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 Cedar Window Bench with Soiled Clothes Bins

Cedar Window Bench Seat with Soiled Clothes Bins

Linen Chest Built to Conceal Chandelier Crank

Linen Chest Built to Conceal Chandelier Crank (Video)

You can have stuff, or you can have space, but you can’t have both, because stuff takes up space.

-Joyce Dunbar

The Adventures of Mouse and Mole *

Well…I suppose it’s true, but come on…this is 2007.

What if within reason you could have both

Having both involves a couple of problems; how to make more space without building a Smithsonian sized wing to your house, or how to use more of the present footprint without encroaching on an already crowded space.

The first part of the solution is blitz the house and eliminate what you don’t need.  I know, I know you’ve been using a new set of pots and pans for two years now, but you can’t part with the old set because Aunt Fanny gave it to you for your wedding.  As a parent I also know it’s hard to get rid of your kids’ old toys and books because it means they’re growing up.  But let’s be honest.  Is your eight year old sill reading that Blue’s Clues pop up book?

So once you bravely eliminate all of that clutter, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I still tripping over shoes?  By the way, you’re going to find that your little kids’ shoes have suddenly become big kids’ shoes.

  • Does my bottom lip hurt from biting because the kids’ toys still conjure four letter words as my stubbed toe throbs?

  • Do I clean up all !@#$% day and still throw up my hands in frustration before going to bed?

  • Does the saying, "Insanity is hereditary.  We get it from our kids" make you laugh uncontrollably?

  • Am I barring unexpected company at the door?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it’s time to think about a built in storage solution.

What I like to do is look around for underused nooks and crannies.  I like to find places where we can go vertical but stay inconspicuous.  I like to find places for your stuff where you can spin it, slide it, pocket it, camouflage it and do whatever is necessary to make it go away but make it convenient when you need it.

Although this page concentrates on storage, you can see storage solutions throughout the site.


J.C. Sutherland


* Mouse and Mole are a series of children’s’ books written by Joyce Dunbar in which the main characters, Mouse and Mole, share a cottage on the English countryside. 

Not only is it a worthwhile read, it was adapted to an equally worthwhile  animated series that holds true to the original texts.  While nearly everything in the cartoon world portrays one dimensional characters, Mouse and Mole have complete personalities with their strong points and their imperfections.

This lends to wonderful little tales that aren’t preachy but incorporate lessons of treating others as you would like to be treated despite our impetuous errors.

Even toddlers can learn the complex lessons of altruism, allowing others to save face, self directed laughter, forgiveness, and true friendship.