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11 creative home storage ideas

Published: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 11:07 a.m. CDT

By Andie Huber

In the never-ending battle for storage space at home, it’s imagination versus square footage.

Use every inch


Finding extra storage in the space you already have often involves some creativity, as in stretching a bookcase over the doorway. Use heavy-duty anchors to help hold the load.

Mirror, mirror

From baubles to trinkets, you can easily (and secretly) stash just about anything behind the door of this classic mirror frame. The best part? Everything you need to get ready after your morning shower is within arm’s reach.

Seating and more


Built-in banquette seating is an appealing designer detail, but what’s even better is under-seat storage. Seldom used items are hidden from view within deep pullout drawers, freeing up precious real estate in the kitchen’s main work area.

Up and away


Exposed beams and rafters are beautiful architectural details, and they are also perfect for keeping your prized reading material neatly organized and safely out of the way.

Stair stash


Who knew that stair risers could conceal such ingenious storage compartments? Hire a cabinetmaker or handyman to retrofit slide-out drawers under each step, and suddenly you’ll have storage for all those pairs of shoes piling up at the foot of the staircase.

Tray chic


Cooking accessories and oversized serving dishes find a home in low, horizontal drawers slotted into the barely visible inches between kitchen cabinets and the floor surface.

Under the stairs


Staircases take up a lot of room. Where square footage is precious, use custom-fit cabinets, drawers and closets with clever pullout drawers to make full use of the under-stairs space.

Book depot


A simple box is transformed into a secret storage solution that will fit right into the shelves of your personal library. Collect old and broken textbooks and novels, remove the spines, then hot-glue them to one side of the box. Now your bookcase can be more versatile than ever!

Rub-a-dub tub


A built-in tub surround typically provides enough space to house tilt-out storage for extra cleaning sponges, shampoo and soap. Stash your favorite bubbles here, so the kids (and guests) don’t get to them.

Fake out-let


No one would ever expect a wall safe to look like an electrical outlet. This hidden mini vault is big enough to secure valuables such as rings, credit cards and cash.

Extra charm


With built-in drawers or a lift-top bench seat, window nooks can work double duty, providing not only a cozy place to relax but also a storage spot for less frequently used items.


Bob Vila is the home improvement expert widely known as host of TV’s This Old House, Bob Vila’s Home Again, and Bob Vila. Today, Bob continues his mission to help people upgrade their homes and improve their lives with advice online at His video-rich site offers a full range of fresh, authoritative content – practical tips, inspirational ideas, and more than 1,000 videos from Bob Vila television.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

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