When we look for houses, we’re always looking for a good amount of storage space, but how to keep it all organized? Storage and organizing go hand in hand, but not without a few tips.
**I intentionally didn’t use stock photos for this post, because I want you to hvae a realistic idea of what storage looks like.**
Here are my 5 best tips for storage and organizing (and you’ll find the 5 things that are NOT helping you down below)
Use bins for storage and organization
If you have deep storage shelves, it’s imperative that you use bins. They will almost at like “drawers” when you pull them out, you can reach the stuff at the back.
They can also be helpful to use a small bin (or even just an Amazon box) at the front of the shelf, so you can easily pull that out to access the things at the back.
Keep in mind, that bins come in many forms and you do NOT need to spend a lot of money on “bins” — but consider these items you may already have:
- Shoe Boxes
- Amazon Boxes
- Costco product boxes (diaper boxes are great)
Just make SURE you label items using a sharpie so that you know what’s in it. If you think you might use that item again for a new purpose — use some masking tape as a label (no, you do not need a label maker).
Also, when storing in the garage, I prefer plastic bins, as cardboard tends to decay in the elements of the garage #personalopinion
A note on drawer organizers:
For drawers, I am a FIRM believer in organizers. It’s just too hard to organize it otherwise. I love stuff like this, but I usually look for them at the dollar store for cheaper. I have also cut-down Amazon boxes to work as well. Just have to be creative. 🙂
Add shelves to help store & organize when possible
While some people see a house and think “it doesn’t have much storage” there are a LOT of easy ways to add shelving to a house.
Some of my favorite ways:
- Floating Shelves — like these (but I don’t recommend those over your bed… as I’m earthquake paranoid)
- Shelves over your toilet (HUGE for lady items) — something like this
- Garage shelving — we have built-in shelving in our garage, but I wish we’d gotten something like these so we could be a bit more flexible.
Of course, closet organizers are amazing — and we’ve bought flexible systems at Home Depot for MUCH cheaper than we could buy them elsewhere.
Buy Products for Organization
Buying things for organization when you have a specific problem can be SUPER helpful.
BUT, you need a specific problem in mind when you head to the store.
- I found this to store spices in (scroll down to see the spice fix), and it has been a lifesaver (and I found it in the bathroom section of the Container Store).
- I use a plate stacker to make it easy to put bowls above plates in our cupboard.
- I use half shelves frequently in my pantry to allow for smaller items under larger ones.
The thing is, the Container store is FULL of AWESOME ideas for specific problems. It also has really expensive bins and solutions for problems that you could more easily solve.
And, while I am a huge fan of batch-errands. I recommend going to a store like that with ONE problem (possibly two). Don’t let yourself buy things that would be nice to use elsewhere.
Also, search all over the store — like my spice container, the fix was actually in the bathroom section. 🙂
Stick Like with Like when organizing
When you pull everything out wanting to organize it — it can be SO overwhelming.
So, the first step is to put them in categories that make sense.
Example: All the paint together, all the tools together. All the candles together, etc.
Then, take stock of the area you have and start to put them back.
I KNOW that feeling when you just have no idea how you’re going to tackle all that stuff. But, if you break it into steps, starting with like with like — you’ll be able to go through it easier, and also find things easier when you’re done!
Make it like a grocery store when organizing
That is basically keeping things in rows.
This is super important in your pantry. So that you can see what you have and easily access items.
It can also work with other things, like candles, or boxes of bandaids in your medicine cabinet.
It mainly works with small things, but it really helps organize stuff. I also use it in my laundry room.
While I was writing this post I was thinking of ALL the bad habits we get into organizing. Especially when I watch YouTube or look at Pinterest on organization… so I came-up with….
Things that aren’t helping you Organize!
For fun — I want to share the 5 things that are NOT helping you organize
Bins — yes, I love them, and I hate them. BUT, think people think everything needs a bin and ultimately they feel like they don’t have enough space, when in reality they have too many bins.
Label Maker — yup. I have one. I love it. BUT, I also have to find it, find the tape to put in it, type it in, print it out, cut it, apply it. Whereas some masking tape and a sharpie does just as good of a job! Label maker gives a false idea that organization can be perfection. If you have a family — or you live with other people, your systems will NOT be perfect — so, don’t pretend they are!
Extra stuff — Yup, you need to declutter. That really should go without saying. When you keep saying you don’t have enough room. You have too much stuff. Be honest with yourself.
Feelings — It is HARD to throw away things your mom gave you with the nicest intentions. Or, to toss something that you just paid HARD earned cash for. But, those feelings aren’t helping you, and neither is the stuff. Be honest with yourself. 🙂
Pinterest — the idea that ANYONE’S entire home looks like a Pinterest page is a lie. I have one space in my home where everything is pretty much put away and tidy. It’s where guests come. But the rest of my house has a lot of “free-range organization” that isn’t all that pretty. But, it’s done and I know where stuff is (this post has more on free-range organization)
and THAT, my friends — is the MOST important part!
So, to sum that section up:
- Less feelings
- Less Stuff
- DONE is best. 🙂
If you liked this post, and my realistic ideas on organization — but you’d like more ways to implement them — I’ve got the course for you!
The Organized Home is the realistic way to manage a home, reduce clutter & clean less.
It’s created to help you:
- Feel “guest-ready” all the time because your house is usually just put together (easily)– no more “gasp of fear” when the doorbell rings with guests!
- Help you know exactly where the important things are — so you can always find them when you need them!
- Spend less time cleaning, because it’s actually just cleaning, not cleaning UP AND cleaning.
- Feel more at peace because your “stuff” isn’t on your mind. It all has a home and is easily put away.
If that sounds like something you’d love — check it out. You can even save 10% with code PC10.
But, if that’s not your cup of tea quite yet — consider joining my 5 word organization challenge (and check out my other organization posts below that)