If you don't have a pantry, where do you put stuff?

marti8aSeptember 15, 2008

I'm thinking of putting these things in the attic until we sell the house, unless someone here can give me an idea where to put them & be out of sight. I know I need to get rid of things and have been going through the kitchen trying to decide if I use it enough to keep it.

Some things I want to keep but have no where to put them are the big Wilton novelty cake pans & cookie racks. They are currently on top of the refrigerator collecting dust & rattling every time the fridge is opened.

The ironing board. Right now it is behind my bedroom door. We had another ironing board - one of those short over the door things in a closet.

The upright vacuum. This is a necessary thing and I won't be putting it in the attic. I just don't have anywhere to put it except a closet shoved between the hanging clothes.

The printer for my laptop. Right now it's in the kitchen next to the peninsula where I usually do my work.

Luggage. Right now in the floor of the closet, but I'd like to keep stuff off the floor so it's easier to vacuum and looks bigger.

There's more, but my mind is blank right now.

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I suggest you get one of those mags dedicated to small houses, or "101 tips for small house storage" because they're terrific in the amazing tricks they come up with (that we never seem to think of) and can offer all kinds of neat ways to build in corner cabinets, slide-out bins or spice-racks, hanging stuff that you wouldn't know how to make look good otherwise, even making niches between studs where you can remove the drywall and display knick-knacks. You wouldn't believe how imaginative they are sometimes and will at least get you looking at your place (hopefully) in different ways so you can start to see possibilities yourself.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 4:01PM
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Lucy that sounds great. I will also look for the mag.

I have a trunk in my kitchen. It is one of the low ones. About 3 foot long. It has been several things. Window seat,I had it in my office for awhile with fabric in it and now coffee table for the couch that is now in the kitchen. I use it to hold my bread machine and the flower and sugar containers back up beer and wine boxs. It really holds lots.

I also have a trunk in the living room and use it for storage and another trunk in our master bedroom for more storage. The MB trunk is also a window seat for now.

For me another good storage solution is hard sided suitcases. I keep then under our bed with what is in them on tags on handles. I have all my Christmas things in three suitcases even the tree. Then photographs in another and so on. I know some people just hate things under the bed but I need the storage space. We do have one of the old time beds so there is enough room under it for suitcases. Being hard sided the are easy to pull out and wipe off once in awhile.Also cheep to buy at thrift stores and saves the land fills. Easier to handle then the under the bed storage boxes.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 4:21PM
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Are you selling your house now or is storage a question for daily living? What is your kitchen like and other areas of the house for storage options?

When I sold last I took everything not needed for 3 mos and packed all. Made sure the boxes were well marked just in case something was needed, but never needed anything. And it was far easier to keep the house in order with minimal living. An easy list is doing it on the computer and printing out on labels. Had a basement for storage. Even scaled down all my clothes for only what was necessary. Since you have an attic (lucky you), tis a perfect place for storage.

If you are just trying to downsize what isn't used, the same can be done. It is surprising how much can be let go of and is not missed. I redid my bedroom and packed a good 3/4 of my clothes which haven't been worn. Could have gotten rid of them, but jeans and sweats/T shirts, can hang on for a long time in my personal fashion scenario...gardening, volunteering, art. When I do go through these boxes again, am going to photograph what goes in them and attach a pic to the outside. Should do this too for the whole house...insurance purposes.

I still have boxes of items not used, but need a rainy day and personal time to make better sense of what to let go of. Partially emotional and haven't gotten there yet.

My ironing board is hanging on the wall behind the guest bedroom door. A small house lends itself to some forgiveness. The vacuum in in the corner of hall coat closet. Even in a larger home, this is where it landed. Cooking is minimal in my life now, I did go through the kitchen last month, but still a bunch that can go away. Bought a bunch of hanging shelf units for the back of the cabinet doors. Amazing how much neater the cabinets look and easier to find items. There are some appliances the kids drag out when they visit, so a bit difficult to pack these up. But they are stored in the back of deep cabinets.

Am a trunk person too...side table, bedrooms, office. Also furniture which has lots of drawers...side tables, kitchen table, coffee table, etc. I'd like to make a side table of stacked old leather suitcases. But that is one more thing to drag into the house, will let the idea go.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 10:43AM
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emagineer (love that name btw), kind of both. Right now we are getting ready to add on a breakfast nook & remodel the living room, and then we will list the house. We are losing space I use as pantry in the laundry room so the freezer (now in kitchen) will go in there, and we are losing about 2' of bottom cabinet space in the kitchen. My kitchen is big (we took in the original dining area), but the cabinets all have so many shelves, big stuff won't fit.

This house has very little storage. a small linen closet, small closets in each bedroom, and we put a walk-in closet in the garage we converted to den, but because it has a locking door, it is stuffed with dh's gun safe and hunting gear. That's the closet with the ironing board on the door. I hate even going in there.

This house would be fine for a family from 1930 with few possessions, but I feel like I am always shuffling our overflow from one room to another. In order for one room to be clean & clutter free, the stuff gets piled in another room. Hasn't helped that my mother decluttered last year and gave me a lot of my grandparents' things. I have no idea where to put that kind of stuff either.

The stuff I'm trying to find a new place for now is stuff I used to have in the laundry room but now have had to put in different places around the house, and after looking at it there, I'm thinking I either need to find better places or put it in the attic so it looks like Ken & Barbie live here instead of real people with real stuff. Last night I was trying to put up some things that came out of the laundry room and found I still have 3 ice chests and step stool to put some place too. Argh! It just never ends.

I'm also going through & looking at stuff as objectively as I can to see what can just go to the thrift store. The attic is already stuffed too. Both my kids have enough stuff for their apartments, but both are in furnished apartments right now. All their furniture is in my den, garage & attic. When we list, we will definitely have to rent a storage building, or buy a shed. One dd graduates from college in May & will take all her stuff, so if we wait until spring to list, that will help.

I cook a lot, and am having trouble letting go of any of that stuff. Where did you get your cabinet door shelves? That sounds like it would help, without adding to eye clutter.

It is helpful to have an attic I guess, but no one can stand upright, it gets really hot here, and I find the ladder hard to climb with a big box or object balanced in one hand. Otherwise, someone has to get up there & kneel down & someone else has to stand at the bottom & lift things up. I've always thought a basement would be so much better. lol I thought all houses had attics, except those with a flat roof.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 2:14PM
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There is nothing that brings reality like paying for a storage unit. It sounds as if this may be your best option to really get things cleared out and easy to get to if you have to.

Although, once you start moving stuff into a storage unit the realization of how much "stuff" one has hits home. Then you start sending payments every month and begin to wonder what is being paid for and true value. Did the chest sitting in there just cost me $125. Or the box of books? It is akin to paying interest on something already bought.

The only reason I know this is from convincing my son to empty his storage unit after having it for over a year. More than $1,500 was spent storing his stuff. When we moved it, half was tossed or donated. Two of my kids had to find another way to store their things when I moved. The cost of their units was an eye opener for them.

Half of the cabinet storage units I found at Restore for $10 each. They were new, chrome and wood. I think Lowes sells them. The others are from Walmart, plastic coated wire. I put these in the least used cabinets. A bit cheap looking, but they work and aren't seen that much.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 7:13PM
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Some things I want to keep but have no where to put them are the big Wilton novelty cake pans & cookie racks.

If they're not too tall they could go into underbed boxes, either the kind on wheels or just the ordinary cardboard kind. I'm a big believer in using the wasted space under the bed! They also are unlikely to be harmed by attic heat. Otherwise, think really, REALLY hard about just how much are you going to use every one of these pans? Can you pare down your collection? Is making novelty cakes and cookies a frequent hobby or a small business, or are these the sorts of things you only do once in a while? I'm a cookery nut too and I found it hard as hell to weed down my collection of goodies and gadgets before our move last September but I'm not so good at bending the time-space continuum to create storage space where there isn't any. Trust me, it was a wrench to put those adorable heart-shaped miniature springform pans in the donation box because I remembered the expressions of delight when I produced miniature heart-shaped cheesecakes for someone, but we just didn't use them enough to justify the space they occupied. Do you use all three ice chests so often that you need to keep three of them on hand at all times, or is there someone you could give, say, two of them to who would let you borrow them back when you need them?

The ironing board. Right now it is behind my bedroom door. We had another ironing board - one of those short over the door things in a closet.

Slide it flat underneath a bed or hang it neatly behind the door on the wall on an ironing board rack, or move the over-the-door one to the back of a bedroom door. There are also attractive ironing board cabinets that mount onto or even recess into the wall between the studs, and some can even be electrified so you can plug the iron in right there. I am assuming you prefer to iron in the bedroom instead of in the laundry room (you couldn't FIT an ironing board in our laundry room anyway!).

The upright vacuum. This is a necessary thing and I won't be putting it in the attic. I just don't have anywhere to put it except a closet shoved between the hanging clothes.

A closet is fine but organize the closet floor (shoe storage, blah blah) so that you can slip it into a corner rather than just shoving it in the middle of the clothes. If you've got a spare $400 floating around (BWAHAHAHAHAHA - who does?) the Dyson DC24 upright vacuum does compact down quite small although in this house the jury's still out as to whether it really stands up to all the hype.

The printer for my laptop. Right now it's in the kitchen next to the peninsula where I usually do my work.

Is there a chance of a wireless connection between laptop and printer? There are SO many gadgets now that let you print without being physically connected to the printer, and then you can put the printer wherever you can conveniently tuck it away (say an end table with a door where you could drill a small hole in the back for the power cord) without worrying about having to be able to hitch up that printer cable. If you're not technologically adept, there are any number of "rent-a-geek" services to help you.

Luggage. Right now in the floor of the closet, but I'd like to keep stuff off the floor so it's easier to vacuum and looks bigger.

Attic. Get bags of cedar shavings from the pet department at Walmart or whatever, punch a bunch of holes in each bag, and put them into old pillowcases, then put THAT into each suitcase. The cedar shavings will keep bugs and critters from taking up residence in them, absorb any moisture to prevent mold, and keep them from smelling musty. Or under beds if they'll fit, in which case you can fill them with other things.

Make the adult kids (if they're old enough for apartments, furnished or no, they're adults in my book) responsible for their belongings - you are not running a storage facility or dumping ground for their stuff, you have enough stuff of your own. Maybe they can pool their funds for a storage unit; I could see their weeding out their belongings, selling some on CL, eBay, or at a yard sale to raise the money to pay at least part of the storage fees on the things they absolutely cannot part with.

I downsized by 40% last year and had to be absolutely brutal about what came along with us and what had to go. We took several station-wagon-loads to Goodwill, and then about six months after we moved we had another "WHY did we move this?" purge and took another two station-wagon-loads out. You have to be kind of heartless... most of what we got rid of was stuff that other people had given us and we - okay, I - had to get over a good bit of guilt about giving it the heave-ho.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 12:24AM
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johnmarie, good ideas!

1) I actually did pare down my Wilton pans to 1 rectangle & 2 novelty, but wouldn't you know those are the biggest? When the kids were younger I made cakes for everything & everyone. Now I just make them for birthdays and sometimes not even then, I make such a mess of the frosting. It's funny, it just killed me to give away the little heart-shaped muffin pans, and for the same reason as you.

2) Dh is a hunter and takes all the ice chests on his trips. We have a shed in the backyard with an attached slab, and I'm wondering if he can build a lean-to onto the shed cheaply & keep his four wheeler & all his outdoor sports gear. That would help a lot. I would like to have my side of the garage back to actually park in winter. ;)

3) Boy, now you are making me come clean - I don't iron for dh. That's why the other ironing board is in his closet, so he won't wake me up in the morning when he irons his shirts. I know, I am a terrible person. The other ironing board is the one I use for my quilting and on the rare occassion I iron my clothes. And yes, when I iron, I want it in front of the tv. I don't put anything under the bed because dh has terrible allergies and I have to vacuum under there daily. Actually I don't do the vacuuming, I have a Roomba do that, it doesn't stir up the dust like my upright.

4) Emptying the closets is my next project. They are all stuffed too, so that will be more junk with no real home. One bedroom has a decent sized closet with bifold doors and that is where the vac is now. It's also the closet that the dd who comes home every weekend has all her spare clothes in.

5) Excellent idea! I have never heard of a wireless connection for a printer, but I will go to Best Buy tomorrow.

6) Another excellent idea. We had our suitcases in the attic for awhile in trash bags to keep them clean, but they always smelled musty after being up there. I'll try the cedar stuff.

7) I say apartments, and they are, more or less, but they are dorm apartments. One dd works part time (and stays with us for the weekend while she works) and the other one's class load is too much for even a part time job. This is acceptable to us. Both girls started out in regular dorm rooms, and then moved into apartments, but found that apartments cost a lot more than the apartment dorms, so they both moved back to dorms last year, but not in the same town. Neither can afford to pay for storage, and their furniture was mostly given to them by grandparents who totally wouldn't understand them getting rid of it when they only have a year or so until graduation. Their solution would be for us to bring it back to their houses, like I would haul this stuff 300 miles to store it there & then have to go get it again in a year. Sometimes I feel that older parents put more pressure on their middle aged children than I do on my own kids. So we are pretty stuck with this furniture until May.

Moving is definitely the way to get rid of excess. All our married lives, we have moved an average of every 18 months, until we moved here, and we've been here 13 years. Now we have 13 years of accumulation to show for it. I don't see how people move from a house to an apartment.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 1:23AM
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