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More Organizing Ideas

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Done! Everything is up off of the floor and more easily accessible.

My first step in this process was to identify the main issues/goals in this space:

1) Have everything up off of the floor (to prevent any possible water damage and provide easy access to all utilities)

2) Provide easily accessible storage in designated zones (without having to dig in piles to get to things, prevent damage from stacking cardboard boxes, be able to see and grab what we have at a glance)

3) Remove excess clutter that was wasting our limited space (and have more air flow throughout space)

Next, I needed to think realistically about how I use this space and what kinds of things would generally be stored here. As I tend to use it for a place to tuck things away until a later date, I decided to create a zone specifically for things that only needed a temporary home, i.e. projects, extra storage bins, upcoming events, back to school items and donations. I use cardboard boxes here because they are up off of the floor and these are not permanent homes for things. And, as an added bonus, once I have used whatever is in those cardboard boxes I can then fill them with items for donations.

I made sure to measure the area first before purchasing the shelf, checked the weight limit and put any heavy items on the lower shelf. Having this area close to the door is best so that I can quickly access these ongoing “projects”.

Another huge portion of this space has been dedicated to Christmas items. These take up a lot of space but are only accessed once each year. Also, whenever it came time to decorate, getting anything out of those jumbo-sized bins was a hassle. Our collection had also outgrown these bins and we needed more storage.

I decided to buy medium stackable bins with which I could create specific categories for each different type of Christmas item we have. These more medium-sized bins would be easier to access, lift and bring upstairs individually as we need them. Additionally, because I did not need to access these regularly I could store them in the very back corner of the space. And, again, because I freed up many cardboard boxes this way I had more to reuse for donations. I put those old jumbo bins we had previously been using at the end of our driveway and someone was glad to pick them up.

I had already partially organized this space previously, with a designated area under the stairs for entertaining items we use rarely, like, a large punch bowl, the turkey pan and serving trays. We also keep our paint, tools and utility items in designated areas of this space as shown in the photos.

I think it’s always a good idea to declutter before purchasing any storage containers.

Things I removed included …

  • air conditioners that we no longer use

  • pieces of drywall leftover from a previous repair project

  • dropped off old computers/laptops to Best Buy’s recycling program

  • recycled box for my current computer which is no longer under warranty

Additionally, there were many unfinished projects I needed to address over the summer which were being stored in this space, including curtains that needed to be put up, shelves and so on. Clearing out this room gave me that extra bit of motivation I needed to get these projects completed.

Items I purchased …

I wanted to purchase storage items made from sturdy plastic in case there are any future water leaks (as opposed to wood, cardboard or metal).

-stackable plastic storage bins (2 for $10 from Giant Tiger x 12 bins = $60.00)

- plastic utility shelf ($40 from Walmart)

Total spent = $100.00

This is definitely my most expensive Before and After yet but this has been probably the most neglected space in my home. It is no longer a hassle to use this space, I can feel secure that my belongings are protected from water damage and there is safe access to all of the utilities.

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