Embarking on an organizational project isn’t just about getting rid of the dust and grime that’s accumulated over the past year, particularly during the winter; it’s also about looking at your home from a fresh perspective and getting rid of the clutter that’s holding you back from using your home to its fullest potential. As you plan your upcoming organizational projects, don’t forget to evaluate your storage spaces and implement techniques to make the most of them, especially in how you store the items that take up the most space.
Declutter: You’re storing all sorts of items you don’t use anymore, but you don’t notice because you don’t even see them. Before you reorganize your storage spaces, go through your stuff and get rid of anything you don’t use anymore. Things you haven’t gotten out of storage in over a year don’t need to be kept. Anything that’s broken either needs to be fixed or discarded because it’s doing you no good right now. Also, get rid of things like holiday decorations that don’t match your style anymore. Donate anything that’s in good condition, and just throw the rest of it away.
Get better containers: A messy pile of cardboard boxes of different shapes and sizes makes it tough to get things out of storage
Image Credit: Miss Shari at flickr.com
because removing any one box is a balancing act. It’s even worse if you have loose items without boxes, like trash bags full of seasonal clothes. Invest now in better storage containers to keep your storage spaces tidy. For example, purchase a storage bag for your artificial Christmas wreath and partitioned boxes for your Christmas ornaments. Stackable clear plastic storage bins are perfect for seasonal clothes so you can see what’s inside.
Think vertically: It’s not practical to stack bins all the way from floor to ceiling, so put some infrastructure in place to better use the vertical space. Install shelving for your bins so you can just slide one out, regardless of whether it’s at the top or bottom of the wall. Another idea is to hang bikes and large outdoor equipment from a wall or ceiling, which gets these bulky items off the floor and makes it easier to get to other parts of your storage space.
Organize based on use: Most of your storage is seasonal items, so it doesn’t matter where they’re kept because you get everything out just once each year. However, with other items that aren’t seasonal, organize them with the things you use most so they’re the easiest things to get to. For example, your bedding for guests should be more accessible than the bassinet you’re keeping around for your next baby. If you have overflow storage for kitchen appliances, keep the ones you use most often toward the front so they’re easier to get out.
Once your storage spaces are organized, it’s much easier to keep them tidy throughout the year. Everything has its own place, and you’ll know where to look when you need something. Plus, with most items off the floor, it’ll be easier to clean during the year, reducing the need for a deep clean each spring. Consider these projects a starting point for the next time you do an organizational overhaul.