31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 7}:
Clever Extra Storage

I have had several of you mention one of your issues at your home is needing more storage. And many of you hesitate to have seasonal things because where would you put them when the season is over!?! Well, of course I have similar issues here, but I do have a couple of solutions for you that work pretty well for me.

Here is what I do with my seasonal (or extra) vases, dishes, linens, decorations, accessories or even additional items for parties like silverware:

I use lidded baskets to store extra stuff. The baskets themselves are attractive in the room (but you’ll notice they aren’t expensive or fancy, some are spray painted!). They add texture and fit easily under a bench, stacked in a corner, or on a shelf.

Most importantly, they are EASILY accessible, which means I am much more likely to USE my things.

Now if you are worried you won’t be able to find what you hide away in a basket, don’t worry about that (unless you have a RIDICULOUS amount of stuff, in which case you might need to have a garage sale instead!)!

I only have a few baskets in my dining area so if I am looking for my blue vase it only takes me about 30 seconds to find it. If I need my bags of pine cones or starfish and I can’t remember which basket, I only have to open maybe three before I find them. Not a big deal!

If I put decor out in my garage somewhere, it might take me six weeks to find something. Most likely I would decide to not use something because of the hassle in going to find it.

Knowing I can change vases on my table at a moment’s notice or find a cake serving plate easily means I can have more fun mixing up my decor and entertaining is less stressful.

To make finding things easier, try to group related items together, particularly if you are going to have baskets in more than one room. Maybe keep vases in one room, extra serving dishes another and decorations in another.

If you are super organized, you could tape a 3 x 5 card under your table or in a buffet cabinet with a list of where you put things. For me, I switch stuff around in my house so much my card would get out of date so I don’t bother with trying to keep track.

My last tip for seasonal storage, assuming you have a little extra room and more stuff, is to set up a four shelf storage unit in a garage or basement. Label each shelf with a different season (winter, spring, summer, fall) and that way you have a place to put decor at the end of each season.

This tip also works well if you like to buy new things on sale at the end of each season, it is nice to know you have a clear place to put them so you can use them the following year.

Even if you don’t decorate for the seasons, it is helpful to have a few clever ways to deal with any extra items around the house.

What are your solutions for extra storage?

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Comments

  1. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this before!! I always have banished my out-of-season stuff in my basement, sometimes never to be seen again because IT’S TOO MUCH EFFORT! Now I can just put them in baskets, which I already have, and then use my stuff more often. Duh!!

    I love the idea of sticking a card in a drawer, too, so I could actually remember where I stashed stuff.

    Thanks Melissa! Seriously, this may revolutionize the way I store things. You and Nester with the baskets, I tell ya.
    Sarah recently posted..Multiple Design Personality DisorderMy Profile

  2. I would have never thought of packing stuff away in plain site. I hate going in the basement and looking for things. Great solution!
    Dawn Camp recently posted..Big Girl Photo ShootMy Profile

  3. I’m sitting here shaking my head in amazemenr. Such a simple but inspired idea! I hate traipsing up to the attic or out to the garage for seasonal things, but would never have thought to (as Dawn put it) hide the stuff in plain sight. Genius!
    Carin recently posted..Everyday creativityMy Profile

  4. I LOVE this idea. I’m going to start hunting for lidded baskets. I do have one basket already that holds seasonal faux flowers, but I never thought to do it with other decorations. I would be much more likely to change accessories around if they were easily accessible! Who really wants to go out 20 steps to the storage shed when it’s 90 degrees or there are 2 feet of snow on the ground? Not this girl!

    Thank you! Great post!
    Marisa recently posted..fried green tomato BLTsMy Profile

  5. Smart idea, Mel!

    As I have a little house and need more space, I one day decided to do something about extra doonas & pillows to daughter’s friends, I bought plastic toolboxes (big, white one) that fit under her bed.

    I love buying kitchenwares, so, I bought more plastic toolboxes, the extras are hidden in them & stored in the cellar.

    I love them… & the basket is a good alternative. TY for sharing.
    /chie
    chie recently posted..Asian Tablescaping-My Way 31stMy Profile

  6. I am blessed with an abundance of kitchen cabinets in our home, so almost all of my seasonal “stuff” is in one set of bottom cabinets. That is, except for anything used for outside.

    In the past, I have used baskets, the bottom of a china cabinet, and under the bed.

    Loving this series!

  7. While I don’t have lots of baskets to hide things, I did begin repurposing cheap craigslist dresser finds into storage scattered throughout my home. With a coat of paint these dressers now have found homes in my dining room and in my entry. The one in the dining room stores all of our homeschool materials and art supplies–I hated having to see crates stacked in corners, this room is where we eat and where we school. The one in the entry has a “junk drawer” for my husband, stores decorating items, etc. I too love having stuff I need close at hand, but hidden in something attractive. I wish I had thought of it years before! ;o)

  8. I do try to do this – and have been working on it more. One of my favorite quotes is “Rich people aren’t cleaner – they just have more storage.” So any time I look at adding anything to a room – I immediately think “Will it add or take away storage?” That has helped me to purchase things that have the ability to support or “hide” additional storage! :)
    Jess recently posted..Decorating for Fall IndoorsMy Profile

  9. Now that is a super smart idea! {By the way, I love this series and all of you girls that have joined up together.}
    Scooper recently posted..The Perfectionists Guide to Domestic ImperfectionMy Profile

  10. I never thought about baskets and I have a perfect place in my dining room for just such a thing. Clever idea! Thank you sooooo much!
    tammy recently posted..Baskets Full of FallMy Profile

  11. Okay. That’s very clever! I confess that I keep seasonal things in big, butt-ugly, blue Rubbermaid containers in the basement. Each container is labeled. Do I get props for that? lol
    Elen recently posted..What’s up with bacon…My Profile

    • I’m with ya’ sister (I confess an unhealthy fascination with rubbermaid containers of all sizes). You get major props if all of your containers match (smile).

  12. What do I do? All that I’m doing is very wrong for the reasons you suggested…can’t find the stuff! I have a large attic filled with family members’ stuff, I’m going to start charging. ;> And I have a closet for Christmas stuff, which is tucked in such a ridiculously tight space that I hate working with it. I could do better. A four-shelf unit sounds very nice about now.
    Vee recently posted..Piano Topper- etcMy Profile

  13. Fantastic idea- gonna do it!! Where doyou buy your lidded baskets?

  14. I’m with everyone else who commented. What a great idea!
    I’m always complaining about space, and how I have to put things away in the attic or basement – and then I tend to forget what I have! Baskets in plain site is the perfect solution. Now I want to go yard saling…

  15. I love using baskets for storage even though currently I am only using one in the living room. I need to find some more! Great post! :)
    Carmen recently posted..Black candleholders for Halloween on the cheapMy Profile

  16. clever idea!!!! I have baskets everywhere-but have never thought to fill them with seasonal stuff-my seasonal stuff gets “stuffed” away in the attic and it is such a pain to get to it. Im also liking the 4 season storage shelf- my problem: could i really “fit” all my seasonal stuff on one shelf. hmmm maybe its time to scale down……

    Have a great day!!
    Amanda Eck-TheEckLife recently posted..Where I BlogMy Profile

  17. I really like this idea, it’s clever and pretty too!

  18. Dear Melissa,

    I wanted to let you know that I love reading Darren Rouse and saw that you had his e-book in your sidebar. I was going to buy it off his site but figured if you were an affiliate for him I would love for you to get the commission. I am off to buy it now–thanks for offering it.

    Many blessings…
    Mrs. June Fuentes recently posted..A Sneak PeekMy Profile

    • That is so thoughtful of you! Thank you. You have no idea how much I appreciate that support!

      Blessings,
      Melissa

      • You are very welcomed! It is an excellent product (now that I’ve have the blessing to look over it) and not only that but I have just become an affiliate as well since I have recently launched a successful Blog Advertising Consulting business and would love to offer his resources to my clients.

        Have a blessed day and keep up the great work here at The Inspired Room!

        Many blessings…
        Mrs. June Fuentes recently posted..A Sneak PeekMy Profile

  19. I’m one who uses tubs in the garage for each season. I do like to purchase a few sale pieces and it is always so fun to find those treasures when I really can use them! Also, it’s helped me to not purchase a new set of placemats every single year…I am happy to get to use the same ones.
    Missy June recently posted..My BabyMy Profile

  20. seriouslyahomemaker says:

    hon, these are great tips! honestly, i’ve heard about every tip in the book, i feel, but these are new!

    i am going to take some of that advice. especially about the shelves in the basement for each season.

    thanks
    seriouslyahomemaker recently posted..Our WeddingMy Profile

  21. Great idea! I love baskets (but don’t have very many lidded ones). I also love dressers, etc. We recently acquired new used living room furniture which made a rearrangement necessary and I lost some of my behind-door/in drawer storage…but I could probably find room for a lidded basket or two! We don’t have HomeGoods here, but Michael’s & Hobby Lobby often have their baskets 40 or 50% off…and there’s Big Lots…garage sales…hmmmmm
    Lisa recently posted..From Not-So-Much to Beautiful…Console Cabinet RedoMy Profile

  22. i use all kinds of bins and baskets in every room. i think my husband some times gets overwhelmed with my need for storage! even the diapers in the baby’s room are out in a cute little bin.

  23. I use the basket method too. I found some amazing baskets at Ikea this past summer, one I actually use as a small coffee table in my library. But I also have some semi-see-thru plastic bins in the garage that I store “fall”, “spring” decorations. Because I can see what is in the bin I don’t have to look very long for the items. Baskets indoors are so attractive!

  24. Nicole W. says:

    Today Unclutterer. com has a nice complementary: http://unclutterer.com/2010/10/07/five-simple-ways-to-easily-organize-your-things/

    Love your series! I’m inspired!

  25. An idea I learned YEARS ago, take a small clean trash can, add the round wood top from one of those cheap side tables(you all know the ones) then slip cover. This works great as a bedside table, living room, small entry way etc. Also about three cans behind a sofa with a long rectangle of plywood makes a great “sofa table” Just buy a nice table cloth and ta-dah!

  26. I am enjoying your series. This is a great idea. So often I end up not using stuff because it is so packed away it is useless. I am just getting in to decorating for the seasons this year. Living overseas I did not ever bother with decorating my house except at Christmastime. So I am enjoying this new season of life.
    Sharon recently posted..Continuing to CountMy Profile

  27. Great storage ideas! I especially like the cutlery container, its really cute!
    Harriet recently posted..BlackBerry Bold 9700 WhiteMy Profile

  28. Love this idea. I have at least a couple of lidded baskets and several similar storage opportunities already, but they are full of stuff we rarely need to access and are keeping just in case–like papers we probably won’t need but might, photos, knick-knack keepsakes, etc. I think I’ll put my seasonal stuff in these baskets and move the other stuff to the top of a closet or the attic.

    We have painfully little storage. I was at a moms group meeting today and was talking about making my living room cozier a few days ago. One of my friends said “When I want to make my living room cozy I throw everything in the garage and light candles!” If only. I am so jealous of people with garages and basements and walk-in hall closets!
    Jenny recently posted..How to blow your grocery budget in five easy stepsMy Profile

  29. Love the idea!!! Baskets are heavenly!
    Fiona’s Mosaic recently posted..FALLing in Love With Fall……ReallyMy Profile

  30. What a very good idea. I currently have no lidded baskets, but I will now be on the lookout for some.

    Jody
    Jody recently posted..Food that Schmecks!My Profile

  31. I love this post.

    I remember blogging either last Dec or the one before (memory is not what it used to be, and I’m too lazy to check) how I noticed you US ladies do this seasonal organising. Where on earth do you store it all, I asked?

    A lovely comment told me that you have attics and basements, which we don’t have in South Africa. Which is probably why I don’t do much Christmas decorating because it has to all fit on one small shelf :)

    LOVE your lidded baskets. I’m going to try this so my twins can’t get into my stuff :)
    Marcia Francois, Organising Queen recently posted..Top 3 time tips to manage your small businessMy Profile

  32. Great ideas! I am very blessed to have lots of closet space (mostly because my kids are too little to use their closets yet!) but I will be getting more creative as they grow. I do try to keep most of my decorative stuff together in only a couple places so I can find it. Also, I make sure not to spend much on anything so if/when I decide it’s not really my style I can get rid of it knowing it didn’t cost much. Of course, even cheap, I only buy things I love!
    Abbie recently posted..Three on the benchMy Profile

  33. Love this idea! And to think that I have some lidded baskets – and a darling, little wicker ‘suitcase’ my grandmother gave me when I was in Jr. High School – and don’t use them. I know what I’m going to do and exactly where I’m going to put them. Thank you for helping me make my home better and better all the time!
    ~Adrienne~
    Adrienne recently posted..Heart ThoughtsMy Profile

  34. Stephanie Reams says:

    My husband and I take on home improvement projects over holidays each year. One of my all-time favorites has been the shelving we put in the unfinished part of our basement. I purchased plastic containers, cleaned out our seasonal decorations until they fit in the containers I had purchased, and then labeled each one. Four years later, I still enjoy the space as it stays organized SO much better now!

  35. This is such a great idea. I’m able to store away the major holiday decorations in Rubbermaid Totes (Fall, Christmas) but it is the dialy and not so big holiday decor items that I have trouble finding a good home for. And come to think of it, I do have a couple of lidded baskets just holding some blankets and books right now. They could be put so such better use! Thanks for the tips!!
    Mandi recently posted..30 Week BumpdateMy Profile

  36. I only buy chairs and sofas with a nice pleated skirt at the bottom. Then, I can stash goodies underneath: rotating artwork, sketch pads and pens, large trays, etc. I even remember what I have under each piece of furniture.

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  1. [...] I mentioned back on Day 7 of Autumn Bliss I keep a lot of these seasonal things in zip lock bags in my baskets or a cabinet in my living [...]

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