View Full Version : Need help with the BIG "O"....Organization!!!

04-27-2004, 07:15 PM
I know that somewhere way back when, someone on abcteach was talking about a great book for organization. I can organize things very effectively, but I need "best-use-of-space" ideas. We have a small home with no storage--and I mean NONE! We have a slab home (no basement) and vaulted ceilings (no attic) as well as no closets ....yeah, yeah...."why'd ya go and buy a house like that???"....house was built by my family "back in the day"...need I say more? :rolleyes:

Any ideas on creative use of space, storage solutions that are a bit unorthadox, or a new way to recycle odds and ends into "storage" would be most helpful. The cheaper the better. I am pretty artistic, so I can decorate anything to make it look better.

Thanks! BTW, I am really enjoying the things offered on this site--anyone check out the hieroglyphics yet??!!!

04-27-2004, 08:26 PM
I've seen some great looking "cabinets" made with tall bookcases and then at the top you add a springform curtain rod w/ curtain to cover the whole case. It makes it look very neat and then you can store tons of books/craft supplies and such behind the curtain. I also like filing cabinets for files and such. That really helps me stay organized. Look at garage sales or thrift type stores for storage pieces if you have time. I bet you can find some cool stuff out there.

If you have a garage you can store things out there in bookshelves or cabinets. I bought a big plastic one and put all my teacher books in there and it's in my garage. We have a basement but I hate to run all the way down there for books so I use my garage. You can also get underbed storage boxes on wheels that are easy to hide and store quite a bit.

Good luck!

04-27-2004, 09:32 PM
Hey Brooke....

Let me go back to when 5 lived in an 800 square foot:( house

GRRR...that was before we built the new home.

Anyway,here are a few things I did. I used cereal boxes and cracker boxes for word walls. I covered them with paper and either printed the words or typed them on computer and glued on the boxes. We could put them on the tabletop(actually a small kitchen bar was all I had) and folded them away when not in use. Actually anything that trifolds like cracker boxes can be covered and turned into a poster board for either plotting history or science topics.I did that too.

I turned the babies changing table into a bookshelf. Poor thing!lol He did just fine with me changing him on the couch.

I gather you already have the rolling bins under your bed for storage. I used the rolling bins under the bed for storing our school stuff/curriculum away each day.

I bought the plastic containers that suppose to store stuff between the washer and dryer and stored some more school stuff in there.

My last container was in the bathroom(lol) behind the door.

In addition, I bought the (can't remember the name) hooks or bar that has 4 or 5 holes for clothes hanger, where you can hang four shirts on one hanger going down instead of using all the closet rod across.It freed up just enough space to get a see through tall container from Lowes in each closet. I stored more school stuff in there.

I also used cloth shoe storages over the door. I stored our flashcards,manipulatives,pencils,scissors there. I hung that on the back of the bathroom door.lol

I use baby formula cans for storing small things and crafts. Also cleaned, baby food jars are great storage for small beads,etc. for your daughter. i know you don't have babies anymore, but someone at church is probably bound to be happy to help you with this.

I didn't buy clear plastic storage jars until about a year later. i found those at dollar general.

I also got bunk beds for my boys, but i don't know if you can really do that with one boy, one girl. My sister did *A* bunk bed for each kid.. She put the bed on top and desk,etc. below. They built it. She had NO room except the kids bedroom. She utilized the space well. Its so efficient in there. All desks and even bookshelf underneath and bed on top.

Hope this helps

04-27-2004, 09:54 PM
Well, Tina, I've found the source of my storage problems.....by breastfeeding and making my own baby food, I unknowingly denied myself necessary storage items!:eek:

All joking aside, I have made use of many of the things you have suggested.....ds has underbed storage (we had bunk beds and found we had more room by running his bed along the wall under the window and away from the baseboard heater). Dd has a captain's bed so we use her extra drawers for blanket and other storage. Once the kids are a bit older we plan on making loft beds so they can have desks and such underneath. They each have a student desk ($2 at the local ps auction!). We have also tried to get rid of toys....we don't even purchase toys, EVER, but they are STILL the only gradkids on either side of the family.....soooo.......:rolleyes:

I do have an homeschool cabinet in our kitchen, which we succeeded in breaking the hinges! lol....think I'm gonna go with the curtain idea...thanks!

I happened upon Organizedhome.com. Homeschooling mom that has some great ideas....I think that might be who I was thinking of that was mentioned on the forum before.

04-27-2004, 11:01 PM

I'm glad to know that we aren't the only ones that have survived in 800 sqft, though by July we will have 6 in our house. :eek:


Here are some more ideas:

Use old suitcases (stacked),trunks,or woodcrates as a base for a coffee table or as end tables.

Use plastic bins with lids stacked and covered with a tablecloth or material to make a nightstand.

Build a frame for a bed so that it is elevated (use just the matteress and not the box springs, but build the frame so that the bed will be at a comfortable height) this will give you a lot more storage space under the bed. We even made another bed that rolls under the elevated bed. We covered the frame of the roll away with a dust ruffle so that it looks like part of the upper bed when it is put away. We roll it out each night for my dd and put it away each morning so the kids have more room to play.

We have bookcases everywhere in the house. There isn't a wall in the house that doesn't have a bookcase or other shelving type system. Some spots have shelves like you would find in a closet, these I use in areas where I still want access to the lower part of the wall for furniture, but don't want to waste the space up high (we only have 7ft ceilings so everything is still within reach)

I hope this gives you a few ideas. Good luck

04-28-2004, 07:55 AM
One organization thing you might look into is those storage cubes that you can find at Target/Wal-mart. They are individual squares that are made of wire and measure about 14" x 14" ea you can then arrange them into whatever cube shape meets your needs.

I used these to make a habitat for our guinea pig on top and underneath I have 8 open cubes for storage of books and craft things. In the center I have a plastic 3 drawer container (got at Wal-mart). Ok now for the magic secret to these things.. :) Don't use the connectors that they sell with them. Dumb things work for a while and then...just trust me on this. Get yourself some zip strips. You know the plastic cables, tie wraps, I think those are the only other names they go by.

They are the plastic one time use strips that you can make into a circle. Sorry hard to explain. Anyway...use these to put together your cubes and it will stay together. ;) Be sure to think outside the box because by doing it this way you don't have to have top to top and bottom to bottom. If you want one cube that is only 8" then...put the strips in the places that will make that happen. Make sense? You could also make shelves within each cube.

Now...keep in mind how many *slates* you will need to make your dream storage. :D

I also use the cheapy throw away Rubbermaid containers, that they make now, for storing crafts and such. The ones I get are clear so...I can easily see what is is each one and they can be stacked nicely. Best part...they don't break the bank. :)

04-28-2004, 10:46 AM

I know exactly what you mean by zip strips! I'll check into that. We have around 1300 sq.ft. here, but I don't know where it all went!:confused:

Also, I am trying to picture the guinea pig habitat on top.....we have guinea pigs that need some extra space.....what did you do for the enclosure, assuming you didn't want guinea pig pellets falling through the wire onto books and such?....:D

Thanks for the great ideas everyone! BTW, after looking at Organizedhome.com, I have come to the realization that the clutterbug is thriving in our home. We have tried to kill it in fits of rage, but he waits in the shadows for his opportunity to sneak in the back door and sabotage our clutter-free spaces. Looks like I may need to work on that first :(

04-28-2004, 04:34 PM

I sent you a private message that I could send you a picture of our habitat. I must confess I got the original idea from www.cavycages.com NEAT WEBSITE!!! You use Coroplast (sp?) to make the bottom of the cage. We've had ours for about 7 months now and yes we have a very spoiled pig. :p

Ours is about 2ft x 4ft. It is easy to clean and the space is all used underneath. :) I have one cube that we keep the library books on so they don't get mixed up with the other books.

04-28-2004, 07:32 PM
Hey ladies,
i have my two piggies in my office for me to enjoy their company!
Mickey and Loverboy!!!

04-28-2004, 10:30 PM
Ours are Einstein (long-haired white male) and the other is Shiela (not sure how to spell it--4yo daughter named her). She is red with swirls in her hair......I'm new to guinea pigs, so I'm learning the types and such. Great pets! I love the site posted above--cool enclosures! And lots of added storage! Yipee!