Stuff. We all have it — and we all need somewhere to put it! No matter how small your home is, here are some clever, creative ways to make the most of your area

I’m really enjoying my new car so far. (I have had it for just over a week.) My previous car had limited trunk space, but this new one has more than enough. It’s got a hatchback trunk with foldable seats for even more cargo room, but one of the best surprises has been the hidden storage underneath the trunk mat. I’ve seen cars that hide the spare tire in the same space, but this new car does both. It has space for storage under the trunk mat, and space for the spare underneath.

It always amazes me when I find clever spots for extra storage. In the home, I’ve had to get creative in finding that extra space — especially without adding extra furniture or spending a ton of money. Living in Hawaii, where space is at a premium, a couple of inches here and there add up. Find the extra space in your home by taking advantage of these tricks:


1. Shelve it. Vertical space is probably the most underutilized in a home. Think of spaces you visit often and place shelves there, such as over a towel rack, or inside a cabinet. Elevate spices and small items in your kitchen cabinets or raise products under a sink. Shelving installed on plain walls gives you space for storage, and for displaying decorative items and photos.

2. Use square containers instead of round ones. According to Rubbermaid, square containers can store up to 25 percent more on a shelf than round containers in the same space.

3. Hook up. You know all those extra-large tote bags you have lying around? Hang them on strategically placed hooks around the house to store unsightly items while still keeping them within reach. You can use them to store loose papers, craft supplies, extra bags or anything else that fits — without taking up precious closet or counter space.

4. Use zip-close bags in the fridge or freezer. When freezing, lay the bags flat. Once frozen, you can stack them vertically like books on a shelf.

5. Bookend your clothes. You can do this on shelves in your closet or within dresser drawers. Separate stacked, folded clothing with bookends to turn a single area into one with multiple sections.

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