Guest Picks: Double-Duty Solutions for the New Year
This may look like any other tote, but it’s insulated, so you can not only take your treats to family parties, but store your picnic gear inside during the off season. I have one that’s monogrammed.
This slim side table works well in a small space and can hold multiple items like a mug, some pens, a candle and your magazines and books below.
These rolling crates are unique in that they can go anywhere inside or out. Store fabric, books that are too heavy, food in the pantry, etc., and then move them from room to room with ease.
A tray is three times as useful when it has three times the space — especially a pretty one like this that can just as easily serve desserts at a party as it can hold jewelry in the boudoir. It would work perfectly in the bathroom too. I have one in the kitchen that holds fruit.
Candleholders are really just pretty little containers that can double as holders for collections of matchbooks, binder clips, Q-tips or even change at the front door. If you have a few in different finishes, change them out per season for a new look.
Double-duty furniture right here: This piece is the best of a coat rack and a small cabinet. Count on it to hold your coats and hats, as well as your gloves and scarves, and even purses or shoes below. It’s an all-in-one closet.
Did you ever think to use a ladder for storage? This one would be perfect in my living room where blankets are a must during the winter season. It could keep them all nearby, each one looking pretty on a different rung.
A sleeper sofa is sure to get more use in your home than you might expect. I have one in the guest room, and it works perfectly as both lounging space and bed for unexpected sleepovers.
Short on entryway space or lack a closet? A hall tree with an attached bench gives you a place to put on shoes and coats. It could also store off-season items out of the way. Whatever you use it for, it’s a much-needed storage solution for every home.
Although baskets usually go on the floor, this one hangs on the wall. I have one in the kitchen, and it acts as the catchall for keys, mail, take-out menus and all the items that usually clutter up the counter. I could also see one in a hallway for the same function or in a dining room for napkin rings and bar accessories.
Need a side table, shelves and a storage container in one? This piece will keep your favorite items hidden when needed or displayed when wanted. I love how it can have different looks based on what you want to show or hide.
Although these almost-vintage-looking boxes look like accessories, they also double as containers. Open them up and — surprise! — more space for your stuff. The bright colors are perfect and remind me of the vintage suitcases I have. Plus, I love that these are sturdy enough to be stacked and still pretty enough for the living room.
Binders are usually thought of for holding papers, but what about CDs, home manuals or photos? I’m a binder fan and have lots of pretty ones around to store all kinds of items.
This handy little toolbox can be used in just about any room of the house. It’s even pretty enough to keep out for everyday things — remote control anyone?
A shelf and dresser in one? Yes, please! This collection also has side tables and taller dressers and comes in different finishes. Use this piece in an office, living area or foyer.
These glass jars can hold everything from markers to receipts. You can even serve the snacks in them at your next party, or show off the season’s latest items inside as well.
Of course there are upholstered benches for storing blankets and pillows, but this super piece holds paperwork and other supplies. It has three compartments and a moveable tray inside.
Who doesn’t want a hidden door in their house? You know the kind you can swing around and escape into the Bat Cave? This company makes ones that look like wine storage, closet doors, large cabinets or flat panels that blend right into your walls. Talk about double duty – and double the secrecy!
Don’t forget about organizing right on the walls. This magnetic primer needs a few coats to work, but it can be painted over and will create walls that you can use to stick up memos, pictures, fabric swatches and more.Next: Your Total Home Organizing and Decluttering Guide
Add one of these cubes to a room, and any guests who sit on it will never know you’re keeping a yet-to-be-finished sewing project hiding right in plain sight. It provides seating, display space and storage all in one small footprint.