Opinion: Spacey solutions to storage problems


I decided to clean out the storage closets in our basement. We have one filled with clothes, one chock-full of tools and lawn equipment and one that I simply have no idea how to describe the contents because I just chuck stuff in there and never look inside. Out of sight, out of my mind (so to speak).

I discovered in that storage area lots of magazines I had never read, including several issues of Storage SolutionsI glanced through one “Special Double Issue.” Interesting that the editors couldn’t fit everything into one edition. On the cover was the tease, FIND SPACE YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU HAD. My guess is that at one time you knew you had it, but you put it somewhere and now you can’t find it. I know that makes no sense, but when I make myself laugh, that means it’s going in the column.

The back page was an ad for fifthroom.com. This company sells solutions for people who don’t want to install shelves, hooks and cabinets and instead just want to buy a prefab shed, gazebo or pool house and cram all their crapola into one place outside their home. You can also purchase something called a pergola, but I had no idea what that was, and I didn’t want to make any room in my brain for more useless information.

The editorial that month was titled, “Help, I Need More Space!” The month before that, it was, “Do You Need More Space?” And before that, “Space, I Think That’s What We All Need!” The pages are filled with colorful photographs of homes that don’t have much furniture, but instead have a lot of adjustable nooks and crannies. With every picture, the first thing you think of is not how people have effectively used their limited space, but what possessed them to buy so much junk to begin with.

These are actual tips from the magazine. You can thank me later for bringing them to your attention:

  • Store books on a shelf vertically so you can read the titles (I know, I know, how cool an idea is that?).
  • Use large hooks for coats, backpacks and gym bags, but use smaller ones for keys and dog leashes (seriously, why didn’t I think of this?).
  • Use empty jars to store paper clips and loose screws (was this magazine the best eight bucks I ever spent?).

When Mary Ellen saw me reading Storage Solutions, she asked if she could see it when I was finished. I told her I’d leave it rolled up and stuck in the wine rack. That idea was not in the magazine. Proud to say, that one was all mine.


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