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This is finally the year you’re going to learn all the way to declutter and make the best use of the storage spaces you have. Finding the right storage space solutions is easier than you think.
If you feel like there’s clutter all around you and you’ve run out of space to store new things, it may be time to reorganize your storage space to maximize its use.
Constantly looking for new ways to organize space, feeling like you always seem to be organizing something, and being jealous of the organization photos you see on Pinterest are all signs you need to get your storage space under control.
This includes storage areas both in and outside your home. Maybe you don’t have enough storage at home or you’ve used all your space, whatever the reason you may have opted for a storage unit. But since these are out of sight and you usually just drop stuff off and go, they can get overwhelmed and cluttered too.
Regardless of what kind of storage space you have, organizing it a little better can create less clutter and more space.
STORAGE SPACE SOLUTIONS THAT WORK
1. CLEAN IT OUT
Before you can start organizing, you need to get rid of what you no longer need. Regardless of what space you’re starting with, do a thorough purge and throw out or donate anything you no longer need or want. If you feel like they have value, consider keeping them in a corner of your garage for a yard sale. Use my yard sale tips to get the most money you can for your stuff.
This alone can free up a significant amount of space.
Give yourself permission to get rid of anything you don’t want or need, regardless of who gave it to you and whatever sentimental reason has you holding on to it. If you don’t need it and you don’t use it, at least occasionally, and you don’t want it, get rid of it.
If the items you’re sorting are seasonal, keep them but organize them all together. For instance, holiday decorating, gift wrap, and holiday baking tools can all be stored together.
2. ASSESS THE SPACE
Now that your storage space is cleaned out, it’s time to assess the space you already have and determine what you need. Before putting everything back, you may want to add shelves, racks, or storage bins to make the space work more efficiently. Below are some examples of units I have in my home that make creating more storage space possible.
Consider the items you plan to store when determining your needs. For instance, you don’t want to create a beautiful shelving unit only to find out that what you want to store there is bigger than the shelf. You don’t want to store heavy items above your head, but instead, closer to the floor or at least waist level for easy access.
Depending on the space and what you plan to store, plastic storage bins may work better than shelves. There are countless options in this area based on size, closure devices, colors, see-through options and more.
Also, consider the space. If you’re creating storage in your garage, for instance, you may want a shelving unit that keeps things off the floor in case of an oil leak from your car or flooding from a storm. You might want to check out my spring cleaning your garage article for even more tips and tricks for using your garage as a storage space.
If storing items in your attic, you may be able to increase your storage space by laying plywood over exposed beams and insulation. You can also add a shelving unit to your attic for smaller items by purchasing one that hasn’t been assembled yet and assembling it yourself within the space.
If you’re using a storage unit, look at the items and first determine if a storage unit is even necessary. If you were able to clean out other parts of your home, would you be able to ditch the storage unit? Storage units can be costly. My article on storage units can help you assess whether or not you’re wasting your money by keeping that off-site storage unit.
If you plan to keep an off-site storage unit, you’ll need to determine what will work best. You can add a shelving unit or stack plastic bins to keep things organized.
3. INVEST IN THE RIGHT STUFF
You may need to invest in some storage solutions to make the space more effective or give it a clutter-free look. If the items you’re storing will be on display, for instance, storing photo boxes on a bookshelf in your living room, you’ll want to find boxes that will be decorative to add to the look of your room.
Organizing your favorite magazines on bookshelves can be easily done with magazine boxes. You can label them with the magazine title and the issues that are inside. Aren’t these cute and decorative?
Think outside-the-box when organizing too. When organizing in a garage, basement, or shed you can use things like large plastic trash cans for sporting equipment, rakes, and shovels.
If you’re storing items out of sight, it’s more important that the storage solution works, it doesn’t need to be pretty. As long as it creates more space, keeps your items organized, and makes them easy to find, it doesn’t matter what it looks like.
4. GET IT READY
Now that you’ve decluttered and found your storage solutions, there‘s one last step before putting everything away, cleaning.
Most storage containers and units are dusty and dirty from sitting in the store or stock room or being packed in a box. Give everything a good clean before putting your things away. This will help them stay cleaner and better preserved for when you need them again.
Need some cleaning tips and inspiration?
Check out these articles below!
5. PUT IT AWAY THE RIGHT WAY
It’s finally time to get everything put back away, more organized than before.
With your storage solutions in place and properly measured, put everything away where you had planned for it to go. Be sure to label containers and shelves so that you can easily find what you’re looking for the next time you need it.
These labeling ideas will help to get you started.
6. KEEP IT ORGANIZED
The next time you need to add something to your storage space, make sure you put it where it should go from the start instead of just throwing it in and thinking you’ll organize later. That’s how the mess started to begin with!
Keep an aisle open so that you can easily access anything you need without having to move a bunch of bins and keep a step stool nearby in case you need something you’ve stored above your head.
If you’re tall like me a small step stool will work fine, if not you might want to try one of these other options out.
A few extra tips, especially for storage units or large storage areas:
- Dismantle large furniture for easier storage and to save space.
- Wrap furniture and glass in blankets, towels, sheets, or bubble wrap to keep them from scratching.
- Label each and every box with the contents so you can easily find it later.
- Place larger items, like furniture, towards the back so you don’t have to move them to get to smaller boxes.
- Use dresser drawers, appliances, and cabinets that you need to store as storage to create more space.
Organizing your storage space not only allows you to access your items easier, but it also opens up more space for living.
And isn’t that what you really want? More living space to enjoy your home and family is what’s in store this year! Go get started and start clearing the clutter!