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Storage & Organization Basics

Learn the Basics of Home Storage with "How Tos" for Rooms + Items


We've talked about how to organize anything, how to organize everything, how to declutter everything, and now we'll talk about storage. Storage, organization, and decluttering go hand-in-hand-in-hand. Once you've decided to purge your household and office of things you no longer use and love (decluttering), and have grouped like items together (organizing), it's time to figure out how to store your remaining items.

Below are storage resources organized by room, item and a few checklists that cover everything and anything you need to store.

How to Store Everything

Over the Door Shoe Rack
Over the Door Shoe Rack

You'd think storing items wouldn't be that complicated, but every month I learn another, simpler method for storing things, either in magazines on home and garden TV shows and in other people's homes. I created How to Store Everything as a home base storage guide for everything in your home from accessories and bikinis to winter coats and wine.

Home Storage Guides

Rob Melnychuk / Getty Images

Home storage guides will go through your home room-by-room and cover how to maximize storage space, and what to look for in storage solutions (see below for more on specific tools -- aka Storage Solutions -- for each room).

Storage Solutions By Room

A Wall of DIY Clipboards
Photo / Decor 8
In this storage series, you can work room-by-room, starting with the biggies: boots and shoes, closets, garages, and kitchens.

How Long to Keep Everything

Ikea office storage
Ikea office storage

I love this checklist of How Long to Keep Everything because sometimes I'm just not sure when I should donate, toss or recycle an item. This is also very helpful to have on hard when planning storage. It's something's time is up (a shirt you no longer wear, a financial document you no longer need), you don't have to find a place to store it, you can donate it or shred it. Problem solved.

7 Ways to Create More Storage Space

Grey Storage Cube
Photo / The Container Store
I once lived in a Manhattan apartment so small, I couldn't fit even a small couch couch into it. I had to chop vegetables and stacks dishes to dry on the same table I ate off of, and only one person could fit in the bathroom at one time. So I know where I'm coming from when I talk about maximizing storage space.

Where to Store Everything

Archival Ornament Storage from the Container Store
Archival Ornament Storage from the Container Store
An important part in any storage plan is to figure out exactly the right space to store everything you own. Three things to consider:
  1. How often do you use this item? I always like to store frequently used items at eye level, in the easiest-to-reach spaces.
  2. Where do you use it? Don't store items you use often in a storage space too far away from where they are used.
  3. What other items do you use it with? I like to store items in group based on projects. So, my gym clothes together, my baking supplies together, rain gear together, etc.
Here are some examples:

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