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Uncover Hidden Spaces to Find Instant Storage Solutions

- What most Americans need is a space program on the home front. Space for all our stuff, that is.

Whether it's clothes, paperwork, tech toys, sports gear, hobby tools - or all of the above and more - our possessions need a place of their own, so our homes and our lives are easier to manage.

"A new season can be a great motivator for getting organized, but people are sometimes frustrated in their attempts to create order out of chaos, especially when every closet is already overflowing," says Doug Krieger, design director for Sauder.

One secret to success is to create new storage space in places you didn't even know you had. "There are a surprising number of unnoticed spots just waiting to be tapped for organization duty," Krieger says. "Find those hidden places, add the right storage item - from a bookshelf to a compact desk - and order can banish disorganization once and for all."

Krieger and the Sauder design team have created an online guide to home organization, with a host of clutter-busting tactics, at www.sauder.com/storagesolutions. Here are a few of their tips for turning unused areas of the home into orderly storage centers:

No built-in storage on the premises?

* Even the pantry and linen closet-deprived can conjure instant on-site storage. "A well-placed armoire on a wall outside the bath or bedroom creates a handy, attractive repository for fresh linens and towels," Krieger notes.

* Instant "built-in" modular units like Sauder's EZ Cubes create custom organization, whether for toiletries or cooking utensils.

* A diminutive kitchen cart can be tucked into this busy room's smallest space to provide an instant pantry for storing and serving snacks.

No place for paperwork and hobbies? These days, you don't need a spare room to set up a permanent home office or craft center, thanks to compact, fully-outfitted design options, Krieger says.

* Computer work stations and craft units fit into a corner of the bedroom or family room, and with the addition of a handsome screen or bookshelf divider, become a private getaway space.

* A computer armoire can enhance any room's décor by keeping essentials behind closed doors when work is done.

* For a flexible solution to the home office or hobby conundrum, mobile carts for computers and crafts allow the entire work center to be easily moved from room to room, depending on what's going on in the rest of the household.

Technology: can't live with it, can't live without it?

* Trim multimedia storage towers keep DVDs, tapes and a host of other home entertainment paraphernalia in one compact place for easy access.

* If there's no room to spare for a wall-spanning home theater system, small-scaled options still offer storage shelves and drawers for peripherals.

* A corner computer desk can create a home office even in space-challenged living quarters, without sacrificing critical technology-cued features such as wire management and component storage.

Put transitional spaces to work

* That small hall between the garage and kitchen almost begs for a storage cabinet that will stash food stuffs, cleaning products, sports equipment or gardening gear.

* Even a narrow wall space next to the front door can be an oasis of order with the help of a slender message center, complete with drawers and a surface for keys, sunglasses and the dog's leash.

* The upstairs hallway can boost organization space with the addition of bookcases or a wall of more elaborate libraries with door and drawer storage.

Only inches to spare?

* Add stylish hooks almost everywhere - from doors to walls - for laundry, knitting or kids' pajama bags, not just hats and coats.

* Climb the wall to create an instant display area or attractive storage space with Sauder's fashionable and easy-to-mount Shelf Life offering, a sturdy shelving system for collections and memorabilia.

* Don't waste the storage potential of under-the-bed areas. One organizational dream is a mates bed with storage drawers that stow gear snugly underneath and a headboard that doubles as a bookcase.

"Consumers can boost their organization quotient more easily than they realize," says Krieger. "There are many hidden places in the home where the right storage piece can make all the difference in creating a sense of calm and order."

Courtesy of ARA Content

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