If you get creative, there are so many cheap storage solutions right in front of you. Consider re-purposing items when you have a storage need. This page contains cheap storage solutions.
Like most homemakers, I was always buying Tupperware or some store type of food storage containers. And like most people, I was always losing the lids. So there I was with containers and no way to seal them. One day, the sun shone on my brain and I realized I had lots of containers that I had bought at the store and then thrown away.
Jars, lots and lots of jars and plastic containers with lids are available when the filling is used up. I will not buy another container because I find it easier to use a clear jar with a lid to put leftovers in the refrigerator. They store dried beans, rice, macaroni, and all kinds of things. If one breaks, no big deal as it is easily replaced with another jar and another jar and on and on. If my husband needs a container, he can go to the pantry and pick one from the shelf. He doesn't have to worry about ever putting it back either. I love jars and jugs!
By Elaine from OK
Being a Grandma gives me the excuse to have a lot of crayons and markers around. To keep everything in storage, I use clear leftover strawberry containers. They even lock on the ends. You can also very easily stack them.
To make frugal storage, take a jumbo cereal box and glue a smaller cereal box inside that one. Decorate with nice fabric. and you have storage for papers and things.
By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario
I keep all of the large size plastic jars that cheese balls come in. I like to keep little things in them. Here is a picture of one I put an old calendar picture in. You can also place little metal baskets in the top, making it a double decker storage jar.
I scarfed these cake containers from my grandson's recent party.
For this one, I now keep all my articles and magazines to read during quiet time, commercials, or any time I have some time to read. Your coffee table may not be like mine, but you can also use these for:
Keeping yarn separated on a shelf.
An "emergency kit" in the trunk.
Keeping spuds and onions in the cupboard.
Keeping salad things together in the fridge.
Storing copy paper beside the printer.
Keep by the door for junk mail or recycled magazines.
This is tricky, but can be done: set it empty in the flatest surface you can inside the freezer, then fill with water. Don't try and fill it then lift it, it's too flimsy. When frozen, set a sheet ice cream cake on it for a party. Then use the melted water for plants or pets.
There are tons of uses for these wonderful clear cake tops. Any one of your "ITF" (Ingenius Thrifty Funers") care to add to the list?
By Poor But Proud from Salem, OR
I live in the "backwoods" of Montana. In June of 2011, we had very heavy rainfall that resulted in my kitchen ceiling leaking. I was trying to figure out how to keep my pantry dry and thought about the old fashioned 1 gallon glass jars. I took a trip in to my local grocery store to see if I could get some at the deli.
I ended up with 1 Gallon plastic salad dressing containers. They work awesome for storing sugar, flour, cornmeal, baking mix, macaroni, cereal, rolled oats, dried milk, crackers, trail mix; you name it. They have a base of about 8 inches square, they have a pretty blue screw on lid and a very convenient handle on the side. I tore off the label and made my own for the outside. If there is a recipe that is on the outside of the bag (cornbread or biscuits, etc.), I simply cut it off of the bag, stick it in a baggie, and tuck it in with the baking mix or cornmeal.
Another added benefit of these containers is that I can see at a glance what I am almost out of when I make out my grocery list. I then bring home my groceries, open the packages, and dump them into the proper container.
The only mistake I made was telling everyone in the Deli what I use them for and now the ladies are taking them home themselves. These awesome containers are being thrown away on a daily basis by any restaurant or deli that uses salad dressing. I didn't spend a dime :)
By Linny from Roundup, MT
If you're not agile enough for a cabin bed, but you really could use the extra storage - consider sleeping in the bottom bunk of bunk beds, and storing your boxes up top. You can even dress the bunks up as a four poster, thus niftily disguising all the bits and pieces stashed overhead.
I store lots of things on the patio and throughout the house. We have a hundred year old house with no closets, so we have to get creative.
I had an extra plastic kitchen size waste receptacle, and I had an extra lid that had belonged to a plastic storage tub. It just about fit the top of the trash can, it could not be too big or objects would fall off and it would be uneven. I use this to store things in and also as a desk to write on and to set things on.
It has been a blessing to me to have these ideas on how to store. I got this original idea from this site years ago, when I asked for help with organizing things. The original tip said to get a huge garbage pail, the black kind and put a wooded table topper on it and then a table cloth.
I had this white plastic table cloth, from when I used it over a window in a back room that was really drafty, after a friend broke the window.
I have really enjoyed using things I already have around the house for things I am in need of. I wanted to share how beautiful these little storage tables can be.
By Robyn F. from TN
You can cover many smooth containers with decorative Con-Tact or wrapping paper and fill them with homemade cookies or candy for gifts.
I save the packages from blankets and sheet sets (the nice ones with zippers) and use them to store all kinds of things that need to be kept clean and dry.
We have too many mugs! So, I use some of them on tops of bookcases, file cabinets, dressers, etc. to store small items. One contains a pair of scissors, buttons, and single earrings for sewing and crafts.
My son purchased a pantry for the apartment. It is the kind that comes in a box to be assembled at home. Last weekend, he put a lot of his collection of books inside the cabinet.
What are the best XL and XXL bags available? Space Bags have received terrible reviews. Why haven't any of the other companies stepped up to fill the void?
What is the largest vacuumed sealed bag available through Reynolds? If they don't make the large and XL and XXL, why not?
Have you tried the over sized bags from ziploc? I recently used them for a car trip & they were great! Very strong & stuff-able, however they are not vacuum sealed so do not shrink. They also have flexible totes. Not sure how much they cost, I got two boxes through a freebie site when they first came out. It's worth checking out.
Trish in CT
I forgot to mention that I have tried many brands of the vacuum seal type bags you are talking about. They tear easily & the zippers are just impossible & I have yet to go it the attic to find one still un-inflated.
Trish in CT
I am moving to a small 1 bedroom flat and need some funky ideas for storage for my craft stuff, also everything else. I hope ThriftyFun members can help me. Many thanks.
By Helen from U.K
What kind of crafts, and how much?
For more storage space I also hiked up two bunk beds with PVC pipe to store things under them. I am of a short stature person and so are my kids, to create more space I used this to my advantage.
The put together bookcases sold at most hardware stores (have 5 shelves) are about 6 feet tall. Taller than me.
I placed 2 against a wall and 2 in the middle of the room facing each other -- i then laid closet maid (about 6 feet long, about 6 of them) wire shelving across these bookcases making a loft type of storage
Since there are only 4 in the family each of us use one bookcases to store our clothes/shoes (I drape sheets over the shelves to hide away the messy clothes folding my kids use) and that enables me to use the closet for more storage
I also have a counter dividing the kitchen and dining/living room. Since when I moved in the counter was only in a T shape, I placed shelving under the T on either side creating more storage.
i also store plastic storage boxes under my outside bench and in the living room as seating areas
If you are storing long-term, do not use cardboard boxes. Anything can happen to them, be it roof leakage or bugs or mice.
In our area, Clementines come in nice little wooden crates. I have a bunch, which I have turned upside down on the computer monitor and the TV.
I use colorful cloth or plastic tote bags as storage for many things: reusable plastic bags, bits of fabrics and trims, travel items, scarves and shawls, gloves and mittens. I hang the bags from cute racks or pegs so they look nice. Most of the bags are purchased from thrift stores or from department stores. By Ann
I found that all the old school backpacks can be put to use as storage for under the bed and in corners of bookcases and such. They look nice and they can hold a number of things in them.
We moved into a small house. We have too much stuff that I want to keep, and not enough room to store it in.
I used Rubbermaid-type storage containers for storing Christmas decorations. I had them stacked outside, and during the rain and snow of MI winter, the contents remained dry.Storage units are expensive and inconvenient when you unexpectedly need something.So I would suggest taking the time to organize similar items in appropriately-size plastic storage containers, label them, and put them under your carport, if possible. It would be a good time to simplify and declutter your life by deciding if you really need to keep all that you have from your big house. - Errick (04/03/2001)
I got bed lifts. I can't remember what they are called exactly but they are very sturdy hard plastic things that go under the posts of a bed and add 6 inches to the storage space under my bed, they were with the back to school dorm room stuff at Walmart. I love them. I got mine last year and I love the space and the height of my "new" bed feels luxurious. I got large storage containers that are the length of the width of my twin bed and I keep holiday decor, gift wrapping supplies and extra linens in them. (07/02/2006)
What about the attic space in your house? I climbed up a ladder into the crawl space in my bedroom closet and was AMAZED at how much space I was wasting up there! I just cut some plyboard to fit through the crawl space hole,and then put them together after I got up into the attic for flooring over the rafters,wow a whole new floor of storage space. Hope this gives you some ideas too. (11/20/2006)
I too have moved from the big house. There is no usable attic space due to vaulted ceiling. I went to Sam's Club and bought the free standing wire shelving that is 4' wide and 6'high and 6 shelves. This gives floor to ceiling storage for less that $80.00 I got one for almost every room.
Great for storing out of season clothes/blankets/extra pillows/holiday stuff. (03/01/2007)
Another way to raise your bed is to put the frame on concrete blocks. That is provided you have a carpeted floor. This give you a lot more space under the bed. Better yet, declutter your stuff! (03/01/2007)