help sort organize
July 1, 2010 11:07 AM   Subscribe

[new home crafty storage ideas filter]: hi hive! my sweetie and i are trying to sop (sort, organize and purge) now that our things are combined. i need some creative (and attractive) ideas for organizing a few things:

bikes. we're in a house with a mud room and have two bikes: attractive ways to keep them in there, without having them lean against the wall? i'm not sure that we can put a hook in the ceiling (guessing not, actually).

bags. we have pretty much eliminated all plastic/paper bags from our world (we even have cloth snack bags). we have a "pantry" which is shelving on the stairs to the basement and a free wall on the other side where we hang our lunch bags on two cheap adhesive hooks. we have at least 10 reuseable cloth grocery bags now that we have combined. ideas about to store those bags so that they remain useful but do not take up loads of space?

brown bags for recycling. we do have a few of these every so often for our recycling. anyone found a good way to keep them together?

baking pans/muffin pans. we do a lot of baking and after purging some extras, still have a lot of these. creative storage ideas? we have some cabinets and shelving.

ties. i was thinking of installing a curtain rod/bathroom towel rod on the wall in the bedroom and using my ties as decoration, but welcome other ideas that folks have for storing/displaying ties.

towels/linens. we have a linen/towel closet but it's pretty full with towels for guests/us and linens for guests/us. anyone come up with a good system/find one for organizing a linen closet?

i have done some basic apartment therapy/google searches but am looking for good ideas. helpful websites are super appreciated, too!

thank you!
posted by anya32 to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I actually hang my scarves on a decorative towel bar in the bedroom, and that would be a great way to store ties EXCEPT they might slither off from time to time, since they're "front heavy" and tend to be slippery. You might want a "towel bar" with a rubbery cover or textured soft coating or something.

For bags, I get pretty baskets (at yard sales, at Michael's, at anywhere, really) and store the bags in the basket on the shelf. There's also no reason you couldn't store them in one of those tubes with elastic at the top and bottom that are intended for plastic bags; just hang it from a hook and stuff full of reuseable grocery bags or snack bags or whatever. (Well, I suppose it depends on how structured the bags are. Some would work better than others.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:21 AM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: I've always been partial to hanging bikes with this because I think it looks really artistic. For the bags thing - I literally store all of our reusable bags inside one of the big reusable bags and all of the brown paper bags folded flat and stacked side by side inside one of the brown paper bags.

I saw a really awesome piece of art made with ties - they took three frames, laid the ties horizontally across them with some space in between, and then cut the ties to make one of those continuous art dealios but with ties. It was classy.
posted by kthxbi at 11:23 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: love the tube idea, Eyebrowns McGee, and love love the bike idea, kthxbi!
posted by anya32 at 11:26 AM on July 1, 2010

Response by poster: can't wait to hear more of your ideas!
posted by anya32 at 11:27 AM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: For baking pans, Crate and Barrel sell this bakeware organizer, so instead of rummaging through stacked piles, you can just slide out what you plan on using. You could probably also go for a slightly less expensive letter/file organizer to do the same thing, provided the slots are wide enough.

How do you get to the grocery store? If you drive, keep the bags in the car. If you walk or bike, folding them and putting them in some kind of storage container takes up minimal space. Like a small basket on top of the fridge, or perhaps cabinet. I keep mine on over the door hooks, but I only have 3 bags, so they don't look too bulky/puffy just hanging out.

Get rid of towels and sheets you don't need. I tend to hoard towels, because I'm of the "butttt they're perfectly good!" mentality even though they have some loose strings and fringes. So think about how often you use towels, how many guests you generally take in and towels to accommodate them, and then use the rest as cleaning or kitchen rags. For those that you intend to keep, I like folding cubes like these for small things, like face clothes, hand towels, etc. They're great to organize things on shelving, and since they're collapsible, save space when not in use.
posted by raztaj at 11:46 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For your bikes, we have this hook-y thing in black which works really well for us. It's nice because you can stick your gloves and other bits inside the hole, and it doesn't look too weird when there's no bike hanging on it.
posted by ukdanae at 12:02 PM on July 1, 2010

Response by poster: i hate to admit that you're right, raztaj, but you probably are about the towels and sheets :) the bakeware organizer is neato thing.
posted by anya32 at 12:04 PM on July 1, 2010

Response by poster: oh, the hook-y thing does look great, ukdanae and would add some color to a room. not sure if i can keep the bikes in their regular position, though, due to wall space. i will have t investigate.
posted by anya32 at 12:05 PM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: For the bikes :ikea hack 1; ikea hack 2

For the shopping bags, maybe a purse rack?
We just fold up our brown paper bags and tie a stack of them with twine, then hide them under cabinets, or in cupboards, etc.
If you have a local Ikea, they have some pretty awesome storage options.
posted by purpletangerine at 12:40 PM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: For bed linens, store an entire set for a bed inside one of the pillow cases for that set. If possible, keep the bed linens in the room they're intended for, instead of a central linen closet. Then there's no confusion if you have multiple sized beds and can't figure out what size sheets you're looking at.

Also, if storage is NOT at a premium (someday in your future), keep a minimum of two sets of sheets for every bed. Makes laundry easier since you can change your sheets without having to wash and dry the one set before bedtime.

They make specialized hangers for ties that work great.

Whenever space is at a premium, go vertical. Mount shelves up by the ceiling in the bathroom and store extra towels up there. Works in other rooms, too, of course.
posted by wwartorff at 1:58 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We have a gigantic linen closet with big cavelike shelves, and what helped was adding more shelves to subdivide the space - the hardest part for me is trying to extract the towel I want from a 18" stack of towels, without turning the whole thing into a pile. Despite the fact that we had plenty of space, it was mostly open air because the stacks just wouldn't stand high enough to fill it. Add more shelves!

We added storage under the bed to put our sheets in, so the linen closet only has guest stuff (our bed=queen, all guest stuff=full). I've heard people rave about the idea of storing each (folded) sheet set inside a pillowcase to keep it all together, but that's not the way my mom did it, so I couldn't possibly. ;) I have found (despite the fact that my mom doesn't do it this way, either) that it decreases digging around when I have a stack of pillowcases separate from a stack of sheet sets, as opposed to putting the pillowcases with the matching sheets and hoping it all comes out when I tug on it. I want to get a "stuff-sack" (like for a sleeping bag) to decrease the size of the fluffy down comforter, and allow it to be flung up onto the top shelf in summer, instead of shoved up there like a giant amoeba.
posted by aimedwander at 2:04 PM on July 1, 2010

Response by poster: the ikea hack ideas are great, purpletangerine. just need to see if there is enough space in the room for bikes to be up that way. i really like the purse rack idea, too. wwartorff, i love the hangers for ties, but i think i would ilke to use the ties to add color to the room. maybe i can use one of those hangers for the more commonly colored ties. appreciate the suggestion! and i love your idea, and aimedwander's for the pillow cases. my problem is that all the towels fall out when i try to grab just one. i love all these ideas and can't wait for more. anyone have any more baking pan ideas? i like the one that was suggested but would probably need two of those - i may have to go that route to keep things organized! thanks!
posted by anya32 at 2:08 PM on July 1, 2010

Response by poster: thanks for the ideas! i will try out a mix of all of them. don't think more folks will comment at this time so i'll close it up.
posted by anya32 at 5:50 AM on July 3, 2010

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