3 Questions to Make you Rethink Your Storage Space
I want to ask you a simple question…
How do we accumulate so much stuff in our storage spaces so fast?
Well, Christmas probably didn’t help. But do you ever feel you just cleaned out your closets? Or that you reorganized the kitchen cabinets recently? Or did a complete overhaul on the kids’ toy room?
You vividly remember loading up boxes of stuff your family doesn’t use anymore and driving to Goodwill…what was it, two months ago? Yet here you are, staring at whatever overflowing storage space, knowing you have to reorganize it again.
It’s downright infuriating. And exhausting.
I don’t know about you, but with three kids, I find things I have no clue how they got into my house. And seriously, I think toys may be procreating. There’s no other explanation for how many baby dolls exist here. Our toy room looks like it came straight out of the Orphan Annie movie with all the kids!
Since we’re stuck inside during the winter with more time on our hands, I want to swing back to dealing with household clutter and how to tackle it. More specifically, I want to help you handle chaos in your precious household storage spaces. You don’t have to feel like the only way to escape the clutter is to move!
Let’s reminisce for a moment.
Think back to when you first bought your home. All the storage space amazed you. But after a few years, you feel like your space is busting at the seams. In fact, you’ve caught yourself eyeballing new houses online just to upgrade to bigger closets and more cabinets.
Like time, storage is one of those things we wish we had more of. Do you even know why you keep all that stuff? Do you feel like it’s time to scrap your current method of storage organization and start over?
Moving is likely not the answer. But there are some things to consider regarding household storage.
1. What exactly are you storing?
Do you need the items taking up space? It’s human nature to hold on to things longer than necessary – who knows if you’ll need an item right after you pitch it, right? But my theory is, if it’s something you haven’t used in the last year, it’s probably okay to dig out from the back of the closet and toss it!
It might be time to revisit Decluttering Your Home in 15 Minutes a Day if you know you have hidden items ready to get the boot.
2. Is your storage space set up efficiently?
When we moved into our house, some of our closets became packed with stuff as we emptied the moving boxes. As I’m regularly decluttering, I’ve found it much easier to add shelving, bins, and totes to organize most storage areas. We have designated containers in the bathroom so my family members can locate things without yelling for me all the time (hair ties, bath toys, a small backstock of vitamins, shampoo/conditioner, lotion, toothpaste).
I’ve recently added simple and sleek clear bins from mDesign in our bathroom and kitchen drawers, as well as in the pantry cupboard pull out drawers to keep things “contained.” It helps me see what we actually have, and saves me from overbuying snacks/baking goods, you name it – that we already had but wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Are you guilty of that too? These containers have helped a ton by making putting the groceries away a breeze! The kids even have fun “helping” since empty boxes of goods like granola bars into divided bins. Small things, big impact!
When you have a simplified method of storing things, it becomes easier to get rid of things that don’t have a place before they end up in the dark corners of a closet or pantry.
3. What’s your process for housing your stuff?
When items come into your home, do you automatically keep them? Do you question how often you’ll use a specific item? If so, does it need to be somewhere handy, or can it be in long-term storage in an attic, basement, or garage?
Think about the Christmas tree – you only bring that bad boy out once a year. Would it make any sense to keep it in the linen closet or pantry? Probably not. I know this is common sense, but I bring up the Christmas tree purely as a reference point. Why keep things used as frequently in your everyday storage spaces?
Before you buy or accept “stuff” into your home, ask yourself these three things:
- Will I, or anyone else in my home, use it? How often?
- Is it valuable? Remember that value goes beyond money – is the item of sentimental value? Is it an heirloom to be passed down to the next generation? (And will another person want it? With sentimental items, you shouldn’t keep them just to keep them.)
- What storage space makes the most sense for efficiency? Do we have space for it?
I realize it’s super easy to hide things in cabinets and closets. But once those places overflow, things spill over into your living spaces. Then when guests come over, you shove items somewhere randomly to get them out of sight.
And what follows out of sight? Yep. Out of mind. And when that phenomenon occurs, you end up with a jumbled mess of storage spaces (For any Friends fans out there, I’m thinking of the episode with Monica’s secret closet.) Your house looks orderly, as long as you don’t open that one closet!
You’re busy. I get that. But putting thought into things before you hide them away takes less time than reorganizing closets will down the road. And when you have a simple storage organization method in place, it takes only a few minutes to do a quick sweep every few months to clean out no longer used items.
If you haven’t gotten your hands on my FREE 5 Day Declutter Checklist yet, get on it! Right now is the perfect time to get your storage spaces organized, so you can enjoy being outside as soon as the weather turns. Enjoy Spring by putting in a little effort in the winter.
Have you already tried my Declutter Challenge? If so, I want to hear how it’s going in the comments below!
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