We all have stuff that we don’t use all of the time, that is seasonal or just simply not something you want sitting out in your living room. So where do we put it? Truth is, most of us throw it into a closet or tuck it into a corner in the basement and forget about it until it’s time to actually use it and then we can’t find it again. Some people’s garages, attics or storage units become known as black holes: they go in and are never seen again. Then it’s Christmas time and you’re looking for your decorations and the very idea of going into that Bermuda Triangle is so overwhelming that you just go out and buy new decorations only to be put back into storage at the end of the season.
So it’s time to end this vicious cycle and tackle this storage monster once and for all. Where do you begin? Here are some easy steps to follow when organizing your storage space:
- Make a plan
- Assign zones for each space
- Sort items into categories
- Use storage shelving unites whenever possible
Plan The Space
When you get started, the first thing you need to do is make a plan for your storage space. Figure out how big it is and how much stuff you have. If there are built in shelves, figure out what would be best placed on those shelves (for example: paint, tools, fragile items etc).
It might sound like overkill but you’ll be grateful for it! Assign some zones for each space. For example, zone A could be seasonal decorations, zone B could be outdoor yard stuff. Keep a copy of your “map” just in case you forget.
Use categories to help determine what your zones are going to be. What type of stuff are you putting into storage? Most commonly, people have their holiday decorations, outdoor/gardening, camping, winter clothing etc. Go through everything you want to put into storage and sort it out into their various categories. Two helpful tips:
- Use see through bins
- Create an inventory list of everything in each bin, tape it to the side
Use Shelving Units
You want to use the walls, not the floor. You want to line your walls and leave as much floor space as possible. There’s nothing worse than sorting it all out, packing the unit up and then realizing you can’t actually access anything! You need to ensure that whatever you do, you have a clear path to every section of your storage space. Try to use shelving units or other storage sorting units as much as possible. Using plastic totes will keep out mice, dirt and protect it from possible water damage. Make use of any kind of baskets you’ve got kicking around in storage by using them to store smaller items like cookie cutters.
The reality is that this will be a lot of work, it will take some time but it will be worth it! It will save you time in the long run because you won’t be scrambling around trying to find things later. You’ll also save yourself some money by not accidentally buying doubles or triples of things just because you couldn’t find it. Be creative and practical when you’re packing your storage space. Don’t be afraid to come up with unique ways to take advantage of as much space as possible but always keep in mind that it needs to be easily accessed.