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Smart Storage Tips You Need to Know

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Storage. Sometimes I don’t think there is anything that is a greater challenge in my life than figuring out how to store everything we have and need to keep. This is especially a challenge with a large family like I have.

Over the past 20 years of marriage and as more children have joined our family, we have less and less room in which to store things, and more and more things we need to store. This means that I have had to become even more efficient and more creative in how I do it.

storage tips

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Surprisingly, I have done quite well with storage because I have all the clothes from my kids to pass down from one to the other (my oldest is almost 15), we have baby stuff for boys and girls, then there is all the school stuff since we homeschool as well as all as all of my stockpile of free things like toiletries as I spoke of in 15 Things Frugal People Don’t Pay For – and who can forget my gift stash?!

The first part I cover in these videos is regular storage in one of my storage areas. I lay out my system as follows:

  • Determine your storage area.
  • Find appropriate shelving. You can always store things in a more orderly fashion with shelves.
  • Measure the height, width, and depth of your shelving units and write these measurements down.
  • Take the measurements to whatever store you will be buying your containers and bins at. I find the best prices and selection to be at Walmart where I live.
  • Find the storage bins, boxes, and/or containers that will best maximize your storage area on your storage shelves. Leave as little open space as possible. In the videos you will see how tightly I pack everything. Think of yourself as playing Tetris or solving a math equation.
  • Determine if you can repurpose anything. In the video, I spoke of repurposing a bookshelf from my daughter’s bedroom. I found that storing all of my extra ziplock bags, saran wrap, foil, and extra vitamins and supplements are the perfect thing to maximize this space. I did forget to show you a picture of this particular bookshelf in the video, but I included a still picture of it at the bottom of the post, however.
  • If you need to create something to fit into a certain spot, get creative. I just stored some decorative pinecones in a brown paper bag because I couldn’t find a container or bin that worked.

In the second part of the video I gave you a peek at my gift stash and a couple of amazing tips for keeping this well organized and efficient.

  • The first tip is to create a log of the gifts you have and who they are for. I keep a log full of columns, one for each person in the family as well as for extended family members. As I put things into my gift stash, they get written down. As I take things out, they also get crossed off the list. This log not only helps you see what you have for everyone, it helps you see what you need to buy for people, too. Sometimes, I find that I need to fill in with a few quick items from the dollar store or something. Take it from me because I learned the hard way, the last thing you want to do is unpack everything you have to see everything you have.
  • Clearly mark your boxes. Mine contain the name of each person (although I do use code letters so people don’t know which boxes are theirs) and when the gifts inside are to be used since some things are purchased well ahead of time. You will also see this in the video.

When watching the videos, my Periscope was acting up that night so the sound cuts off part way through the first one. I apologize for that. Then, Periscope booted me off and I had to record a new video. I gave a quick recap and then moved on. I apologize for the annoyance of these things, but the videos are still full of numerous tips and everything you need to get a visual of everything that I just laid out.

 

 

Here is the recycled bookshelf I was referring to in both the video and above.

storage tips

No matter what you have to store or where you have to store it, it does help to plan ahead and get a little creative in order to maximize your storage capacity. Being willing to reexamine what works well and what doesn’t work well while making adjustments along the way is also key to getting the most of your space. Whether you are storing things for a large family like mine or only just yourself, using these tips to store it well will be something you are so glad you did.

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