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Posts Tagged storage

The ABC’s of Storage

Here’s a multiple choice question.  Fill in the blank with the best choice. “Just put it away in the_______________.” A.  Attic B. Basement C.  Closet D.  All of the above. Of course the correct answer is “D.”  Attics, basements, and closets are our storage friends.  All too often, however, they turn into forgotten wastelands.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Here are some ways to make these storage areas more user-friendly. Keepsakes First and foremost, admit that this is a major category.  I see it in EVERY home we work in.  These are sentimental items that bring back special memories, but you have no intention of actually using or displaying. If they’re worth keeping, they’re worth keeping well.  Clear plastic boxes or drawers are the most user-friendly, but if you require 30 of them, they can get quite expensive, so do a focused sort and purge first. Old files I get it.  You need to keep these, just in case, but their location in your attic, basement, or closet should be as remote as the likelihood of retrieving them. […]

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Bungle in the Bundle

Bungle in the Bundle There is a false sense of security that comes from some familiar bundles.  More often than not, bundles don’t help you stay organized. One example I have talked about in my blog Envel-nope! is, not surprisingly, the envelope.  Yes, the sealed envelope is the most appropriate vehicle for delivering you mail, but it is terrible for filing and even worse for action items.  If you are in the habit of filing sealed envelopes, you can quadruple your file space by unfolding the tri-folded statement and by simply discarding the outer envelope, the useless inserts, and return envelope (if you pay online).  An action item hidden in an envelope compels no one to action. Here’s another example.  Those dry cleaning bags that bundle your clothes are not your friends.  They are designed to keep your clothes clean until you get them safely into your closet, but if you leave them on over time they trap moisture and can cause mold. If you’re short on space in your new home, those unpacked boxes are robbing you blind, especially […]

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Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts: #4

This is the fourth entry in the series  Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts. 4. DON’T store ANYTHING in a rounded basket with a handle. I know how it goes.  A friend gives you a beautiful gift basket and when it’s emptied, you just can’t bear to part with it.  “Surely I can find SOMETHING to put in it.”  Any time you find yourself trying to match a need to a container, STOP.  That’s a sure fire recipe for clutter and disorganization.  My advice is to fill that basket with flowers, candy, or cheese and give it back to your friend.  A gift basket is just about the worst organizing container imaginable.   Useful items, particularly squared ones like compact disks, tend to fit terribly in these baskets.  Furthermore, they’re usually tapered at the bottom, designed to make the contents look more plentiful and overflowing.  This is not an optimal storage feature.  They tend to fit poorly ON the shelves and wastefully BETWEEN the shelves, because of those stupid handles (not that you could stack anything on top of that […]

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Two Sides of a Coin

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, July 2008 TWO SIDES OF A COIN If you think of storage as a one-way street, disorganization is inevitable.  Instead, I find it helpful to think of storage as a coin, where STORAGE is heads and RETRIEVAL is tails. Storage without retrieval is not a solution.  It is solving one problem by creating another.  In fact, the new problem is worse because when things are hidden away without any sort of exit strategy, the odds of ever dealing with them plummet.    Most likely it won’t occur to us to deal with stashed items until we can stash no more.  That’s usually when I get a call. Here are six typical areas where retrieval is lacking and ways to improve them. 1. Storage Closets.  Having lived in many small city apartments, I know that sometimes you have nowhere else to store unused items than a closet.   This, however, is not the time to throw up your hands and say you have no storage.  It is the time to truly prioritize and use your limited […]

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