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Courses in this Department

How to Buy Appliances

How to Save on Energy Bills

Remodeling Value

Woods and Islands in the Kitchen

All About Feng Shui

Ceiling Fan Facts and Fallacies

How to Select Carpet

Buy the Fireplace of the Future

How to Hire a Contractor

Get Wired with Smart Technology

Divide and Conquer

Secret Storage Spots

Redecorate Your Home on the Computer

You Can Decorate with the Stars

Are Your Cleaning Products Making Your Family Ill?


Secret Storage Spots

Are your cabinets and closets crammed and cluttered? Do the appliances look like a display window at a department store, lined up on the kitchen counter? You need "storage surgery," and fast.

Start looking for help in unlikely places. You may have unusual, unused storage space that could be converted with minor modifications, according to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. Creating these spots just requires some innovation, as shown in the following examples.

Liquid Entry Closet. An original entry closet was good for holding only a few coats and too shallow for anything else. The oenophile owners of this older home were searching for a place to store their prodigious wine collection. Voila! Install wooden wine rack inserts and you have space for more than 100 bottles.

Plates on Display. There's no reason for stowing plates, especially attractive china, under the counter. Above-the- counter storage makes more sense and is more accessible. A built-in wall hutch creates several shelves for stacking, along with vertical slots where plates stand on edge, and mini-drawers for flatware.

Hide the Blender. Too much stuff crowding the kitchen countertop? Small appliances can be pushed out of the way when not in use. Install mini-doors under the standard wall cabinets that reach down to the counter. With doors closed, your appliance is out sight. With doors open, your storage area opens up counter space.

Stairway Space. Ever consider the enclosed, hollow space under the stairway? Shoving stuff under the stairs is a common scheme but installing hide-away bins provides unobtrusive, attractive storage. Large storage bins can be mounted to slide in and out on runners. In the closed position, they stand flush with the woodwork.