Over the years of writing about organizing and working with clients, I continue to be baffled by how to neatly organize a small number of items. Whenever I see these items or hear about them, I cringe. Organizing them successfully is a complete mystery to me. Maybe you have a few, too, in your home or office — a specific item that always seems to be out of place, cumbersome, or impossible to store well?
I’ve listed a handful of difficult storage items here, and I’m looking for some creative, ingenious, and amazing storage solution suggestions from you in the comments. If you are stumped by something in your space, share this frustration in the comments, too, and we can all work to help you find a solution.
- I’m not a basket person, so I don’t have much experience with organizing baskets when they’re not in use. Their handles and shapes keep them from stacking well, some are delicate so you don’t want to stuff them into a box, they take up an absurd amount of space on a shelf, and they don’t hang well (especially those without handles). Even craft stores seem to have a difficult time storing and displaying them.
- Cupcake and muffin pans drive me nuts. I’m always looking for suggestions for ways to store them if a cupboard isn’t designed to accommodate pans on their sides.
- Plastic bags, like ones you get from the grocery store, if the person doesn’t like the look or idea of a wall-mounted plastic bag holder. (I’ve been successful at convincing folks to switch to reusable grocery bags to reduce the number of plastic bags, but even then it’s difficult not to accumulate a few plastic bags.) Obviously, any container would keep them under control, but what is really an amazing solution?
- Light bulbs — they are almost always less expensive to buy more than one at a time, but you usually only need one. You can stack the boxes on a shelf if the person has retained the boxes, but not all bulbs come in boxes these days and not everyone keeps the packaging.
- Personally, we’re at a loss for what to do with our two amplifiers for my pedal steel guitar, my electric bass, and my husband’s electric guitars. We don’t have a music room, so they’re just out like a piece of furniture. Since they weigh more than 70 pounds, they’re not items I can easily move from space-to-space. I regularly look at them and wish they would magically become less obtrusive in our space.
Okay, let’s get the answers rolling — I’m interested in hearing from you.