virtually no closets . . .

miscindySeptember 28, 2009

Our family of 4 has just moved into a short-term (6 months) furnished rental house while we wait for our new construction to be built. We have already stored most all of our stuff. It was not our desire to move into a furnished house, but it's what was available.

The house is really a summer cottage. It has a small kitchen with eat-in space, a good sized living area, 1.5 baths and 3 bedrooms. The problem is the lack of closet space. The closets in each bedroom are about 4 feet in height and 2-3 ft wide. The home we just moved from had very generous closets, including a really large walk-in. We have no coat closet and winter is coming up here in Michigan.

What are your best storage tips for clothes, coats, boots, and food? The basement is not really usable--damp and yucky, peeling paint.

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Amoire if you can afford it, free standing closet of wood or they have fabric zip up ones in nice natural fabrics, chest of drawers for food, boots outside in waterproof outdoor box usually plastic (home depot, lowes), remember to use space up high that may be overlooked for shelves/bins for things out of season.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 11:00PM
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Hunt the thrift shops for armoirs and old trunks. IKEA has open coat racks with bottom shoe storage from $20 to $130.

You could look into behind the door coat racks or one on the kitchen wall for coats, with a mat for boots.

Since this is temporary You don't want to spend more than you have to. The main thing being to my mind, getting stuff put away

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 5:38AM
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Head to Target or the equivalent and get a clothes rack on wheels. Worked in a pinch for us and the price was right.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 8:00AM
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Definitely the clothes racks on wheels. You can also make a second hanging rack, if you're hanging kids' clothes or adult shirts and folded slacks. by using a series of S hooks big enough to go over the top rack and another bar farther down.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 8:58AM
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Look for nooks and crannies under beds, couches, tables, etc. You can put small boxes of stuff in there. Maybe not as convenient as you'd like, maybe it looks cluttered, but it's only temporary, right?

Pare down your wardrobe as much as possible, weather and social situations permitting.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 10:15AM
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I'm in the same position as you except we're in an apartment. I bought tubs for some of the day to day stuff. It's not pretty, but at least it isn't in the floor. Shoes go in a tub and so do some of the clothes like underwear. I also have some tubs of food in the closet. I have some wire shelves that I'm using in the living/dining are for extra food storage. Oversize items are there. I bought a coat hanger with six prongs for the wall, but a coak rack might work just as well.

I tried not to move any more furniture in here than is needed, but extra chests/dressers with big drawers might look better for extra storage if you have the room.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 1:05PM
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My first thought was clothes rack on wheels too. Beware of these though. I bought one in the $35 price range at Lowe's and the plastic split and broke in less than a week. Yes, I put a lot of things on it, but I did not feel I overloaded it. There were too many plastic pieces in the assembly. I recommend if you get one, make sure you find something with the least amount of plastic at the joints.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 8:54PM
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If you have a Container Store nearby, the link provided below is the one you want. (Even if you don't, you can easily have it shipped.)

If you want, you can spend more on the InterMetro Garment Rack, which has a shelf above and below. If looking at your clothes bothers you, those have a canvas bag you can attach, so it can be zipped up to calm the visual clutter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clothes rack on wheels

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 2:31PM
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The armoire and chest idea can be good if you have a good selection in your area, but my experience is that it can be hard to find what you want when you want at the price point you want--if really old, may smell musty and mildewy; if really good and attractive, is not cheap enough unless it is to be part of your future furniture. If really cheap/crummy, then it may have no advantage over more big-box utilitarian options. So for me, I would have to spend a lot of time shopping and then hauling big items home--this works better if you are looking out for a few items or a special item and not desperate to get started.

I'd kinda go the route of the clothing racks plus utility shelves with totes and bins type approach. I'd look at it mostly as cost of temporary living, but think a bit about several items that might survive the move to have a use in your new home. Since you know what is being built for your new home, maybe you have some idea of utility shelving or bins that you might use in your garage or attic. Or, would like to use for awhile and upgrade later after planning your dream storage. Don't know the kids' ages--young kids can use mostly bins or open shelves. Professional wardrobes need more of the rack with cloth cover thing. Could footlockers be part of the kid's future bedroom decor? Then you might buy them now. Large flat underbed plastic containers. Are you allowed to install any coathooks or racks of hooks? Or, depending on the walls/woodwork, those removable hooks are good to keep a few items handy like bathrobe, weekend jeans. Also could use over-door multi-hook thingies in most rooms--so like, hang up suits in good rolling rack; hang up robe and PJ's on over-door hooks. Think not just storage, but ease of use.

Don't know your point of entry or designated "mudroom" area, but again, simplest is best. Big plastic floor tray for boots; coatrack. I would suspect that in winter in Michigan, getting that part worked out is a big quality of life (and cleanup) issue, and may have to organize the kitchen or entryway around those very practical issues even if not so aesthetic. Might choose to store some pantry items in another room so can store off-to-school items or winter stuff in the kitchen, for example.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 7:34PM
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Store extra bed linens between the box springs and mattress. Put risers under the bedposts to get additional storage room under the bed. If under-the-bed containers aren't an option, use garbage bags to store items not needed on a daily basis. And don't forget the trunk of your car if it is a sedan!

For the kitchen, see if the cupboards have room for an additional shelf. Most cabinets have too fewer shelves than really needed to utilize all the space. If the cabinets have the holes along the sides so shelves can be moved, you can buy the pegs, and Lowes will cut shelving to fit. Extra space for not too much money.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 9:29AM
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Since it's a rental, get a dehumidifier for the basement and use what you have!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 1:42PM
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