Nobody is an expert overnight when it comes to organizing the home and removing clutter. Some of us will learn the hard way how to deal with unnecessary items, others will ask around and find solutions. However, a lot of people continue to make a series of mistakes in designating and using storage areas around the house. They are fighting a perpetual battle with crowded shelves and cluttered rooms. We decided that it is time to set things straight and help you overcome these common storage mistakes. Ready? Let’s get started!
#1 You Do Not Invest in Double Duty Furniture
Here is the deal: only one object can occupy a certain place in a room. It can be a piece of furniture, or it can be a storage unit, right? Wrong: it should be both. Coffee tables, sofas, beds and even elegant settees are available with built-in hidden storage to help you stow away lots and lots of items.
#2 You Forget about Overhead Space
What lies beyond the line of vision…is still valuable storage space and you must use it. If you can install shelves above your bed, or above the door, or extend your existing bookshelf, or place storage totes on top of a tall cabinet, do it. It is not space that you can use in any other way. Why should you clutter the floor when you have so much space up the walls?
#3 You Stock Up on Too Many Items
Do you really need 3 large bags of laundry detergent? And a dozen of pickle jars? These items will not suddenly disappear from supermarkets, but they will clutter your home (and put a hole in your budget). You should spend one or two weeks observing the speed with which you use up certain items and only buy what you need.
#4 You Do Not Stack Storage Bins
There are many stackable bins you can find in home improvement stores, as well as flexible shelf systems to help you stack more storage units. Every inch in your house, on the horizontal and on the vertical, is valuable. Instead of leaving things all over the rooms, you can designate a tight area where they can be stored in a space saving manner.
#5 You Do Not Rotate Seasonal Wardrobes
Where do you keep your winter clothes now that spring is here? In the closet, next to all the other clothes? No wonder you barely have space to put one more item in it. All the clothes you won’t be using until autumn should go in a special storage bin or even a traveling case, which sits unobtrusively under your bed or atop the wardrobe closet.
#6 You Forget About the Kitchen
The kitchen? What’s with it? Simple – it is just another room where you can store many items, and not only dishes and tableware. Many people have to use the kitchen as pantry and extended library, as well. If you can install floating cabinets on the walls, why not do it, even if you do not need them for the dishes. There are so many other things which can be kept in there, such as towels or cleaning supplies.
#7 You Forget to Label Storage Bins
It’s been over three months since you stored your children’s toys and now they are clamoring for them. Where could they be now? The blue bin? No…the red one. Wrong again! And so, you make a mess looking for an item. If you simply applied labels on each bin, you would go straight to the one you need.
#8 The Cluttered Organizers
They do not look like organizer anymore, if you store sunglasses next to belts, and scarves next to jewellery. It feels tempting to simply drop items in the closest at hand organizer, but this is the shortest way to clutter and not finding storage space for the items which should have been kept in the organizer.
#9 You Do Not Apply the 1 Year Rule
There is a simple rule when it comes to clothes: if you have not worn an item at least once in the past 12 months, chances are you will never wear it again. So, why keep it to clutter your wardrobe? It is much better to donate it to Salvation Army or elsewhere, do a good deed and clear up space in your closet for new fashion trends.
#10 You Ignore Tight Corners
What could possibly fit in this tiny space? How about a fancy table with two or three tiers on which you can organize correspondence, magazines and save space on the coffee table? Never underestimate tight and awkward corners – with a little creativity and DIY work they can offer a lot of storage space.
And with this we conclude our list of common storage mistakes. Do not feel bad if you are already committing one or more of them – nobody is perfect, but we can all learn and do better. Why don’t you share some other mistakes you used to make in the past and how you solved them?