Storage Ideas for a House With No Closets

I need cheap, frugal ideas on how to create space like the hat holder idea I have in my house. It is just plain string and it is knotted with loops all the way down and then secured to the wall with a nail. I hang all my Velcro baseball and racing hats from the loops.


This is an older house, before closets were invented with no halls. It is cottage style with one living room and dining room in a square with other rooms all around it in a circle. I am surprised there are even doors. There are no closets. We have nails on the wall to hang stuff, when we can get a nail to penetrate the incredibly hard walls. Does anyone have any other storage ideas for a small place that will not break the bank? We already use plastic tubs and dressers for most of the clothes. Thanks.

By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN

June 8, 20090 found this helpful

You could try getting an inexpensive wardrobe from a second hand shop or op shop or garage sale and put shelves in yourselves. We just used shelving brackets and some chipboard and the shelves are removable if you want to turn it back into a wardrobe. My mother made it years ago and we still have it - it moves when we move just in case the next house has no linen press.

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June 8, 20090 found this helpful

Back in the day, we used orange crates for cheap but efficient decor and storage. Try your local dollar store or big lots for plastic crates. If you stack them on their sides just make sure they are secured to each other. Good place for clothes, shoes, books, whatever. Maybe clean metal or plastic sand pails on top of crates for socks, gloves/mittens/scarves - smaller items that can be clustered together. Hope this helps or gives you more ideas. Good luck!

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June 8, 20090 found this helpful

Even though my house has closets it is a small house with small rooms. The closets we found to be narrow and coat hangers about just make it to let doors close so we lost the space in back of clothes we always had before. We had to come up with new ideas on how to store things.

If you have not already filled under your bed then get some under the bed storage containers (the plastic ones). Depending on how deep the space is you might be able to stack one on top of the other. One of our beds does, one doesn't. In them you put things that are seasonal, not used everyday. Also good for bedding, pillows. Or get the space bags (the ones you fill and then use vacuum to remove air). It really freed up space with bedding that took up too much space.

If you have exhausted the under bed spaces already and still need space for shoes get the over the door hanging shoe organizers and put them on backs of bedroom doors. Mine holds 16 pair of shoes. Some doors are so tight at the top that you might have to cut grooves in the top of the door to let the door close. That is better option than nailing it to the door because if you ever wanted to paint it or replace it then it is easier to remove.

Have you toyed with the idea of taking a few feet across a wall of the rooms and making a closet? A friend of mine told me she had little closet space and complained to her husband so much that he finally took a hanger and added a few inches to know how deep an area to make. He put up a "wall" on one end and used the existing wall on the other end. He measured the longest thing that was on a hanger which was pants and put a rod up just clearing few inches from floor at bottom so you could put flat boxes or shoes on the floor under them. He had to estimate how many feet he would need for that part. Then he measured the longest top and allowed the same for it making the rod he was putting in as low as he could.

Above both rods (leaving area for hangers to go on and off the rod easily) he put in cubby holes above the rods for purses, scarves, underwear, t-shirts or shirts not on hangers, sweats, socks, etc. Some items were put in plastic containers like shoe box size for easier going through and made it easier to utilize all the space from top to bottom. Once this is done and painted the stuff was moved into it. In time he found the folding doors for one room, the other room he put bi-fold doors for that room was a bit larger. In your case and you already have some dressers they could be put in the bottom of closet with all the cubby holes above them and do the rods all on one side. It made the rooms smaller, but they gained storage beyond belief. As a one-up, avoid using sliding doors because they make it hard to get to things in the middle. And don't dismay if you can't afford doors right off.

Get a sheet that matches your room, make a pocket in the top to thread a good sized cord or smaller size clothesline and attach to hooks for covering the area. Are walls are hard too. We had to get a heavy duty drill to drill starting holes and use the things I think are called wall anchors to put the screws or nails in. We also here and there have had to use an electric stapler to help get something up to stay up. Hope his helps you.

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June 8, 20090 found this helpful

I have a friend who saw this in a magazine and reproduced it. You make an entire wall shelves and curtain it off completely. In the magazine the shelves were built of inexpensive boards and attached to a channel system that ran from ceiling to floor(top shelves were used for seasonal clothes and childhood memorabilia). The shelves only take up about 12" and the curtains are floor to ceiling and hide everything. She has done this in 2 rooms. In one room she even has a couch in front of the storage unit, the wall adds texture and depth to the room.

Another idea is to buy inexpensive bookshelves and add doors or curtains to them or even a straw type shade will work. Instant storage! Good luck.

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June 9, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Robyn,

I picked up a couple old 2 Drawer file cabinets at yard sales, covered with a round piece of wood, or pressed wood and covered with very pretty table cloths to match my decor. I use them as my end table. Very pretty, inexpensive and holds what ever you want. Also, no one knows what lurks beneath. Love Old houses but they do have some drawbacks. Good luck.

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June 9, 20090 found this helpful

A large trash can with a round board as a bedside table and a topper will store blankets and sheets.

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June 10, 20090 found this helpful

Cloth shoe holders, on the backs of doors I have little storage in my bathroom, but have used a shoe holder to store all those must have products in my bathroom. I also use them in my only closet as my underthings drawer. I found all of them at a local dollar store.

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June 12, 20090 found this helpful

For a bathroom you could store towels in a wicker lined hamper, or a medium sized wicker basket. If you hang u pa sturdy shelf with molly bolts (hardware store) you can buy those canvas or wicker typed baskets to hold things in and if you buy several of the same it looks uniform and good. sometimes you can find really sturdy baskets at walmart inexpensive or look at yard sales.You can use a an old low dresser in dining room for linens-table cloths buy a really nice runner for top and put a nice bowl or something there it will look like a buffet-side table. You would be amazed at what paint can do change the whole look of something. I love watching those design shows where the budget is tight and they are forced to use imaginations. Good luck :)

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June 20, 20100 found this helpful

I know it as been a while since this post and I have the exact same problem, that still is not completely solved.

What I did was look around the house to try and find unused space, like over doors and windows and built cabinets and painted them the same color as the wall. We also used the attic and built small closets up there, before that we had clothing racks in the attic.

I still have a problem, it isn't really enough because my house is small and I can't really stack milk crates or anything because space is limited. Eventually I'm going to have to build and extension or move. I hope my small tips help at least a little. Good luck (and good luck to me too!).

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