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5December

11 Tips For Organizing Your Storage Spaces

It’s very tempting for some people to use their storage spaces, including closets and drawers, to simply toss things we want out of sight. But there are organized ways to make the most out of these spaces.

You’re sitting staring at your closet door and dresser drawers, knowing if you open any of them, they’re going to be like a Jack-in-the-Box. Everything is just going to jump out at you. However, you’re on a mission to get it together and the first order of business is deciding what you want to keep and what is best suited for either a yard sale or to donate to the local Salvation Army.

The space age

These days, space is at a premium and we all want to utilize every bit of it to its highest and best use. So, if your closets and drawers are hideaway areas for items you haven’t seen in years, taking some time to map out a reorganizational plan will set you on the road to making the most of your storage spaces.

Even if things are in or behind closed drawers or closets, clutter creates stress. We may not see it, but we know it’s there. So, it’s not just a matter of disorganization. It’s a matter of health. A great rule of thumb when going through your storage spaces is to ask yourself this question: “If I was shopping right now, would I buy this?” If your answer is: “No,” then get rid of it!

Here are some steps you can take to organize your storage spaces:

  1. Take one space at a time and sort through everything in it. Small steps are the way to big organizing successes. For instance, take everything in your closet and create four piles:
    • To recycle/throw: Things that are broken, in rough shape or trash;

    • Items to donate or sell;

    • Items belonging to someone else;

    • Items to keep.

  2. Get rid of the recyclables.

  3. The items you’ve earmarked to sell or to donate – do that right away. Don’t let the items sit around. Once you’ve made a decision, stick with it. If you’re going to sell them, post them on Kijiji or craigslist or even on eBay. Give yourself a deadline to sell them. If they haven’t sold, donate them or give them away.

  4. Call the owners of the items in the “belongs to someone else” pile. Arrange for a time for them to pick the items up. If they no longer want them, put them into the donate/sell pile.

  5. Categorize the “keep” pile. Once you’ve done this, name “zones” in your storage area (i.e. closet). Doing this helps you to efficiently utilize the space. Here are some ideas for names:

    • Clothes;

    • Keepsakes;

    • Seasonal things like Christmas decorations;

    • Craft/hobby items.

  6. Scan through your “keep” piles and ask yourself if you’re going to be putting them in the best location. Some things like paper and wood do better in drier areas. Some things are best in areas with a constant temperature. For instance, you wouldn’t want to store items that don’t do well in extreme temperatures in the attic.

  7. Do you have enough storage? Evaluate what you have. Perhaps you’ll need to invest in more storage containers. Do you have containers for each category? Buy extra containers if you need to.

  8. Affix legible labels. Attach labels to the containers in a place where you’ll be able to easily see them. Boxes containing items that are rarely used can be stored on higher shelves or in the backs of closets or drawers, while the things you use most, can be stored within easy reach.

  9. Be inventive with accessories in your space. Think about adding hooks to the walls and purchasing stackable storage boxes. Rolling carts, upon which co-ordinated boxes are placed, can be great for out-of-season clothes or office supplies or anything you want easy access to.

  10. Suitcases can be used for more than travel. Instead of simply throwing your unused luggage into the back of the closet or in the basement, consider filling them with items you would like to keep, but rarely use, like souvenirs or mementos. Suitcases need to be stored anyway, so why not make them work for their storage space?

  11. Think of different uses for things. For example, you can use a plastic, hanging shoe organizer to store your nail polish. You can store them by colour and instead of having to rummage through an enclosed container, they’re easily seen in these clear organizers. And what about using inexpensive ice cubes trays to keep earrings together in a drawer? Get creative! Make organizing your spaces a fun task. And when you’re finished, just sit back and be proud of your accomplishment!


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