It seems like there is never enough space for all our stuff. Every time we create more space to store belongings, we immediately fill it up. Before long, we feel like we're on a never-ending quest to find a few more square feet to store something else. Is there any way to break this cycle and get a system in place to control our use of space? The good news is that it can be done, and it doesn't require renting a storage unit or selling everything you own. With some simple adjustments, you can take control of your storage needs. Here are some ideas to make the most of the space in your house.
Make Space For Your Stuff
Like balancing a budget or mixing paint colors, making space for your belongings is all about making the two sides of an equation meet up correctly. If you have more things than you have space, you need to find ways to reduce how many things you store while simultaneously working to make the most of the space you do have.
Think about the available space in your house and make a plan to manage it. Do you need to do a better job utilizing your space? Is your home organized well enough to keep you from wasting space? Sometimes we can waste an inch or two here that costs us a foot or two there, so a little organization can go a long way. Are you overrun with unneeded items? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, the tips that follow will help you out.
Find a Clever Way to Store More
There are two great ways to get creative with storing your belongings. The first is to utilize spaces that you previously didn't use. This can include areas like the attic-like spaces behind an upstairs knee wall. Cutting an opening and installing a door into these areas can allow you to cover the floors and walls and add lighting to create a space perfect for items that will be used in the adjacent room.
The other option is to find ways to make better use of your space. Wasted space is your biggest enemy! Boxes and other containers need to be filled as full as possible. If these containers do not fit tightly into their spaces, place things around them and on top of them to get more items into the same area. Store clothing wisely; if a rod only holds shorter items, add a second rod below it for more short garments, or put a shoe organizer on the floor beneath them. Use overhead racks in the garage for seasonal items like bicycles and holiday decorations.
What Should You Get Rid of When Decluttering?
Making decisions during decluttering about what to keep and what to toss is difficult. Our belongings often hold a lot of meaning, even if it's just because they've been a familiar part of our surroundings for a long time. How do you choose to get rid of things like that? It's definitely hard to do, but it's manageable if you create a system that allows you to think logically about each item you're thinking about letting go.
The criteria for keeping something versus getting rid of it are pretty simple. Everything we own should have value--either because we use or because it has intrinsic value. Things we use include clothing, tools, cookware, and so on. Things with intrinsic value would be heirloom items, souvenirs, things from when the kids were little, and so forth. If something fails to meet one of those standards, it can probably go. Here's how to do that.
Downsize Your Belongings!
The easiest thing to do is to create two categories. One is for things that you can part with right now, and the other is for things that get a little more time. If you haven't used it, worn it, or even thought about it for a year or more, it's pretty easy to decide to let it go. If you have, put it away and give it a few months. If you miss it and want to use it or wear it, keep it. If the extra time helps you realize it's not that special to you, let it go. Circle a date on your calendar and re-evaluate all of those items at that time.
Remember that this isn't about placing items in the garbage or even giving them away. It's true that your trash might be someone else's treasure. Have a yard sale, or list the items in an online auction. You've probably seen friends and relatives unloading unwanted items with social media posts. The great thing about selling these items is that you can recover some cash to invest in upgraded storage items like racks, organizers, and containers.
Getting the most out of the space you have for storing items takes a combination of all the things we've discussed today. The process of decluttering can come in many different forms, from reorganizing your home office to the selection technique outlined above.
Removing clutter alone won't fix everything. It's important to eliminate wasted space so that you can utilize it for storing items. Making good use of every space will make it much easier to have room for the things you need to store. You also need to get rid of the things you can't, don't, or won't use. Every unneeded item that you store is a waste of scarce space. Finally, liquidating those items can generate some money to help you cover the costs associated with storing your belongings more effectively. That captures some of the money you've tied up in items that don't benefit you and helps you store the things that do.
With a good plan and some time, you can maximize the use of your available space to keep all your belongings safe, organized, and in good condition.