How to keep your storage area organised

There are thousands of articles and books available that teach people how to keep organized in every area of their life – the kitchen, their kid’s rooms, the bathroom, at work – but there seems to be a gap in advice on storage areas. Like garages, spare rooms or storage closets.

They tend to be areas that get overlooked and are often messy and overcrowded with unused items. We’ve put together a few tips to help keep your forgotten storage area organized and practical.

Think big

Mentally catalogue the items that are kept in your storage area. Board games, bedding, sports equipment, furniture you aren’t using, etc…

All of these items are quite large so it’s important make sure your storage solutions reflect the size of the items they’re storing. Big shelves, high capacity plastic storage tubs, and large cupboards are essential to a functional storage area.

Big shelves, large cupboards & high capacity storage tubs are essential.

Designate specific areas for specific objects

Dishes Organized in Kitchen Cabinets — Image by © Monalyn Gracia/Corbis

Storage rooms can become cluttered very quickly if you don’t have a proper place for every item. Have an area where you keep winter coats, another area for sporting equipment and another area again for things like bulk toilet paper purchases or car cleaning equipment.

Install tailored storage solutions

If you have items like skis, kayaks, tennis equipment or a large collection of tools, you should consider installing tailored storage solutions. Peg boards are very useful for keeping tools in order and you can purchase custom racks for almost any item. Take advantage of what’s on offer at your local storage solution store to vastly improve the functionality of your storage area.

Avoid layering your belongings

When we overfill cupboards or stack too many items on top of each other, this is where clutter starts to become a problem. Use storage solutions like drawer separators and cupboard inserts to keep your items separate and easy to find.

Find your items easily by using drawer separators & cupboard inserts.

Also try to avoid the temptation to over stuff a cupboard or drawer. It’s best to have three functional sets of drawers rather than one set that causes you frustration whenever you search through it.

Keep it functional

A giant cupboard brimming with junk is not a functional storage solution. Make sure you keep items you use more frequently in areas that are easily accessible with items you use less frequently in the harder to reach places.

Only store essential items

Many items that are kept in storage areas will never be used again. Make sure you regularly clean out your storage area to make sure you’re not holding on to useless clutter you’ll never use, like prams if your children are all grown up or skis that aren’t suitable for use anymore.

Use the walls…

Wall mounted storage solutions are the best way to get organised. If you’re a home owner or have permission from your landlord, mount lots of baskets to the walls to store the bulk of your items. Rollerblade, cleaning equipment and seldom used electronics can all be stored safely and cleanly in wall mounted baskets.

…and the ceiling

This tip is particularly handy if your storage area is also your garage.

The ceiling is the perfect place to store larger sporting equipment like kayaks, stand up paddle boards, surf boards, snow boards and skis. If you have a sport hobby that requires a large piece of equipment it’s best to give that equipment a designated area to live to avoid damaging the item and/or items stored near them.

A falling pair of skis can do a lot of damage to a wall so make sure you store things properly.

Label everything

Vintage Kitchen Hutch with baking ingredients

Invest in a label maker and label places in your storage area where certain items should be stored. This is an excellent way to keep track of what is being returned to its rightful place and what isn’t.

It’s also easy to assume that you will remember where you put an item but storage areas are not used regularly and it can be easy to forget which box you put which items in.

Originally published as How to keep your storage area organized by Carly Jacobs. Author at