

Chip cans for crafting

Need somewhere to store knitting needles, paintbrushes, utility knives, and other tall craft tools? Reuse empty Pringles cans! They should be just the right height, and you can cover your tools with the plastic lid when not in use.

Sophisticated art supply display: Is your marker and crayon collection overrunning your house? Try this clever storage solution: Turn an unused wine rack into a home for your art supplies! Place clear plastic drinking glasses into each bottle holder, then fill with markers, crayons, pens, pencils, and paintbrushes. Organize by color for a fun decorative touch! A wine rack can also hold yarn in a fun display.

Beautiful boxes for beads and ribbons

Here’s a handy storage solution for ribbons, beads, and other decorative sewing or gift-wrapping supplies: old wooden tea boxes! Their individual compartments are perfect for sorting beads, buttons, pins, and ribbons. And, maybe best of all, they’re stylish and elegant.

Fresh ribbon dispenser

The containers to Tic Tacs and other breath mints are perfect for storing tiny items like pins, needles, buttons, and beads. But they’re even better for smoothly dispensing small spools of ribbon. Remove the lid to insert the ribbon roll, then pull the tail of the ribbon out through the lid’s opening before you close it. You can even glue multiple containers side by side to create a long dispenser with compartments. Bonus: Your craft time will smell minty fresh!

Keep yarn untangled

Here’s a crafty idea for keeping your yarn in order: Place one ball of yarn inside a baby wipes container, and pull the loose end through the opening at the top. No tangles, no knots!

Make the most of a muffin tin

Repurpose an old muffin tin for craft supply storage. Glue some magnets to the bottom of plastic containers (such as yogurt cups or clear plastic Silo cups), and stick them in the holes of the muffin tin to create a stable base. Then fill each cup with markers, pencils, paintbrushes, or whatever else you’re looking to organize. You’ll easily be able to take the cups out, but they’ll snap right back into place.

Another solution from the kitchen

Wrangle washi tape into fun and organized storage by hanging the rolls on the spools of a mug tree. Mug trees pop up at yard sales all the time, if you don’t have one handy.

Just what the craft doctor ordered

Pillboxes with daily compartments are super handy for small crafting accents—buttons, jewelry pieces, and more. They’re easy to stack and take on the go, too!

Portable ribbon holder

Try this creative idea for storing all your spools of colorful ribbon: Pile them onto a standing paper towel holder! Find one with a handle at the top so it’s easy to carry around and take with you from room to room. Or reuse a pants hanger as a ribbon organizer. Place the spools along the rungs of the hanger, then hang in a closet for efficient off-the-floor storage.

Pull together fabric

Craft with fabric for quilting or sewing? Keep your selections under control and easy to sort by tucking them into hanging magazine racks with slots or housing them on hangers with multiple pants bars. So much better than piles to pull from!

Create a display tray! A home air vent placed facing up can transform into a tray to hold and showcase crafting supplies like stamps, embroidery floss, or small tiles for mosaics.

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.