Upcycle Your Way To DIY Storage Solutions

ladderSpend any amount of time in the local hardware store and you’ll see a number of ways they want to sell you a complete storage system. No muss, no fuss, all you have to do is buy it and put it together. But if you’re on a budget (who isn’t?) and you have some basic DIY skills (hanging things on the wall, paint, etc.) then you can probably make a great DIY storage solution from something you already have — with just a few modifications. Here’s four great ideas to try out yourself!

One of the most useful ways to upcycle an item you probably already have is to use an old ladder as a shelf system. Especially if you have a ladder that is a) wooden and b) you wouldn’t otherwise want to use as a ladder. Just be sure to sand it well and prime it first before painting; give it a nice vibrant color if you have natural or light colored shelves or make the ladder a lighter color if your shelves are colorful.

book spine
So what do you do once you have shelf space, and still need ways to store things out of sight? This is a neat trick: turn an existing bookshelf into a hidden storage unit! For this you want to find old hardcover books with sturdy spines; there are plenty at the local thrift store if you don’t have any from home that you want to use. You can use a basket, wooden box, or even a cardboard box for the storage once you glue the book spines all along one edge of the box. You can use it to store extra remotes or even videogames in the living room, or art and school supplies in a bedroom or dorm.

kitchen jars
There are also smaller storage solutions to make kitchens and bathrooms tidier. If you have old mason jars, pickle jars, anything with a tight screw on lid, you can store pasta and other kitchen staples in plain sight without taking up valuable counter space. Secure the lids onto the underside of your upper cabinets (you will want to use a sturdy nut and bolt system to make sure it does not fall off. Don’t use glue!) and then you can fill the jars with whatever you use frequently and screw them into the lids just like installing a lightbulb. Use different color glass for different items or use your crafting skills to decorate the outsides to make your kitchen a work of art!

bathroom jars
In the bathroom, it’s likely you don’t have an upper cabinet to do this trick, but that doesn’t mean you can’t modify the jars to hold your small items. You can get metal clamps at the local hardware store for this attachment. You’ll need a nice wood piece for the background. Paint or decorate the wood to taste and then secure the clamps to the background. Fit the jars into the clamps and tighten them. Now you can use it to store everything from cotton balls, makeup brushes, combs, whatever you want, and your sink area is cleared of clutter!