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Time to step up your storage.

By Katie Holdefehr
February 25, 2021
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It's a general fact of life that if your home doesn't have established storage systems, your belongings will naturally wind up in piles. Piles of shoes, piles of clothes, piles of toys. Then the next time you're searching for a specific item, you're faced with a needle-in-a-haystack scenario. To prevent these piles from cluttering up the floor in the first place, implement some of the storage ideas below. Each one is designed to lift your belongings off the floor so every room not only is neater, but also looks neater.

2020 Real Simple Home Tour: Cleaning Closet
Credit: Christopher Testani

Bring Shelves Down to the Floor

One of our favorite organizing lessons we learned from working with the pros at Horderly on the 2020 Real Simple Home is to install shelves right down to the floor in a utility closet. Otherwise, it's tempting to let bulky items—trash bags, kitty litter, cleaning supplies—pile up on the floor. Instead, measure the items you typically stash on the ground, then adjust the height of the shelves accordingly. Install a storage rack for holding mops and dry dusters so the floor is completely clear. 

Hanging Shoe Organizer in Closet
Credit: Container Store

Set Up a Hanging Shoe Rack

$15, containerstore.com

I know from experience how easy it is for shoes to land in a pile on the floor of your closet. You start out thinking you'll keep them in tidy rows, but then life happens. The solution: set yourself up for success with a hanging shoe organizer. Depending upon your space, choose one that that either attaches to the closet rod or clips onto the closet door

IKEA Trones Shoe Storage Cabinet
Credit: IKEA

Step Up Your Entryway Storage

$25 for 2, ikea.com

If the shoes tend to pile up in the entryway rather than the closet, IKEA's sleek, wall-mounted TRONES cabinets are the answer. Just seven inches deep, these thin organizers are ideal for narrow hallways. 

Under-Desk Cable Storage Tray
Credit: Target

Install an Under-Desk Cable Tray

$30, target.com

Check out the floor underneath your work-from-home setup. Is it a tangle of cords and cables? We thought so. To keep cords off the ground and easy to reach, order this under-desk tray. 

Kids Toy Storage and book storage in white and wood
Credit: West Elm

Introduce a Drop Spot for Toys

$350, westelm.com

Books and toys scattered all over the playroom? Invest in this stylish mid-century modern "toy dump." The open cubby is low enough for little ones to put their own toys away, while the shelves above hold favorite picture books. Unlike most toy storage you would relegate to the playroom, this piece is elegant enough to be left out in the living room. 

Floating Media Console in teak
Credit: Crate and Barrel

Float Your Furniture

$1,499, crateandbarrel.com

In general, wall-mounted furniture that levitates above the floor will help make a room look less cluttered. Consider a floating tv stand, storage cabinet, or nightstand. The best part: it's easy to mop or vacuum underneath floating furniture, so you won't have to worry about accumulating dust bunnies.