Stashing your less-than-pretty necessities--in a place you can actually find them--need not require a horde of plastic containers. Sometimes the best storage spots are right under your nose. Here are some unexpected places where you can pack in the goods for easy retrieval.

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Slip important papers in the back of bookshelves

If you’re square-footage poor, you can still keep documents in order without a bulky filing cabinet. First, organize your papers into stacks by type (think taxes, car insurance, housing, etc.). Then put them into thin filing folders or manila envelopes and tuck them in your bookshelf behind rows of books. They’ll be out of sight from snooping eyes and at the ready the next time your CPA needs that computer receipt.

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Keep spare linens in pillowcases

No linen closet? No problem. Watch our video "How to Wrangle a Fitted Sheet" and stack your folded masterpiece--along with the matching flat sheet--inside the corresponding pillowcase.

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Use suitcases for out-of-season clothing

The empty suitcase taking up valuable real estate under your bed is the perfect spot to stow that puffer coat you don’t want to think about until November. Just follow our snazzy rolling technique to get your sweaters, scarves and outerwear out of the way until you need them again.

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Squeeze tights and socks into boots

Free up some swimsuit space in your sock drawer by stuffing tights, stockings and tall socks into out-of-season boots. Come fall, move the hosiery back to your drawer and the bathing suits into the under-the-bed suitcase we told you about earlier.

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Organize drawers with shoebox lids

There’s no need to buy pricey drawer organizers when you’ve got… shoebox lids. These shallow containers are perfect for wrangling beauty products, office supplies and other small-scale essentials. Line them with craft paper if you’re feeling fancy.

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Tuck clutches inside larger bags

Think of your purses like Russian nesting dolls: The small clutch goes in the medium bag, which goes in the big tote, and so on. Take your organization skills to another level by grouping similarly colored accessories together for quicker retrieval down the road.

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Stack books on your out-of-commission radiator

You’re not using old rusty this summer are you? Stack the highlights of your literary collection horizontally on top, starting with bigger hardcover books and working your way up to smaller ones for a sturdy build. See? Doesn’t that look nice?

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