This Storage Trick Turns A Common Furniture Piece Into Your Go-To Backpack Organizer

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Don't you love finding new ways to use common household items? While pool noodles can become unique side tables and an IKEA chest can become a high-end cabinet for wall decor, utilizing pieces to create more storage is one of the most rewarding parts of repurposing. 

If you've been to any home goods store, or searched for storage solutions online, you've likely come across cube organizers ranging in size and number of cubes. While these organizers are already multipurpose gems, you can easily make them into backpack hanging havens with a simple hack, offering your kids or other family members a place to keep their packs when they aren't being used. The method is simple, and only involves removing one of the horizontal shelves to make more space for hanging items. Plus, you'll still have space in a bottom row of cubes for items like shoes, and along the top for decor or accessories.

If you already own one of these units and it's not in use (or can be repurposed for this DIY), then you get to skip a step in the process. If you don't already own a nine-cube organizer, though, you can find them at Target for $100 or Walmart for under $40. Just make sure the model you buy comes disassembled, so you can adjust the shelves. This is a key step in creating enough space for backpacks to hang.

Create your own backpack organizer by adjusting cube shelves

Once you decide where to put your new backpack organizer, all you have to do is assemble it. Nine-cube organizers (like the kind found at big box stores) typically come with two long horizontal shelves, which help divide the internal space into nine cubes. In order to create enough space to hang backpacks in the organizer, you should only install the bottom shelf. The finished product should have three standard-size cubes at the bottom and three taller, rectangular storage spaces at the top. 

For the best results, the organizer should be placed against a wall where you can install hanging hooks for the backpacks. Measure each vertical cubby and screw hooks into the wall near the top, with enough room that backpack can be taken on and off the hook without bumping into the roof.

While this storage hack is ideal for backpacks, you can also use these cubbies to store purses and other bags. The key is to keep smaller accessories off the bottom shelf of the backpack cubbies, to keep the organizer from looking cluttered. Instead, fill the bottom three cubes with footwear, socks, and outdoor accessories, and use the top of the shelf for decor to add some style and match the aesthetic of your home.

Customize the storage to fit your aesthetic

There are several ways you can upgrade or personalize this hack. Depending on your decor, you can always paint the organizer, opting for neutral colors if you have a more simplistic, modern design, or going bold with black or dark gray for a statement piece. Instead of using standard canvas or fabric baskets, you also can switch out the bottom cubes for wicker baskets like these ones from Lowe's ($34.99), or use other materials for a more farmhouse chic design.

Many nine-compartment organizers come in black or white particle board, but you can also look for wood options if you prefer more natural elements in your home. If you can't find wood, incorporate wood pieces on top along with candles or a bowl to store keys, wallets and sunglasses. Wood frames, metal candlestick holders, and other knickknacks can pull in a variety of materials that make the units look less like storage and more like a stylish addition to your entryway, hallway, or front room.

If you like to DIY or want to elevate your cube storage unit to look expensive, you can also add legs to the bottom to prop it up and make it more stylish. This can be done by adding wood blocks or metal legs, and the slightly lifted option creates more length, which can shift how a furniture piece looks in a room.