10 Household Item Swaps to Declutter Your Life
Sometimes apartment living translates into small spaces and lack of storage but don't let that trick you into thinking you can't reach your organizational goals. There are literally tons of inventive hacks out there to help combat space and storage issues, leaving you feeling as though you conquered all because now there is a place for everything. Some of the best ideas are those you may have never even thought of and are now going to swoop in like a valiant knight and save the day. I have three words for you - household item swaps. What do I mean by that, you ask? For instance, I give you an item - let's say a curtain rod - and I tell you that you are not actually going to hang a curtain from it, but rather use it to make a headboard for your bed using a tapestry. Boom. Behold the household item swap. So when you're looking to organize your home but also need to create better use of the space you have...swap! Camden boasts communities with apartment homes anywhere from 500 sq. ft. up to around 1800 sq. ft. but no matter which sized apartment you live in, these swaps will definitely come in handy.
1. Bar Cart
Bar carts aren't just for bar items. Think outside of the cart on this one (see what I did there?) Bar carts can be used for a gabillion different things. Say your kitchen is lacking in the cabinet department...bar cart to the rescue.
"Household Item Swaps: Bar Cart Edition"
- Coffee Bar - Place your coffee machine, some coffee mugs, sugar and any other coffee needs on the cart to make a little barista station. You can even get a little chalkboard sign for it to make it super snazzy.
- Small Appliance Storage - If you are anything like me you have a ton of small kitchen appliances. What better place to put them than neatly on a bar cart for easy access?
- Dish Storage - I once had dishes that did not fit in my cabinets because they were not deep enough. Had I thought of this back then, I would have definitely gone this route.
- Cookbook Display - Have a ton of cookbooks but need that cabinet or countertop space for other things? Put your cookbooks on a bar cart. Not only will it be cool to look at, but you can organize them so they will be much easier to find when you need one.
- Indoor Herb Garden - Display all of your herbs in little labeled pots.
- Adult Beverage Station - Don't forget, it is of course perfectly acceptable in its natural state. Just sayin'.
(P.S. Don't think it has to be limited to just the kitchen. You can use it in the living room as an end table, the bathroom to store guest towels and even in the bedroom for extra blankets and a TV. This is a situation where the only limitation is your imagination.)
2. Tension Rod
"These little babies can go anywhere!", she says with glee. Chances are that if you ask me a question on storage issues, I'll be all like, "Tension rod!". Since they come in all different sizes, they can fit virtually anywhere. That makes this is one of the coolest and most functional household item swaps. Drawers, under cabinets, closets, pantries, bathrooms, you name it.
"Household Item Swaps: Tension Rod Edition"
- Cleaning Supply Storage - One of its coolest uses is under a kitchen cabinet for hanging of cleaning supplies just like the photo above.
- Cabinet Organization - You can also place the tension rods vertically rather than horizontally in a kitchen cabinet and use them to keep things like cutting boards, baking sheets, Tupperware lids and pots and pans upright and neat.
- Shoe Storage - Place multiple tension rods in a closet to hang your heels up by the stiletto.
- Paper Towel Holder - Place inside of a cabinet for an enclosed paper towel holder.
- Wrapping Paper Storage - Place a tension rod in closet, leaving enough room between the wall and the rod to be able to stand your wrapping paper up without having it fall. On a side note - where has this hack been all my life?
- Craft Supply Storage - For all of you crafty folks out there, I'm talking to you. Store your ribbons, tapes and just about anything else you need to unravel on one of these and your life just got a million times easier.
3. Wine Rack
Just like it's cousin, the bar cart, there are plenty of non-alcoholic ways to utilize a wine rack to maximize space while organizing it as well. They make so many different styles, like the one in the photograph above to butterfly styled and foldable. You can also get plain jane wine racks all the way to the fanciest schmanciest. There is truly one for every taste. Just make sure the shape you get complements your need.
"Household Item Swaps: Wine Rack Edition"
- Bathroom Towel Holder - You could use any of the aforementioned styles by rolling the towels up like you see above. Using wall space and hanging them allows for more use of floor or countertop space.
- Beauty Product Holder - Some bathrooms have very little cabinet space. Combat this by hanging a wine rack on the wall and placing your cylinder products in it such as hairspray, dry shampoo and other hair care items.
- Craft Supply Storage - From pens and markers to yarn and knitting tools. The butterfly style works great to organize any craft items you need to store. Perfect on the wall or on a table top.
- Small Purse Storage - Some people just love their purses. If you find yourself in a pickle with where to put them, get a wall hanging wine rack to place the clutches or small purses inside.
- Garage Organizer - Do you rent a garage at your community or is one already attached to your home? Betcha never thought to use a wine rack to help with storage. Hang a wine rack up to help keep smaller items in check like gloves, flashlights, dust pans, etc.
4. Over-the-Cabinet Basket
The genius factor with this one is pretty high. These can be used for so many things in just about any room with a cabinet in it.
"Household Item Swaps: Over-the-Cabinet Basket Edition"
- Trash Can - Brilliant use for a trash can whether it is in your bathroom or in your kitchen, even in a garage. After all, no one really wants to see your trash.
- Kitchen Items Holder - Like the photo above, it is perfect to store items like foil and plastic wrap that can take up drawer space. You can also use it for kitchen utensils and cleaning products.
- Bathroom Items Holder - Big time bonus here. Store your hair dryer, curling or flat iron, hair products, etc. This makes them super easy to get to as well as opening underneath the cabinet for other things.
- Children's Room Storage - If you have a piece of furniture with doors on it, you can use this for things like diapers and wipes, creams, etc.
- Desk Organizer - Some desks have doors on either side and if you have one, this is a perfect solution to storing paper for a printer, extra cords you have for different devices and stationary, among other things.
5. Wire Garden Basket
Speaking of baskets...a wire garden basket is about to become your bestie. We're taking them from the outside world and bringing them indoors to spread some organizational joy. They make ones with narrow openings which aids in making sure things don't fall out if you choose not to line it and all kinds of sizes and shapes to suit your needs.
"Household Item Swaps: Wire Garden Basket Edition"
- Stuffed Animal/Toy Holder - This is an awesome way to get items like stuffed animals, books, blocks and other items off the floor. It makes clean-up easy and fun for the kids, too. You can even place fun labels above them on the wall or make little DIY plaques to hang on the front.
- Kitchen Items Holder - Great for storing kitchen linens like dish towels, napkins and placemats. You can also use them for a cool way to store veggies and fruits.
- Bathroom Items Holder - Toilet paper, hand towels, items for guests such as travel-sized shampoos, etc. can go in these. Also it's a convenient way to store hair dryers, curling and flat irons like some of the other items on this list.
- Laundry Room - Make one the missing sock basket and hang it by the dryer. No shelving? Use them to store items you use more regularly like dryer sheets, light bulbs and so forth.
- Closet - Load them up with scarves, purses, flip flops, hats...you get the idea.
6. Shower Caddy
Ah. The shower caddy. Whether it is the hanging kind or the college-bound, go with you kind of caddy, there are multiple ways to use them that will help organize your home without using tons of space.
"Household Item Swaps: Shower Caddy Edition"
- Spice Rack/Singular Items - Great way to store your spices, food packets like sauces, tuna and instant potatoes like the photo above.
- Nursery Items - Diapers and creams. Makes them super easy to get to and refill as needed. You can also store things like baby socks, bibs and burp cloths.
- Bathroom Items Holder - Washcloths, hair care items, hang hand towels from if you don't have a hook or ring, guest soaps and travel-size items for starters.
- Laundry Room - Use it to store your detergent and dryer sheets.
- Entry/Foyer Organizer - Using the a bigger version, you can use it to put mail, hang keys, and cute items to dress up your entryway.
- Kitchen Organizer - You can hang utensils, store things like tomatoes, and even little potted herbs.
7. Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer
A year and a half ago, a fellow Camden blogger dedicated an entire entry to the over-the-door shoe organizer. He aptly titled it 7 Shocking Ways to Use An Over The Door Shoe Organizer. You won't believe the things you can do with it. Mind. Blown.
"Household Item Swaps: Over-the-Door Shoe Edition"
- Kids Room - Store dolls in the holders, flash cards, smaller pieces to larger toys - on and on! For the nursery you can label it for burp cloths, diapers, creams - pretty much anything.
- Cleaning Products Holder - Are you as done as I am with having them all under your kitchen sink where you have to lift each one up to see what it is? Voila. Here is your solution to that problem.
- Bathroom Items Holder - Store make-up, hair ties, creams, face products and so much more in this bad boy.
- Craft Supplies - The perfect solution to storing all things craft. With so many pockets you'll probably have to think of things to put in them!
8. Magazine Holder
These little guys. They are perfect for anything slender that you want to keep upright (like the photo above) or you can also purchase the stand up kind and tip it on its side for more fun uses. Both of these types are featured below.
"Household Item Swaps: Magazine Holder Edition"
- Kitchen Items Holder - Perfect for storing things on the inside of a cabinet door like cutting boards, small baking sheets, saran wrap/foil, cooking magazines, recipe books, dish cloths, water bottle stacking and canned goods.
- Bathroom Items Holder - Hair care tools and products, toilet paper, makeup palettes,
- Children's Room Storage - Great for items such as coloring books, note pads and school items.
- Closet Organizer - Perfect for flats and flip flops and small purses/clutches.
- Desk Organizer - The upright version will hide your modem when you turn it backwards - brilliant. You can also use it to store stationery, letters, mail and bills.
9. Silverware Tray
I honestly would have never thought of this in a million years but now that I know about it - it seems so obvious. It already has compartments and they come in many different styles and shapes which is an organizational dream come true.
"Household Item Swaps: Silverware Tray Edition"
- Jewelry Holder - Hang it on a wall to not only beautifully display your jewelry but also keep it from getting tangled with another piece.
- Makeup/Hair Care Organizer - No drawer to put one in for this? No problem. Stack them inside the cabinet for better use of the space.
- Desk Organizer - Use it to organize pens, paper clips, tape - whatever your desk has in it that needs to be wrangled like cattle.
10. Ice Cube Tray
Next in line from the jewelry tray in the most obvious category are ice cube trays. These can be used in so many ways for so many small things that often get away from us when just thrown haphazardly somewhere.
"Household Item Swaps: Ice Cube Tray Edition"
- Sewing Items - Perfect little squares that hold your buttons, spools, tacks,
- Jewelry Organizer - Store your studs, rings, necklaces and so forth. This makes the hunt for your jewelry pretty much non-existent.
- Nuts and Bolts - Whether you tinker or not, chances are you have some nuts and bolts around. This is the best way to keep different sizes from being mixed together and nearly impossible to match.
- Desk Items - Pop your paper clips, thumb tacks, binder clips and more in these for ease of access.
- Make-up Organizer - Single eye shadows, blushes and glosses are a match made in heaven with an ice cube tray.
Decluttering your apartment while maximizing your space is crucial to achieving harmony (and a state of mental soundness) in your home. With all of these tips, don't you feel ready to compete in the Household Item Swaps Olympics? Which one do you think you'll be trying first?
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