When winter finally decides to release its grip on the world, there are a lot of things that you suddenly find yourself able to do. Many people choose to use their newfound spring freedom to clean, tidy and reorganize their home. Because spring cleaning is more than just a light tidy-up, many people use it as a reason to clean and reorganize parts of their home that don’t see daily use, like storage closets and garage shelves. Tidy, organized storage is an important part of a clean, clutter-free home, so it’s important to keep on top of your storage spaces. Here are some ways to do that:
Stored items are usually things you don’t use very often, but plan to use at some point. It’s important to store your things in containers that will protect them from damage, accidents, weather, rodents and moisture. While some things are safe enough in cardboard boxes, especially fragile items whose boxes include Styrofoam padding, other things such as clothing should be kept in waterproof plastic containers. Small, loose items are best stored in a container with drawers or other small compartments for easy organization.
When you’re planning how best to use your storage spaces, keep in mind which items you will be using the most often and keep them accessible. Sentimental items that you won’t want to access very often can be kept in the back of your storage closet. Things that you will want to find on a regular basis, like camping gear or holiday decorations, should be kept where they will be easy to find without making a mess of your closet.
There are few things more frustrating than looking for an object that you know is in “one of these boxes”, but not remembering which one of a dozen identical containers it’s kept in. This is why storage should always be clearly labeled. Some storage boxes come with built in labels. Others need to be labeled with pens and tape, or with permanent markers. Try to make your storage labeling as specific as possible. For instance, rather than simply writing “books” on a box, add some clues as to which books they are, such as “reference books” or “novels, authors A-D”. It takes a bit of extra time, but it will save you a lot of time and mess when you go on the hunt for a particular item.
Finally, make sure that you are taking regular stock of your storage spaces. Every spring cleaning, take an honest look at what you’re storing and get rid of things that truly don’t need to be there. Check for damaged boxes and make any repairs and replacements necessary to keep things in good condition. Do this every year for a tidy, efficient home!