12 Creative Storage Hacks for an Organized 2016 (One for each Month!)

With every new year comes those inevitable resolutions: lose weight, get more sleep, visit grandpa in the slammer, give up that wallet-draining cocaine habit. You know, the usual. And at the end of each year you throw yourself into consumerism (also known as “the spirit of Christmas”) in an effort to drown out the voice in your head that whispers in a creepy, high-pitched, sing-song voice, “Another year, another failure…!”

But maybe it’s not that you messed up; maybe your expectations were simply too high. I mean, if grandpa were in the local county jail rather than all the way over there in Sing Sing, perhaps you would’ve visited him more often. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

So this year if you want to check a few things off your bucket list in order to feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment come December 31st, might I suggest that you lower the bar? And decluttering the crap from your so-called home office that hasn’t seen the light of day since you filled it with all the As Seen on TV goods you bought in a fit of failure last year is a good place to begin.

I’ll make starting fresh real easy for you. Here are 12 creative storage hacks for the new year (1 for each month!):

January

Start the new year with ninja-like organization. You may be familiar with Google Calendars, and you may even think you’re pretty swell because you’ve color coded important events like red for therapy and black for your mother-in-law’s birthday. But did you know that you can create a new event from Google’s search bar, enable offline access, and have it email you your daily agenda?

February

If a messy bathroom is preventing you from inviting your date over, you’ll either need to implement some storage hacks into the loo or break up every time the relationship gets serious enough to bring him up to your place. Try attaching magnetic strips to your medicine cabinet door for the most clutterful items of all: bobby pins, tweezers, eyelash curlers, nail clippers, emery boards, and daisy barrettes that you erroneously believe make you look all young and girlish. And here are more bathroom storage ideas.

March

Unless all your wealthy relatives keep mysteriously dying and leaving everything to you or you marry rich, not everyone can afford to live in a mansion. In fact, 96% of Americans live in a space the size of a sardine tin (and, uh, don’t bother checking the source of this fact…). Turn your living room into your bedroom and back again with the help of this James Bondesque Revolving Bookcase/Murphy Bed. And if you’re really smart, you’ll tuck your rich spouse into bed at night and “accidentally” revolve it back into a bookcase….

April

Speaking of Murphy Bed—how about Murphy Table? Most people only sit down at the kitchen table for three meals each day. During the other 15 hours, the table is just taking up room—valuable room that you could be using to practice your break dancing. 

May

As a bank robber, you probably know how frustrating it is to walk away from a bank heist with millions of dollars in unmarked bills and no where to stash it! You certainly can’t return to the bank and open a savings account, but hiding it in your home can be risky—and ironic—in the event of a break-in. That’s why this storage hack is genius: stair storage! Not under-stair storage; storage in the stairs. You may also be interested in counterfeit containers, like the fake shaving cream can.

June

Of course, don’t neglect the space underneath your staircase either. That’s quality real estate right there that’s just collecting dust. Build some shelving under those stairs to store the notes and pages from that novel you’ve been working on for two decades. Or turn it into the guest bedroom for those visitors who don’t seem to take the hint that they’re unwelcome.

July

If you’re still in a semi-catatonic state three months after Tax Season, you definitely need a little help organizing your papers. Check out this great infographic that clearly defines which documents to keep and which documents to pitch.

August

If you’ve ever stopped to think about it, kitchen chairs and benches take up a lot of valuable space that could otherwise be used for storing all those new culinary gadgets that you eagerly bought and just as eagerly never used. Kitchen bench storage allows you to continue your ravenous purchases of the TouCan Can Opener, Perfect Bacon Bowl, and classic Rotato Express. Check out this cool kitchen organization infographic for other ideas.

September

Back to school for the kiddies means knapsacks filled with fresh school supplies, new coats or uniforms, and a renewed infatuation with losing everything (passive-aggressive tendencies for getting out of going to school, natch. Used ‘em myself.). This Chalkboard Peg Rack is the perfect solution. Not only does each child (and—why not?—adults, too) get her own peg for her coat and school bag, but in addition to writing their name on their little square of chalkboard, you can add parental notes like, “Fail your test today and you’ll be mowing the lawn for a year.”

October

When Halloween is over and you find yourself with all these hollowed out pumpkins, what do you do? If you answered “Duh, chuck them in the trash,” you’re missing out on one of the most creative hacks on this list. Turn your ex-Jack-o-lantern into a wine cooler! Believe me, with the upcoming holiday season, you’re going to need all the extra space for booze you can get.

November

Now that it’s November, you’ll likely be preparing yourself to cook a whole lotta food. It can be overwhelming to keep all your menus and dishes straight, so make yourself a DIY Menu Board. Get even more organized and use the bottom row of containers for each family member’s personal food intolerances.

December

One place that seems to accumulate plenty of clutter is those kitchen counters. Now that you’ve decided to eat healthier, you’ve all these fruits and vegetables taking up valuable room. Make use of all that vertical space (a.k.a. air) in the middle of your kitchen and invest in a few tiered hanging baskets. Face it, it’s hard to ignore this new resolution if you’re banging your head on fresh produce every day.