(If your problem is having too much stuff to fit into your storage space - then tune in next month for my top tips on decluttering!)
Top 5 Tips for Effective Storage
1. Don't store what you don't need to. Often it is more a case of having too much stuff than not enough storage space. Time to declutter! (more help on this topic in the new year)
2. Categorise your items in terms of how often you need to access them, then store them accordingly.
- Primary storage is for items you need easy access to on a regular basis - this is space (shelves, drawers etc) which is ideally between knee and eye level, or within easy arm's reach when sitting.
- Secondary storage is for items you need to access occasionally - top and bottom shelves, the back of deep cupboards, under-bed storage etc.
- Tertiary storage is for items which you only need to access infrequently, once a year, or on special occasions (archived tax records, snow gear, or Christmas decorations for example) - in the roof or under-house storage, in the shed or garage, or in an offsite storage unit.
3. Store items vertically to avoid piles and improve accessibility, and use your vertical surfaces to free up space on your horizontal surfaces - use vertical mail sorters, and wall-mounted hooks, rails, hanging shelves or baskets; store baking trays and platters vertically; etc.
4. Use labels for easy reference - a quick glance in the pantry or filing cabinet and you can easily see where to put something away or retrieve something from.
5. "A place for everything and everything it its place" - create designated homes for items and return them there when not in use. Use drawer / shelf dividers to delineate zones with specific functions. This helps avoid things being 'dumped' just anywhere, and helps maintain order.
This is just the very tip of the storage iceberg, but if you start to implement these tips you will be able to see immediate improvements. Do you have any other tips and tricks for better storage? Feel free to share them in the comments below!