5 Surprising Storage Solutions

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Sometimes small changes can make a big difference. With a few tiny tweaks all of sudden a room can feel cleaner, fresher and easier to live in — when everything has its place, a room looks (and feels) pulled together. With that in mind, we’re sharing five surprising storage solutions using repurposed everyday items that you can try at home right now.

1. Paper Towel Roll = Wrapping Paper Binder
Unless you’re Martha Stewart, you probably don’t have a dedicated gift-wrapping room in your home, with neat rows of rolled paper, ribbons and raffia. So having to contend with unruly wrapping-paper rolls (which never seem to go back to their original form once the shrink-wrap has been ripped off) is frustrating with a capital F.

Well, the next time you come to the end of a paper-towel roll (or toilet-paper roll), don’t recycle that cardboard tube. Instead, cut a straight line down its length and fit it around a roll of opened wrapping paper. It’ll keep the paper rolled up tight and ready to use for that next birthday party, Bat Mitzvah or bridal shower.

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2. Folder Holder = Chopping Board Stand
Let’s be honest, most of our files are kept on our computer desktops these days, not on the top of our desks. Electronic files have replaced paper ones and digital folders have replaced cardboard ones, rendering many traditional metal and plastic file-folder holders useless. Give this old-school office accessory new life in the kitchen as a chopping-board stand. Never again will there be an avalanche of wood and plastic on the countertop — each board will have a secure place to rest in its new folder-holder home. (Wire Desk Step File Sorter, $13.94, staples.ca)

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3. Wine Rack = Magazine Rack
Magazines have a way of migrating all over the house. They flow onto the living-room floor, stack up by the bathroom sink and pile high beside the bed. Contain the paper trail by rolling and storing your monthly subscriptions in the perfectly sized circular holes of an unused wine rack. (The other rack is doing a fine job holding the Pinot Noirs in the kitchen.)
(Prodyne Spiral 12-Bottle Wine Rack, $49.99, bedbathandbeyond.ca)

4. Bottle Crates = Stackable Shelves
Now, these are not the green plastic crates your DJ friend used to carry around his vinyl records in university, but rather the beautiful wooden vintage crates that can be picked up for a song at antique markets (or that are already piled up out back in your garden shed).

Sanded, oiled and stacked, wooden crates make excellent display shelves for anything from hardcover books to guest hand towels. Use brackets to fix them together, or leave them unattached so they can be easily rearranged on a whim.

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5. Magnetic Spice Containers = Stationary Organizers
As living spaces get smaller and smaller, so do household surface areas. Save precious space and get those home-office accessories up off the desk. One of the easiest ways to do this is with magnetic spice containers and a wall-mounted metal board.

Fill each container with paper clips, staples, string, elastic bands, and any other doodads needed to keep the household organized, and arrange them on the metal board above the desk. Now, everything is still within reach but isn’t cluttering up your workspace.

(Magnetic Dry-Erase Green Memo Board, $38.10, crateandbarrel.com; Grundtal Container, $9.99, ikea.com)

Published on HGTV.ca (March 29, 2013). Click on HGTV tag below to see all published stories by Emma Yardley.

Award-winning lifestyle journalist writing about travel, fashion, beauty and home life.

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