Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Creative Storage 101

After 41 years of marriage, 24 of them spent in our last home, we moved to a different town and downsized.....considerably.  We have a lot less cabinet and storage space in this house so I had to think creatively about ways to store items we use on a daily basis.  Things like bath towels, tea towels and dish cloths -  necessary items unless you don't bathe or wash dishes.  

Years ago I saw someone on a talk show demonstrate how to pack a suitcase in the most efficient way.  He rolled the t-shirts, underwear and socks that he placed in the suitcase and it saved considerable space enabling him to pack many more items.  We have been doing that for years with clothing items we put in drawers.  Why wouldn't that work for our bath towels and tea towels?  So, I gave it a try and it is one of the smartest things I have ever done.  

Our kitchen has much less cabinet space than our former kitchen and I lost our big double pantry.  I have had to do Creative Storage 101.  There are not many drawers for me to store my tea towels, dish cloths and potholders in.  What to do, what to do?  My first thought was to get a small kitchen island for extra storage.  Our kitchen is a galley type design and there was not a lot of room for anything big.  The search was on.   

I was talking with my best buddy Don from back home explaining my dilemma.  Well, he is a super shopper extraordinaire and he was on the hunt.  Low and behold, he called me in just a few hours and said he had seen something at Target that might work and it was brand new.    I thanked him profusely and I was on my way.   There are serendipitous moments in life and this was one of them.  The cart he had told me about was perfect and it was only $29.00!  We made our purchase and hurried home.  Actually, the cart is for a microwave, but I planned to use it as a small cooking prep station and for storage.  I already had a few baskets and I used one to store my tea towels and dish cloths in and all my cloth napkins and napkin rings are in another.  There are potholders hanging on the end of the rack on the hooks provided.  Trivets and a basket of paper napkins are on another shelf.  There is cutting board on the top that is movable.  Absolutely perfect for my needs.  

I roll my towels in the following fashion to maximize the space in the basket.  We do the same with our bath towels and store them in a big basket in the bathroom as you can see in the picture above on the right.  Here is how you roll the towels:

Lay your towel out flat like this.   Then fold the towel in half, short ends together.  
Next, fold the towel in half again.
Start to roll the towel from the short side, rolling tightly.
The towel will look like this when finished.

You will not believe how much room this saves.  So much better than storing them flat.  This is what the basket looks like up close.
I don't roll my cloth napkins because I press them (yes, I really do iron) and fold them in different ways when I place them on the table.   This is how the basket looks up close.  There are 24 napkins in this basket.
Now, everything is within easy reach when I am in the kitchen.  It is all tidy and organized.  Same for the bath towels.  We lost a cabinet and a huge linen closet in the move, but  now everything works.  

If storage is an issue for you, I hope you will give these methods a try.  It is easy, inexpensive and saves a lot of space.  Also, try rolling t-shirts, underwear and socks in your storage drawers.  Oh, and don't forget to try it when you pack your suitcase.  You will be amazed!  

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself~Alan Alda

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