DIY projects

Affordable Storage Solutions For The Everyday Household


Storage is one of those things we all could do with getting good at. It keeps things tidy and easy to find when we need them.

Unfortunately, most homes are not designed with a lot of storage in mind, especially longer term storage. We need a spot for all that spare fabric, children’s 'grow into' clothes, craft supplies, extra linen, school books etc. The list is endless.

Not everyone has the budget for extra cupboards, storage boxes and shelving. Here are some ideas that have worked for me.

Firstly, work out what needs longer term storage and what you need regularly. Fill your current cupboards with the things that you need regular access to. If you find a handy spot for an item, it will save you time and your place will be neat. For example: your vacuum cleaner needs to be near the centre of the home and have a spot of its own. Otherwise it will just be left where it was last used, tripped over and hard to find quickly. This may seem absurd, but this happens a lot in households.


My favourite idea for long term storage is the common suitcase. It is mouse proof, dust proof and, in most cases, waterproof. You can also wrap your items in plastic bags to guard against moisture damage. People update their suitcases regularly, so finding second hand suitcases is easy and cheap. It is common to find cheap suitcases in second hand shops for next to nothing. Ask friends, they probably have a few and don’t want to throw them out because they are still good. Old suitcases might not have four flash swivel wheels but they usually have strong zips and a tough structure. We have found many on people’s verges when they are having a council rubbish pickup in the area. One time we came home with sixteen cases. Most of the cases we came across were in near new condition. Suitcases stack quite nicely and, because they are well sealed, can be stored in a shed area. Don’t forget to label them. Just use transparent tape over a paper label and make a ring around the handle.

Cardboard Boxes

There is room under every bed. Get some sturdy boxes from the supermarket. Make sure they are plain and the right height for your beds. This is a great place to store your children’s toys. The boxes will act like drawers that you can slide in and out. Cardboard boxes can also be used, in shelved cupboards, as drawers. This keeps a lot of bits and pieces together and gives you quick easy access to them. An exception to the rule would be special present boxes. If you have been given a present in a lovely patterned box, then keep it and use it for storage on a shelf. Try to stay within your decorating colours. You also have the option of covering a nice sturdy box with some lovely recycled wrapping paper.

Remember: keep all your nice old wrapping paper. It can be used again and again, even if it slowly wraps smaller and smaller items. You just cut off the old bits on the edges, then fold it nicely. To store it, place the paper in present bags or paper shopping bags. Keep the similar sizes together so that you can find the right piece quickly. You can even theme the bags. eg. boy, girl, tissue paper, colours.

Mugs & Cups

How often it is, that you cannot find a pen when you need one. Well here is an idea that helps you save that favourite cup from the trash when the handle breaks off.
They make excellent pen holders and they look good too. Choose the cups that match you decor and face the broken part towards the wall. Remember: Always throw out that annoying pen that only works sometimes. When you need a pen, you want to get one that works straight away.

Icecream Containers

You may not consume much ice cream but a lot of people do. In my experience, there are many people that throw a lot of ice cream containers out and they would be very happy to collect them for you. You don’t need fancy plastic containers to store food. Ice cream containers stack well and can be sealed if you place some grocery bag plastic between the lid and the container. Just save your clean new plastic shopping bags and cut them up for food storage. Rubber bands can be used to pull the lid down tighter. This is especially important for food storage. It will keep your food fresh and keep that fridge/freezer flavour out. You can label the ice cream containers with transparent tape over a paper label.


If you need to keep bits and pieces on the bench or in plain view, then find a nice looking little basket. Don’t use cardboard boxes, paper or plastic bags to store things in plain view. These will always look messy and unkept. I guess they remind us of a rubbish pile. A lidded basket can make a nice looking bin too. Just line it with a plastic shopping bag.

Chocolate Boxes

Have you ever gone looking for something small in a drawer and you just can't find it in all the clutter? Well, save those strong sturdy plastic chocolate boxes or maybe some old plastic container that has lost its lid and use it to hold all those little bits and pieces that get so easily lost. Even a cardboard envelope box will do the trick if you don’t need it waterproof.

Drawer Inserts

If you have extra cutlery that is cluttering up the space in your kitchen drawers, then consider finding an old kitchen drawer insert. These can be found in second hand shops or just among the stuff in the back of someone’s shed. These are ideal for equipping a shelf or drawer for the surplus cutlery.

Designated Spaces

Keeping things together is a key to tidiness and organisation. Theme things together and store them close to the area where you use them. If you make bread, keep all your ingredients and implements in a shallow plastic box and keep it on a shelf. When you need them, just whisk out the whole box in one trip. You can do this for cake making gear or anything you cook regularly. Obviously you will want all your toiletries near your bathroom. Keep them together in a box in the cupboard, in a basket on the bench, or neatly separated in boxes in a drawer. This will keep things neat and save you heaps of time. This also works great for cleaning supplies and laundry supplies too.

There are many more ideas. Be resourceful. Don’t just throw something out, think about its possible other uses. Packaging is also useful. It is such a huge industry now-a-days, and a lot of it is quality made.

Get thinking and you can come up with all kinds of solutions!
Storage, storage solutions, easy organisation, reuse, recycle, icecream containers

Written By Guest Blogger
Mrs Evelyn Hair
(Our Precious Mother)

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