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When is the perfect time to organize your storage? Right after you move in. Don’t just pile those boxes in the attic or closet and think you’ll come back to it later. Take time to organize your items and develop storage spaces throughout your home that work for you and your family. The Organized Home uses the ABC Method for building great storage spaces:
- Box & Banish
- Corral & Control
The great news about doing this when you move is that you’re likely halfway through the process by the time you get into your new home. If you’ve taken our past advice, hopefully you were able to get rid of some of the items that you don’t need (Assess) and everything is already boxed or banished based on what you choose to bring with you to your new home. So now all that’s left is to Corral and Control the remaining items. So where do you start? We recommend tackling these 6 areas first.
- Attic If the attic is your primary storage area make sure you create a storage system that works. Don’t just pile boxes in and sort it out later. Take time to organize them by use. Keep seasonal clothing and shoes in one area, holiday decorations in another, and if you have to have a miscellaneous storage area, make sure all your boxes are clearly marked before storing them.
- Basement If your basement is only being used for storage or you don’t have an attic, take a similar approach as mentioned above. Organize like with like and make sure you can access boxes and items easily, and as always, label, label, label!
- Library/Media area If you have a large collection of books, movies, records, etc. it might be tempting to stack the items in your office or media room and let them sit for a while until you need something. Don’t do this. It causes unneeded clutter and means that you’ll have tons of boxes that have to be emptied out down the road. Come up with a filing and organization system for your items before moving in and start chipping away at it little by little once you move in. Having an organized system means that items will be easy to find later on and you won’t spend hours dumping out boxes and creating a bigger mess down the road if you’re organized from day 1.
- Garage/Shed Much like the attic or basement, the garage can be a dumping ground for extra “stuff” so the best way to fight the urge is to get those spaces organized as soon as you can. The garage is a tough one since it’s a “catch-all” for tools, lawn care items, sports equipment, cars and anything else you don’t want to store inside. The best way to keep this space organized is to take advantage of wall space, cabinet storage, and possibly add some racking. This gives you the opportunity to make a place for everything and create a storage system that allows easy access to things when you need them, and “out of sight, out of mind,” when you don’t!
- Closets Not just clothes closets, all the closets. Linen closets, coat closets, hall closets, and of course the bedroom closets. Working to sort and organize these spaces will probably go a long way in helping to create more storage space in your home. Don’t just pile items in the closet. Take time to customize them to fit your needs by using baskets, temporary shelves and other storage solutions. You might be surprised how much storage you actually have if you take time to make the most of your space.
- Kitchen Unpacking the kitchen might not seem like a “storage” issue, but it is! You store dishes, drinkware, utensils, platters, pots, pans, and small appliances all in this single room, so you better make sure you have a good storage system. Also make sure to take the time to strategically place items near where you might use them. Ie. Pots and pans near the stove, cups and mugs near the fridge, plates near the stove for easy serving, and less used items in corner cabinets or away from all the “action.” This will go a long way to making your kitchen functional and fit to your needs.
Organizing a new home can be daunting, but once you develop a system for functional and organized storage in your home, you’ll breeze right through it!