52 Weeks: #50 Go Vertical for Storage

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Hi all, can you believe how close we are to the end?  Week #50, whoot!  Today’s topic is all about untapped vertical storage space.  Whether it be in closets, cupboards, garages or shelves, vertical storage is often sadly neglected.  I was thinking about this today when I was reorganizing my cupboards underneath the bathroom sink.  In two instances I doubled my storage space just by going up.  Let me show you how I did it.

And just to keep it real here I’ll show you the “before I tidied up” picture first:

and then after a quick purge and tidy, ahh much better:

Those pull out shelves are fantastic for maximizing space and no I didn’t buy them at a fancy organizing store.  In fact I purchased the two drawer set at a Bargain Shop for $8.00, you just got to keep your eyes open.

Next is the drawer system I use to organize my lady things.

The before tidy picture:

and after a fast tidy and basket addition:

The three stackable drawers on the right is where I keep my feminine products.  Do you see how much space is created by going up?  Again these drawers were purchased from Field’s (another bargain type shop) for a reasonable price (although I don’t remember how much exactly, I’ve had them for awhile).  I’d like to buy another set for the other side but they haven’t had any in stock for awhile so I’m patiently waiting for more to come in 🙂  The yellow basket just holds my curling iron, lint brushes and toiletry bags.

Your challenge this week is to check your closets and cupboards and see if there is any unused space you can utilize by going vertical.  Perhaps it’s as simple as adding an additional shelf in your closet like my husband did.

Since I was highlighting my bathroom cupboards today I thought I’d also give you an update on what was going on above my cupboards and the never ending battle I have with my hair tools.  Last time I shared with you I was using a basket and it looked like this:

Well let me tell you, rolling up the cords and stuffing the basket got old fast.  I also would have to wait for them to cool down and who has time for such things 🙂  Anyway I came up with a new solution (yes again..I know, I know…the life of an organizing junkie remember).  Here is what it looked like before a little tidy:

As you can see I added a shelf with some hooks to hang my tools up and out of the way.  Today I improved on it a bit with a few more tweaks:

I tidied up the cords and added cord ties to keep them from getting unruly on me.  I also brought back my original basket as well.  I was trying out a different one for awhile but it was too small for my needs.  Here I keep my most frequently used hair products.  Don’t be afraid to try new solutions every once and awhile because it’s the only real way to know if it will work for you or not.  Anyway even though this solution isn’t a pretty one, practicality won out in the end.  Besides this is my ensuite so it’s not like anyone else will see it.  Well except all of you but you won’t tell right?  It’s just nice to not have the frustrations in the mornings anymore and for me that beats out all else every time.  I really hate to be annoyed 🙂

So there you have it.  Another week comes and goes.  Hope this gives you a few ideas to solve some of your own organizational dilemmas.  Don’t forget to share how you make out with this week’s challenge!

PS:  Please let me know if you have any ideas for organizing challenges in the new year.  Just trying to do some brainstorming around the idea.  Thanks!


Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments. You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to any post of an organizing nature that you feel will inspire and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.

One other thing to consider: by including your link below you, you are giving me permission to use parts of your post including pictures as a spotlight in future 52 Weeks of Organizing posts. Proper credit and links will of course be provided. If you are not okay with this please do not link up. Thanks!

Filed under: 52 Weeks of Organizing, Bathroom, Before and After


25 Responses to 52 Weeks: #50 Go Vertical for Storage

  1. 1
    Jessica says

    What?!? Only 2 weeks until 2012? That’s crazy talk! Have you seen the idea of mounting pieces of PVC pipe on the inside of the cupboard door to hold curling irons and flat irons? I saw it on Pinterest! It looks like it would work great for your situation.

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      Actually inside the cupboard doors was the first way I tried to organize everything but to be honest I was way to lazy to put them there every day 🙂

  2. 2
    Sinea says

    Vertical is the only way to go! Sometimes I feel like I want to raise the ceiling, LOL, but that’s a big sign that its time to get rid of more stuff!

  3. 4
    Melissa says

    I recently saw an idea for under cabinet storage also that said to use a tension rod (like a small curtain rod) and hang squirt bottles from it. Here’s the link from my friend…I might try the tension rod idea.


    I have a triangle linen closet. The builders of this house…well it’s difficult to explain, but the end result is that my linen closet is triangular. So I can stack a single stack of towels on the shelves in it, but its a single towel wide..so I end up folding and cramming things in the leftover triangle bits. I can take pictures if necessary. Do you have any suggestions for that? Outside of a separate new linen closet somewhere?

  4. 5
    Lindsey Williams says

    Use an “over the cabinet door organizer” made of metal. They are generally in the kitchen aisle. The top basket is big enough for my blow dryer and the bottom is just right for my straightener. When Im done; I turn them off, pick the bathroom, loosely wrap the cord around the bottom of the straightener and put it away. The basket is metal so i dont worry about burning it and things are OFF MY COUNTER and hidden away.

    • 5.1
      Laura says

      Great idea but wouldn’t work for me unfortunately….I did try putting things into the cabinets below but just couldn’t make it stick as a habit.

  5. 6
    Michaela says

    After I looked at your pictures, a light totally went off in my head. I have all the exact same pull out shelves in my bathroom – but I have been using them wrong this entire time (how long might that be . . . hmmm?) Anyway I have been stuffing toilet paper and washcloths in them all this time, and I should have put all my products in there. Wow! I just might finally be able to use my bathroom cabinets to store linen instead of products. Thanks so much for the great (too obvious) answer!

  6. 7
    Christine says

    What happens at the end of 52 weeks?? Are you going to do a version 2? Surely there’s more you have to share with us? I have so enjoyed reading the posts so far. How am I going to cope…I don’t wanna change this habit!!

  7. 8
    The Bearded Iris says

    Hi Laura! Just checking in to say hello. I haven’t been linking up lately because the projects I’ve been working on have not really been interesting enough to write about, but I’m hanging in there. And no, I can’t believe it is already week #50!

    Love the vertical idea. Your “lady things” storage system made me giggle. 🙂 You are a treasure.

  8. 10
    Katherine says

    My organizing challenge is my kids room – soo many toys of various shapes, sizes – overflowing out of bins, no $ to buy one of those expensive closet organization systems that you can install. How can I keep it organized?

  9. 11
    [email protected] says

    I know I have more vertical space I could be using. Thanks for the reminder. And I love that you want to make things practical and easy for yourself. That’s what I need, too.

    I am sad to see this end soon. I have so appreciated your advice and the link up. I would love it if you did something similar for 2012!

  10. 12
    Sandi says

    I plan on organizing my home next year. I have a question? I love the storage trays, bins, and organizers but I get overwhelmed at the store. Does anyone have a plan on getting started. Many times I buy an item thinking I could use this here then when I get home it doesn’t fit or work as I expected. I have no problem trying it somewhere else but then my original problem is still there. Do you keep a list of what needs to be done or measurements for possible spaces?

  11. 13
    Lisa says

    yes, please do a version 2 of 52 weeks! how about assigning us a particular project each week? Photos, linen closet, master bedroom dresser, etc. We should be able to finish anything in a week, right? Well, except for those photos…but even if we can’t FINISH the project, we can come up with a plan/schedule to finish it.

  12. 14
    Mile High Stilettos says

    Awesome site!! I was looking for blogs that could help inspire me to clean my chaotic house!!! Having a toddler is very difficult. She always wants to pull things out of order. Luckily, with this technique, clean up should be much easier. I’ll have the no-touch objects very high and her toys at the bottom for easy access. Thanks a lot! 🙂

  13. 15
    Debbie says

    That really looks like a mess. I would walk in and see that and all those wires wold drive me nuts. Why not get the style station you talked about in November!

    • 15.1
      Laura says

      Unfortunately, it’s not available for sale yet Debbie. I think the point I really wanted to stress here though is the importance of regardless of how something looks if it works for the individual that is what matters most. This is the beauty of organization…there are no right or wrong answers. I’m happy to say that while the situation is not ideal visually it is still working better than any of the other options I’ve tried. I’ve set it up according to my personality which means that two months later I am still maintaining this system which I can’t say about some of the other perhaps more visually appealing solutions I’ve tried in the past. For me function and maintenance win out over how it looks every time.

  14. 16
    Chris says

    great ideas! To tame cords I use the elastic ponytail holders with the ball on each end.


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