“I have more than enough storage” said no person ever, which is one reason there’s such a large selection of in-home storage solutions. In fact, the selection is large enough to be overwhelming. To help you sort it all out, and find the right solution for you, this article looks at some important dos and don’ts of in-house storage.
First, Make Marie Kondo Proud
Begin by purging. Take the KonMari approach and ask yourself if the item sparks joy. If it doesn’t serve a purpose or spark joy or a sentimental emotion, it’s time to let it go.
Now for the Dos
- Do think about how it’ll look. Mixed and oddly matched storage boxes will cause a cluttered look; exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Go for neutral colors and uniform shapes and sizes so the containers don’t clash with the room or other storage boxes.
- Do pack items with thought. Remember to pack heavy items in small containers so they’re not too heavy to lift. Also, remember to protect your fragile items with tissue paper or bubble wrap and to clean off your possessions before you pack them. And of course, pack the items that you’ll be using more frequently where they’ll be most easily accessible.
- Do make lists and labels. Don’t forget to number each box and make a list of what each numbered box contains. This will save you hours of time when you need to retrieve an item later.
- Do use square containers. Square containers stack and nest better and are more space efficient than round or odd-shaped containers.
- Do take advantage of less visible spaces. Look for under-the-desk cabinets, use a desk caddy, take advantage of under-the bed storage etc.
- Do consider built-in shelves. Built-in shelving along an entire wall can be both functional and beautiful. Don’t be afraid to explore this option. It’s often more attractive than a smaller, but crowded shelf.
Lastly, the Don’ts
- Don’t underestimate how much storage space you’ll need. Be realistic, so you can find the right storage solution and not one that you’ll have to go back and redo because you underestimated your space requirements.
- Don’t overfill your containers. Filling to capacity is fine, but overfilling can cause containers to break or tip over.
- Don’t store heavy items in the wrong place. Don’t place heavy items on a shelf that won’t support them or on a mattress or sofa that can be destroyed under their weight.
- Don’t buy storage sets. Unless you’re planning on buying multiples of the same set of containers, you’ll end up with one container in each size, which is rarely space efficient. It’s best to buy containers separately and for your specific needs.
- Don’t be careless about storing household chemicals and gasoline. Never store dangerous chemicals near combustible items and always store them in a dedicated storage cabinet that can be locked.
- Don’t forget about undershelf hooks. Hanging mugs or pots and pans under kitchen shelves or hanging shoes in your closet with some carefully placed hooks is an excellent space saver and organizer.