Find it Fast: How to Make a Household Storage Plan
Updated on January 6, 2023 | by Samara Davis
How do you organize the storage of things in the house? It can be a real battle! But you, the humble home manager, only want to find a place to store holiday decorations or seasonal clothing. It seems that there is nothing wrong with putting things in their places. In fact, effective storage is a whole science, which has created many techniques: Fly Lady, Conmarie, and others. Let’s talk about how to properly organize storage in your home. Fortunately, to make inventory easier, there are many mobile apps that you can check out on apppearl.
For many of us, an efficient household storage system seems like an unattainable dream. We crave more space. More free space. Except a big house isn’t the solution. Stored items have the amazing property of yeast dough – to rise up to fill all available space, then crawl beyond it. No matter how many rooms, square footage, or closets you have, surplus possessions will always find a way to take over your entire home.
What’s the solution? Have a storage plan for your household. Yes, it will take time and effort, but the process basically boils down to three steps:
What will you gain in the end? Time, money, and nerves.
With this plan, you’ll find summer clothes for the kids before summer is over. You’ll save money by using items you already have, rather than buying new ones instead of ones that “went somewhere.”
And finally, you’ll save yourself the stress and feel like a homeowner in your own home. You’ll always know where things are and how other family members can find them.
Step 1: Assessing
To start creating a storage plan, you need to know two things:
- what you have;
- where you can put it.
Once you know this, you will assess the storage options in your home and your family’s storage needs.
Grab a notepad and a pen. The assessment process will require you to create two lists.
First, go around your home and list each potential storage area, large or small. Hard-to-reach top shelves in children’s closets. The narrow space under the bed. Shelving in the garage. At this point, focus on finding all the nooks and crannies available for storing whatever.
Once you’ve made a list of storage areas, you’ve probably updated your memory of the nature and degree of overload of things living with you.
Now it’s time to sit down and work on making a second list: things that need storage spaces, such as:
- Clothes (seasonal, children’s “grow-out” items).
- Seasonal decor items (Christmas and holiday decorations, seasonal furnishings).
- Documents and papers.
- Memorabilia (souvenirs, collections, children’s crafts, photo archives).
- Travel and sporting goods (bicycles, skis, sleeping bags, barbecues).
- Hobby or craft supplies.
- Supplies for entertaining (holiday textiles, dishes, extra bedding, board games).
- Home maintenance equipment (tools for minor repairs, vacuum cleaner, steam cleaner, stepladder, mops, cleaning supplies).
- Car care equipment and supplies, etc.
Now match each group to the storage locations found, keeping in mind the principle of “the more often you use it, the closer you put it.”
Step 2: Packing
So you know how much storage space is available to you. You know what groups of things need to be stored there… Doesn’t fit?
It’s time to sort your possessions. At this point, area by area, you collect the items in each category, expel the excess, and assign the rest a “home.”
Candidates for banishment:
- Tasteless knickknacks and lost items (ugly figurines, old flower pots, etc.).
- Unused small appliances (shiatsu massage lotion, special knife for slicing bananas, egg cooker – anything you’ve used less than 5 times in 2 years).
- Excess kitchen utensils (souvenir mugs, excess cutlery, unused pots).
- Anything that doesn’t work (burnt-out lamps, broken players, tools without handles).
- Unsuitable clothing (worn out baby clothes, your clothes are three sizes too small for your current clothes).
- Remains from repairs (scraps of carpeting and linoleum scraps, cans of dried paint, old toilet bowl).
- Excess furniture (bed with broken frame, crushed mattress, legless stools).
Methods of banishment include selling, donating, or taking to the landfill, but the goal is the same: eliminate them from your limited space to make room for things you really need.
Some of the items may seem worthy of banishment to you. But perhaps to some of your loved ones they might be of interest. This is the “Let’s Talk” category. For example:
- Collections (old audio or video cassettes, children’s belongings of a long-grown child).
- Unused heirlooms (grandma’s spoons, incomplete china set, VCR).
- Sentimental junk (boxes with all the drawings, crafts, and school notebooks ever brought into the house by children, baby clothes).
- Tools and supplies for a nonexistent hobby or unfinished creative projects (unfinished sweaters, unfinished quilts, unfinished birdhouses).
The goal of negotiation with the stakeholder is to eliminate, reduce, or accept the need to keep each group of these items.
You may also like to read: 9 Benefits of Using Metal Storage Containers at Home
Step 3: Control
The previous step may take you a few weeks, but you will feel a great deal of relief, joy, and freedom as a result. But for your storage plan to work, it needs to be maintained in some way. In this step, we’ll make a storage management list – as a guide for the future.
In the previous step, you evaluated and sorted your possessions. You have an idea of what type of containers you need. Here are a few recommendations:
- Before you buy containers, measure the depth, width, and height of the storage space. Otherwise, they’ll join the junk army by not fitting where you intended to put them.
- Plastic containers with lids are the best way to go for all-purpose storage. Color coding will help keep things organized: red for vacations and holidays, green for memorabilia, yellow for tools.
- Don’t rush to buy ready-made containers – cardboard boxes from appliances and shoes are ideal for storing seasonal shoes, paperwork and memorabilia, and children’s or seasonal clothing. Label each box by type of contents, season, or age.
Introducing organized storage into your life is not easy, but it’s worth it. Try different ways, some will probably work for you and some will not delight you. The reward will be a lot of free time, which will appear as a result of the reduction of hours spent on cleaning.