Wednesday, December 30, 2009

low cost storage ideas

The holiday season is winding down and you have probably acquired your fair share of gifts, ornaments, decorations, etc. Now, factor in all the “stuff” acquired by your entire family and you need some storage ideas!

Finding affordable storage solutions can be a challenge but is possible for everyone. You just need to think outside the box and become creative--after all organizing doesn't have to cost a lot of money.

Before you start, remember that storage is not about being fussy or spending a lot of money but instead is about containing your items in a method that allows you to find and be able to use items easily and quickly. Here are some steps to get your started:

  1. Declutter: The first step in finding affordable and easy storage solutions is gathering the items together that need to be stored and decluttering and purging no longer used, needed, or liked items.

  1. Group like items together: After decluttering, the next step in the process is grouping like-items together. For example, putting all nails and screws in one central location in the garage Another example could be grouping spices together, for example baking spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, can be stored in one area and thyme and basil in another--perhaps in a cool, dry area near the stove where they are used.

  1. Reuse and Recycle: In this era of saving the planet, reusing and recycling are key. There are so many products that can be re-used in the home, like re-using furniture for another purpose (a coffee table may be easily transformed into a bench). Recycle old food containers such as margarine tubs, peanut butter jars, or coffee cans for storage. Cut cereal boxes can be used as magazine holders.

  1. Use your space efficiently: It is important to assess your storage needs based on the volume of items to organize. Remember to look at vertical solutions. For example, a narrow, tall bookcase takes less space than a wide, low case. Remember to use the space underneath a couch or bed to store things like blankets or sheets.

  1. Streamline your approach: In a front entrance, hooks can be used year round to hold coats, buckets with mittens, scarves, summer items, umbrellas, or bags. Use a cork board on a wall in a kitchen or office space with push pins to hold photos, receipts, coupons, menus for takeout, a calendar, or birthday invitations.

  1. Find various solutions for long term and short term storage: Items such as memorabilia, old year books, or out of season clothing do not need to be in an easy to access area. Instead they can be stored in a basement, attic, or garage in air-tight containers. In contrast, everyday items like kitchen utensils can be stored at or near eye level.

  1. Be creative: Try to think outside the box. An old candy dish can be used to hold paperclips or push pins in an office space. Shoe organizers can be used for a variety of uses other than shoes, like on the back of a kitchen or pantry door to organize spices, soup packets and other envelope mixes. They can also be used in the bathroom to hold toiletries or in a kid's bedroom to hold socks or small toys.

Now all you need to do is start. Pick one area in your home, one closet, or even one drawer and work to create more organized storage for that area.

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