The ever-worsening COVID-19 outbreak has many consumers stocking up, and the ongoing shortage of toilet paper is only proof of that fact.
Unfortunately, finding your favorite Charmin isn't the only struggle Americans face as stockpiling efforts spread. For many of us, finding space for said stockpiles is equally hard.
Just ask yourself: You might have scored big with that 100-pack of paper towels, but is there room in your pantry? What about those three pallets of water bottles or the 10 gallons of Lysol you stocked up on?
Unless you want those items spilling out into the hallways or taking up space in your bathtub, you'll probably need to add some storage before your next trip out. Here are eight ways to do it:
- Leverage your doors. Your doors can offer some expansive untapped real estate. Add hanging shelves or over-the-door shoe racks to eke more space out of them.
- Invest in shallow storage containers. These can slide under beds, couches, and other furniture and make the most of hidden spaces.
- Look upward. Hanging shelves in the garage or suspended pot racks are great ways to free up space and increase your storage capacity.
- Install an under-cabinet rack. These attach to the underside of your cabinets and pull out for easy access. Use them for knives, utensils, cookbooks, or toiletries, and free up a cabinet or drawer elsewhere.
- Turn joists into open cabinets. Adding a simple wire shelf under the joists in your garage creates a series of handy storage cabinets. Use them for seasonal items or other things you know you won't need for a while.
- Opt for multipurpose furniture. If it's time to upgrade that bedframe, coffee table, or other piece of future, then consider one with hidden storage. There are storage ottomans, beds that flip up or have built-in storage spots, and even kitchen tables with drawers and shelving.
- Add a shed. If you have a backyard, adding a shed can be a smart way to add storage. To ensure you're abiding by any social distancing or stay-at-home orders, just order a DIY one online from Home Depot (NYSE: HD) or Lowe's (NYSE: LOW). Most are fairly easy to set up and can add a significant amount of storage space with just one purchase.
- Install more cabinets. Have a blank wall spot above the toilet or in a hallway? Think about adding a wall-mounted cabinet for a little extra space. You can get these pre-assembled from most home improvement stores. If you're not sure how to hang one, just head to YouTube for a quick tutorial. (I've done one myself, with some help!)
Of course, adding more shelving in the basement or garage or on interior walls can help, too, as can installing racks and hooks where possible. If necessary, a good decluttering can also clear out some space -- and if you sell those unwanted items, maybe offer a little cash, too.
The bottom line
Most of us are stocking up these days, and there's no telling how long we'll need to do it. Help keep your home organized by adding some extra storage space before your next Costco (NASDAQ: COST) trip or curbside pickup. Your sanity will thank you for it.