Proper storage is the most fun part of the organizing process. Once your items are sorted by category, decide on the best location for each group of items. Should they stay in their current space? You may decide that items once kept in the basement might be better off in the garage, or attic treasures should move to the basement, for example. Some ideas for placement:
Basement: crafting, emergency supplies, out-of-season clothing, home improvement materials, durable (non-delicate) memorabilia, sports equipment, seasonal items, tools, toys
Attic: baby items you’re saving for the next child or grandchildren, crafting, out-of-season clothing, furniture, luggage, durable (non-delicate) memorabilia, seasonal items, past tax documents
Garage: automotive, home improvement, lawn and garden, outdoor toys, seasonal items, sports equipment, tools
Once you decide on a location, “containerize” small- to medium-sized similar items in plastic or cardboard boxes. Make sure they are well-labeled on the front and sides (not just the tops) for easy identification. Then, make use of vertical space by investing in some sturdy shelving units. Your local hardware or home improvement store will have a wide selection.
Things that you use frequently should be easily accessible. Place the heaviest items on the bottom, the most-used stuff at waist to eye level, and things that you rarely (or never) use high up or in the back. For example, special toys that you are saving for future grandchildren can be placed in the attic or on a top shelf in the basement. Sports equipment that you need daily or weekly might be stashed in the garage near the door.
When storing paints and chemicals, use caution. Paints need to be kept out of freezing temperatures, so garage storage is usually not a good idea. However, if you store them in your basement, be sure to keep them at least 10 feet from your hot-water heater and furnace so vapors aren't ignited by the gas flame. Consider a locked cabinet if you have young children in your home.
Finally, add a humidifier in mildew-prone areas, add some rodent traps (just in case), and bask in your newly organized storage space.
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Remember, if you need assistance and support with your family life, home and/or office organization, you are cordially invited to contact ...
Donna LaRoche, M.Ed., Professional Organizer Serving Cape Cod, MetroWest and Eastern Massachusetts Contact: 617.640.2366 www.energizeandorganize.com
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