Tag Archives: Storage

Tiny Tuesday: Shoe-hanger spice rack

shoespicerack

Living comfortably in a small house depends, to a great extent, on how efficiently you use all of your available space — including areas that in most houses are underused or overlooked altogether.

The back side of my basement door, which is right next to the refrigerator, was one of those underused areas. I considered custom-building a set of shelves to install on the back of it to hold jars of spices and boxes of tea, but then I remembered I’m lazy, so instead, I just went to the dollar store and bought a $6 over-the-door shoe rack.

If you’re willing to spend more, you can get similar racks with clear pockets so you can see what’s in them, but I wasn’t willing to spend an extra $5 to $10 for that feature, so I just labeled the pockets with a Sharpie, which works fine.

It’s not the prettiest storage system I’ve ever come up with, but it doesn’t need to be; it’s not as if we’re entertaining guests in our unfinished basement, and if we were, I’m sure they’d be too busy shuddering at the cave crickets under the stairs to pay any attention to the shoe rack full of spices hanging on the back of the door anyway.

Each pocket was designed to support the weight of a shoe, so keep that in mind when you’re figuring out what to store in there: Big plastic jars of spices are fine, but canned goods probably aren’t. That was fine with me, as I have a lot of spices in large containers, and sticking them in the pockets freed up shelf space for heavier items.

If you want something nicer, Pinterest has all kinds of plans for building custom door-mounted pantry shelves, but if you just want to reclaim some unused space without spending a lot of time or money, a dollar-store shoe rack will work perfectly well.

Emily

Tiny Tuesday: Broom and mop storage

This is such a simple thing, I’m not even sure it deserves its own entry, but it has come in really handy, so I’ll post it anyway.

I got tired of knocking over brooms and mops every time I pulled the stepstool out of its spot next to the refrigerator, so I got online and found myself a nice wall-mounted storage rack to take advantage of an unused space next to the basement steps.

Any time I can get some benefit out of an unused space, I'm calling that a win.
Any time I can get some benefit out of an unused space, I’m calling that a win.

The model I bought cost about $15 and has pull-down plastic hooks between the broom-storage brackets, making it perfect for storing my broom, dust mop, sponge mop, dustpan, watering can and plastic-bag dispenser. It’s out of sight, easily accessible, and makes use of a previously dormant space — all essential in tiny-house planning, and very helpful even in our house, which is about twice the size of most tiny houses.

I can’t remember what brand mine, is but it’s very similar to this one. I highly recommend one if you’ve got an out-of-the-way spot to hang it.

Score one for Pinterest.

Most of the crap I find on Pinterest is … well … crap. But I went looking for storage ideas today and liked this excellent little space-saver so much I wound up using it as my excuse du jour for taking a field trip to the hardware store.

The whole unit fits neatly between the fridge and the wall.
The whole unit fits neatly between the fridge and the wall.

The version somebody pinned from Classy Clutter (which is an excellent site, BTW) looked prettier than mine, but I’m lazy. And cheap. And lazy. And my station wagon is in the shop at the moment, getting its transmission rebuilt, so I didn’t have a good way to bring home a ginormous piece of bead board for the back. And did I mention I’m lazy?

Here it is before I loaded it, so you can see how it's put together.
Here it is before I loaded it, so you can see how it’s put together.

If I feel ambitious later, I can unload it and take it outside and hit it with a few coats of spray paint, but I think we all know that isn’t going to happen.

Anyway, instructions for my version are below the fold. I made it four feet high, partly because of the aforementioned station-wagon-going-AWOL issue, partly because my refrigerator is only five feet high, and partly because I could buy an eight-foot-long board and have it cut in half for $2.22.

Continue reading Score one for Pinterest.