Here are several tried and true and easy tips to create more storage space.
Toss stuff you no longer need through decluttering
The easiest was to maximize your storage space is to learn how to declutter. Clutter drains energy and costs time and money according to Zaslow. Regularly decluttering is a key step in maximizing storage spaces. For help, follow our Declutter Guide where we take you room-by-room through your home.
- Follow this A-Z list of common housegold items for advice on where and how to donate them, Where to Donate Everything A-Z
- Learn Where, How & When to Donate Clothing
- Use this guide specifically designed for clothing donation: 6 Signs It's Time to Donate Clothes
- Use our Stop Hoarding Guide to more easily let go of items you are attached to but do not want to store.
- Use our Where to Donate Guide to find good home for your discarded items.
Use the best storage solutions (not the fancy ones)
I'm sure you've seen some truly wacky storage solutions "As Seen on TV," but some storage solutions really do work. A good storage solution accomplishes the following:
- It helps create more space
- It streamlines your organization by grouping like items together
- It makes thing easier to find by creating a proper "home"
That sounds good, right? Here are the top storage solutions for different items in your home: Storage Solutions.
Start using plastic storage containers
This one is really a no-brainer. Clear plastic will allow you to see inside the container more easily saving you precious time when quickly trying to retrieve an item from storage.
- Label these containers! Even though they are see-through, it will speed up item retrieval.
- Buy containers that 'nest' together. Try our Guide to Plastic Storage Containers for more information.
Maximize your use of prime real estate
"This is defined by the space in between your knees and your shoulders" says Lisa Zaslow of Gotham Organizers. In other words, the easiest places to reach. Out of sight out of mind, so keep your most frequently used items in your prime real estate.
- Think about what you reach for most often. Those go in your prime real estate storage spaces.
- "Out of sight, out of mind," reminds Zaslow. If you want something to remain part of your life, store it where you see it often.
Most people think in terms of left to right, but don't discount that space above your head and at your feet. These are a great places to store out-of-season, holiday, or little-used and worn items.
- Do invest in a sturdy step ladder to allow you to reach this area.
- Don't store anything too heavy up above--not boxes full of books or large appliances!
- Don't store anything you use regularly above your eye-line. Remember: Out of sight equals out of mind.
Choose the right products for your unique space
Triple measure your storage spaces before buying bins, trays or racks. There's nothing more frustrating than getting home and having to shove a container into a closet to make it fit. Storage products should fit your stuff, your stuff shouldn't have to fit whatever you buy on a whim. Plan ahead.
- Carry a note card with the measurements of your closets in your wallet. (see more tips like this in Household Organizing Tips)
- Once again, try to use products that nest together. They will stack more easily.
- Make sure they are clear and labeled.
Always label for easy retrieval
I always thought label makers were for the organization freaks amongst us, but now that I have my own, I'm slightly obsessed with my label maker. It's endlessly useful and gives home organization a very polished and professional look. Plus, it saves me from having to decipher my terrible handwriting!
- Start with broad to begin ("socks"), then adjust to more narrow labels ("black socks") as you see fit. Read more on how to do this in Organizing Principles: Keep it Simple.