[This is an updated version of a post published in May 2016. Some things never get old, including the need for storage.]
So you started your spring cleaning project only to find that you need to organize all your stuff. What do you do with all the things you don't want to get rid of or need to keep?
If you run a business, manage some type of organization or just have a home, you have to deal with storing things. Spring cleaning has a tendency to bring out all the clutter, disorganization and need for junk removal and better storage.
Decluttering and organizing become priorities.
And because you either cannot get rid of all the excess stuff, or don't want to, the challenge for your business or home is how to best organize your storage areas.
Storing Your Stuff – Tips for Getting Organized
First of all, having a structured approach and a plan will make the process far easier whether you are a business owner, manager, or home owner facing the intimidating task of storage space organization. So, before you dive in and simply start moving things around and throwing things out, it’s bette to start with some preliminary steps.
Junk hauling should come first
Go through everything first and set aside anything that isn't needed or wanted. This is your junk removal pile.
According to interior designer Jennifer Riley Simone,
“Starting from scratch can help you see the opportunities offered by your lower-level living area. Purging is the name of the game here. Use a discerning eye to evaluate what you actually need to store and get rid of the rest. Always donate if possible.”
Create an organization plan
If you have more than one storage space area, or a large amount of shelving, assign specific locations for different items. “Using clear storage allows you to see your valuables,” says Simone. “Large labels can also help you both find items and put them back in the same place.”
Optimize your storage areas
Basements, for example, tend to be cold and wet, so make sure you use appropriate storage options to protect your valuables. Use plastic bins or specialty plastic bags to help keep the moisture out, or even a dehumidifier to ward off moisture damage, if needed.
Storage space areas are prone to becoming cluttered. And if the spaces are not accessed frequently they can become unwieldy and even hazardous!
These five steps from Styleathome.com form a simple plan to organize your storage areas as a focused project:
Break the task into manageable bits. If the area hasn't been organized in over a year, you'll need more than one weekend. Four hours every Saturday and Sunday for a couple of weeks will probably be enough without getting discouraged.
2. Empty & clean
- Remove everything and do a thorough cleanup -- unfinished or cluttered areas are magnets for pests. If you can't empty the whole room at once, clear and clean half of it, then do the rest.
- Consider painting the space white to brighten it, since you're less likely to neglect a room that feels like a finished part of your home.
3. Sort & edit
- As you remove items from storage, put them in categories (including "give away" and "toss" piles) and think about how those categories will translate into zones.
- Save only things in good condition or with significant sentimental value.
- Aim to keep the space no more than three-quarters full, so you can move around safely and easily.
4. Assess & equip
- Take measurements of the room, including height, and rough out where zones will be.
- Locate frequently used items near the door; other things can go in less accessible areas.
- Examine sorted belongings (counting and measuring, if necessary) and choose systems and containers.
- Browse organizing stores and home centers for shelving systems and bins.
As you move sorted materials into new containers within assigned zones, keep these tips in mind:
- Store only clean items; clothes must be clean to prevent insect infestations.
- Label everything; if you have time, prepare a printed inventory to tape to containers you can't see into.
- Don't cover floor drains with bins or boxes.
- Don't leave anything, especially flammable items, within 1-1/2 feet of a furnace.
- Store hazardous materials in a locked cabinet.
- If the room has pipes, a hot water heater or is in a basement, keep everything that isn't in a waterproof container at least one foot off the ground.
- Don't put clothes in airtight plastic containers; use fabric bags instead. Protect clothes from direct contact with cedar, mothballs and any other pest deterrents.
Six Organization Tools to Maximize Storage Areas
Like any other area of your business or home, having the right storage space equipment is critical for ensuring efficiency and productivity. Here are six organizing tools and equipment that will enable you to maximize the available space in your storage areas:
- Utility shelving, preferably adjustable
- Lockable cabinets or lockers
- Step-stools and/or ladders
- Plastic bins for long-term storage of papers
- Good, old-fashioned file cabinets
- Racks, mounts or pegboard hangers for tools and equipment
Start Your Storage Organization With Professional Junk Removal
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly junk removal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after your project is complete.
Whether you need our services several times during a storage space cleaning project, or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the furniture and debris is quickly out of your way so that you can get on with your life.
Our team specializes in trash and junk removal. We can be at your home in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.
One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle a much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at (707) 744-4254.