Today I thought I’d share an organizing project I’ve been working on for the last couple weeks. One major problem we have in our house is lack of storage. Our basement is super small with the majority being our family room. This leaves one tiny room for storage. When we first moved in we tried to optimize storage with garage shelving, but it still wasn’t working. While I’m embarrassed to admit it, this is how the space looked most of the time.
Every time I tidied it up, it would quickly become a wreck again. When I was in the middle of a house project, I would make a mess digging for tools. When I had to wrap a present, the ribbon would end up all over as I searched for a gift tag. Plus, in general we just had stuff we didn’t use or need anymore.
While our original plan was to move the garage shelving to our garage and purchase a closet organizing system for the storage room, we recently decided to hold off on making that investment. This meant I needed to come up with some creative solutions to better use this space with things that were (mostly) already on hand.
After quite a few hours of sorting and deciding what we were keeping and donating, things were looking so much better! Below, I’ve highlighted a few organizing solutions that I found particularly useful.
First up, I placed a dresser that we had (and weren’t currently using) at the end of the space. For reference, that would be the area to the left in the first “before” photo. The dresser had five smaller drawers to replace the two super large make-shift shelves that were in that place before. This meant that I could organize similar-ish, often used items together.
For example, the top drawer now houses extra food containers I don’t use on a regular basis (used when sending people home with leftovers), packing tape, a label maker and batteries.
The tools that I use most often went in the second drawer. This means I can quickly grab anything I need, plus when I’m planning a project I can easily assess whether I need any new supplies.
In the third drawer I placed wrapping essentials like gift bags and tissue paper. I also put all of my ribbon, gift tags etc. together in one container so that I can just grab it all when I need to wrap a gift.
To the left of the dresser I attached a hook to the wall to hang a bag of bags (you know, all those re-usable bags that seem to multiply by the minute). While I did get rid of quite a few I still probably have way more than I will ever actually need!
Below the hooks I hung two ikea plastic bag dispensers to hold my wrapping paper.
Finally, on the wall opposite the garage shelving (that was previously unused) I decided to store three wreaths using some unused garment bags I had lying around.
It was super quick and easy to do – below I’ve listed the steps to follow if you want to try it out for yourself:
1) Grab some garment bags and figure out which wreaths fit best in which bags (i.e. the biggest wreath has to go in the biggest bag)
2) While the wreaths are still in their respective bags, place one side of a piece of velcro on the bottom of the bag and the other side closer to the top. The purpose of this is simply so that you can fold up and attach the unused portion of the garment bag. After figuring out the correct placement, sew the velcro pieces to the bag. Hint: The velcro I used was sticky on the back which was nice because it saved me from trying to jam a pin through the thick velcro.
3) Thread a piece of rope through the centre of each wreath and up through the top of the garment bag (where the hanger would normally go). Hang off hooks.
In addition to clearing up some shelving, doing this will also save my wreaths from getting squisshed or dusty between seasons.
After all that, things are definitely looking better. It’s hard to take a picture, but the floor is now completely clear and there is space to spare on the shelves. While at some point we may still decide to invest an even better system, in the meantime this is definitely an improvement!