It’s a fact…families amass a great deal of stuff… no-one really knows where it all comes from. Maybe some of those worn out old school backpacks just magically appeared, maybe you really just never got around to getting rid of them. That basket full of half-damaged sports equipment – hmmm…. and now it’s just taking up precious space in your basement or storage room.
Part of the problem is that we never really sit down and come up with a ‘plan of attack’ for dealing with that space. I had no choice but to do so this weekend. You see, we have some family coming to stay with us, and needed to move an armchair out of a bedroom and down to the storage room. Fitting it in was no easy task, we ended up having to repack the entire storage room! But it definitely did teach me a thing or two about how to make the most of even the littlest space.
Here are my tips and advice:
1. Take a deep breathe, look at everything you want to pack and store, and try and come up with a mental plan.This not only gives you a game plan, it also starts you off on the right foot, because you feel like you’re in control… and that can have a bigger effect than you realize.
2. If you are going to be using boxes, choose them wisely… Second hand boxes are okay sometimes, but rather spend a little extra money and buy new boxes if your boxes are looking very old and worn. The hassle that comes with a box breaking while you’re trying to move it is not nice!
3. If you have many suitcase and don’t travel often, you can use these to store large items like extra duvets or comforters. I myself use mothballs, but if you are against them, be sure to dry clean your items and them seal them up in large seal-able bags to keep out the ‘nasties’.
4. Put the stuff that you’re not going to use often at the back – this could be large things that you’ve decided to hang onto for sentimental reasons, like grandma’s huge four post bed, or the old cot that all four kids used. If your storage space is big enough, try and leave a pathway to the back, just in case.
5. It might not seem like it’s going to make a big difference, but break things down… take the legs of if you can, and even better, put things back in their boxes if still have them (it really makes a HUGE difference).
6. If your storage area is underground, or dark and musty (most of them are), leaving an open bag of charcoal briquettes in the room can help absorb extra moisture and odors. That way, the next time you need something, it’s going to smell a little less funky 🙂 .
7. If you decide to stack a few things on top of each other, be sure to keep the heaviest things at the bottom, but remember that, even though your pile looks stable today, cardboard boxes lose their strength and start to sag. Anything that is in the lower boxes could get damaged and your tower may topple over if the upper boxes are too heavy.
8. Try keep things that belong together near each other, it just makes it easier for you in the future. You can even take notes or photos if you want. You don’t have to feel bad, I ended up with a silly little ‘map’ that i stuck to the wall downstairs. Look, i’ll even share mine 🙂
Go on… I know it’s not a nice job… but once it’s done, you know you’ll feel better for having done it!
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