Need storage solutions?

What exactly is a “storage solution”?  I’m an expert at storage, stuff and decluttering, yet, I’m not sure what a “storage solution” is.  If you google “storage solution” guess what the result is?  companies who offer off site storage!

I think off site storage is a good idea in some cases, but in many cases, it’s simply deferring the decisions.  And when we’re talking deferring the decision, we’re talking CLUTTER.  Clutter is often “I’ll do it later”.  I have spoken with many clients who have off site storage and paid for it for years.  And years.  The stuff just sits there.  Not used, not valued.  Just expensive clutter.  So be very careful before you use off site storage.

But back to solutions. If you’re in need of better storage, which is really what I think people mean when they say storage solutions, here’s my top 3 tips:

Hang it up
Use the walls – shelves, hooks, wall mounted anything. Get stuff off the floor and off surfaces for a super duper clutter free look.  Wall mount the TV, install shelving on the walls in every room, and hang anything you possibly can (bags, coats, brollys, baskets).   If it’s light enough, hang it up and you will find your storage in instantly improved.

Versatile matters
Why have a rack for CDs when it won’t do anything else  Do you really need that salad spinner when a colander and tea towel will do?  What about your desk in the study – could that double as a dining table?  Never have any item in your home that is not versatile.

Have a home
If items don’t have a home, you can’t put things away.  Part of the trick to good storage is simply assigning a home so you can put away.  If you can’t put away, things quickly look messy and out of control.  If it doesn’t have a home maybe you don’t need it.

What else?
Under bed storage can help.
Cupboards and drawers are good (that’s obvious)
Shelving and bookcases can help.
Containers can be useful but you don’t need to over containerise.

The real trick with a “storage solution” is to make sure you don’t have too much stuff to begin with.  Otherwise, your storage solution might be to move house, buy a shed, or get off site storage.  Not usually a very healthy option.

Get rid of it
The best storage is any storage that’s not filled to capacity.  Reducing the volume should be your main goal.  Seriously, you’re not your stuff.  You’re not a lesser person without all that padding.  Be ruthless.  You don’t need to cram and stuff your storage full. Take a deep breath and let go.  The sky won’t fall in.

The roller blades you used before you had kids, go. The fancy dress stuff (just in case), go.  the old notes from the professional development workshop, go.  The spare blankets and sheets and towels just in case, go.   Old uni textbooks, go. The excess kitchen crockery and serving dishes, go.  Paid bills from last year, go. Unread books and magazines, go. You get the idea.


8 responses to “Need storage solutions?

  1. My (late) partner’s solution was to build more sheds. We ended up with 12 in all. And stuff still spilled out into the yard. I am now down to 2 – 1 is part of the house, and the other is a dog kennel.

    I agree that many people don’t need more storage – they need to declutter. Life is so much simpler if you do that. Stuff becomes a weight to bear, and ties you down. Takes up time, as well as space. Complicates cleaning and tidying.

  2. Something I need to do.. LET GO!!! I have a boxes from two moves ago I haven’t even unpacked yet!? It just keeps getting moved and re-boxed and put in the “deal with it later” pile… HMM…

  3. I’m one of those people that if l don’t see it l forget l have it………so keeping stuff in drawers and cupboards for “in case” doesn’t interest me, because l would forget what l have.
    I’ve never had a lot of “stuff” anyway. I’m so the opposite of a hoarder – l’m a minimalist and non materalistic. If l had to flee in an emergency l would bet my personal possessions would easily fit in my car boot only.

  4. Your e-newsletter arrived in time! We have been talking for months to clean the spare room and make it useful for the kids so we’ll store their toys/ bags off the floor and on shelves in the cupboard (after much discussion and visits to ikea, we decided not to buy the storage systems and went with elfa at howards storage, and update our existing system.) we are now trying to persuade (possible?) our 4yo which toys to “let go”. Also trying not to containerise, but at this stage it’s all I can do until I can “see” what we have and don’t need. we’re half complete, and it’s fun and rewarding. We realise we don’t need a bunch of stuff, it’s just stuff after all, and value what’s useful, is being used to make our days feel like diamonds! I don’t know how else to explain it, but when you’re not cluttered you think and feel clearer. A cluttered cupboard means a cluttered mind? Not in our house!!

  5. Please could you suggest ‘a storage solution’ to help me with a paper problem – DL sized flyers, I pick them up hither and thither to refer to later but so far have not found an easy way of storing them for easy access. I have tried an upright magazine holder and also a long CD box but neither is great, any suggestions? Many thanks Susie

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