I’m going to be honest. I’ve been avoiding this one.
The storage room may be one of your biggest organizational sighs of relief once it’s completed however!
You may be thinking, “If you have a storage room doesn’t that mean you have too much stuff?”, or “you wouldn’t need a storage room if you were a true minimalist”.
Maybe, but I’d have to argue that living in a place with various climates and weather conditions means that I sometimes need to have different things for different seasons. For example, my summer capsule wardrobe would give me hypothermia in the winter, so it’s stored when not needed. Or camping gear isn’t needed when I’m not in the middle of the woods…
So how do I keep this place decluttered and organized?
Step 1: Commit to it
If you haven’t decluttered this space in a while, it may take you more than one day to go through everything.
Before I started, I bought some 72 L storage bins as well as some Avery labels so that I could give each bin a category and create a list of the items that are in it. Sturdy boxes will work for this too!
My husband and my brother also built some shelves to house the bins in this space. By being able to stack our items we use up less floor space keeping things more accessible. These Ikea shelves are great too!
Step 2: Empty Everything!
Empty every single bin, box, bag, etc. Like I said, this may take you more than a day…
Categorize the items you currently have in storage once you can see them all (Keep, Donate,Trash). Remember that for something to be useful it needs to be used.
Step 3: Subcategorize
Once you’ve determined your “keep” pile, you’ll have to decide which items will be stored together. We have a bin for seasonal decor, outdoor activities (camping), parties/ entertaining, home improvement items (such as light bulbs, paint brushes, etc), and I have a bin for my art supplies. Once you’ve created new piles (hopefully that match up with the amount of bins you have), make a list of the items in that pile, either place it on top of everything once you put it into the bin, or secure it to the outside with the label. Here are some printable content lists for you to keep everything looking uniform and organized.
Step 4: Clean up!
Now that everything is packed up and labeled, it’s time to put it back on the shelves. Remember to keep items that are used more often in easy to reach places. Also, keep your heavier bins on the bottom shelves and your lighter ones towards the top. You wouldn’t want to hurt you back trying to lug down a 30 lbs box (or have it hit you in the face….speaking from experience!)
Pro tip: Keep a step ladder in your storage room to make it easy to not only get things off the shelves, but also put them back when you’re finished. If you’re feeling really ambitious, consider painting the space white to brighten it, since you’re less likely to neglect a room that feels like a finished part of your home.
When I cleaned up my storage room, I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff I could get rid of! Much of it went to be donated, some scanned documents to be made digital, and lots to the recycling/trash!
Try to keep ¼ of your storage space empty at all times so that you can easily shift things around as needed.