Whether your storage space is in a garage, basement, closet in the guest room, off-site storage unit, or scattered in every nook and cranny in your home, organizing this space can help you find what you need. An organized storage system creates a place for everything and a master list of where everything is. Organizing storage space can be an ongoing project for people with a lot of stored items, whereas for others it can be done in a weekend.
- Clear plastic storage containers with lids
- Cardboard file boxes
Walk through your storage areas to take inventory of the storage space you have. Especially if your storage space is scattered throughout your home, looking at each of these areas can help you to not only see what types of things you have but also think of ideas for how to better organize them.
Write down a list of all the places you can store things and the approximate size of each space.
Write down a list of all the types of items you store. Examples include seasonal decorations, spare bedding and towels, sporting equipment, keepsakes, tools and out-of-season clothing.
Assign each category of stored items to one of the available storage areas on your list. While doing this, pay attention to where you are when you use the item and how frequently you need to access it. Sporting equipment and tools should be more accessible than the boxes of Valentine's Day decorations used once per year. Bedding may be best stored in the guest room, with seasonal children's clothing stored on the top shelves of their closets. If you have a single storage space such as a garage, assign categories to areas of the garage shelving.
Purchase more storage containers if you do not already have enough. Clear plastic containers with lids work well for clothing and bedding because you can see what is inside and open them frequently. Cardboard file boxes with separate lids can hold papers. Only use traditional taped cardboard boxes for items you use infrequently, such as keepsakes.
Repackage stored items into the new containers and place them in their new locations. This process may take months for someone with just a few moments to spare here and there.
Write down the location of each stored item as you put it away so you can find it when you need it. If you have one large storage area such as a garage or storage unit, create labels for each portion of the wall and use those as the locations.
Tips & Warnings
- If you find stored items you no longer use and do not need to keep, throw them away, sell them or donate them.