Have you ever put something down only to find yourself searching the house for it 20 minutes later? We tend to have a place for most of the things we use regularly, but there are also a lot of things that just seem to float around the house until we get overwhelmed and then shove them in a coat closet. To help you get more organized and create a stress-free routine, we’re going to help you identify a few things that you should probably have a place for but don’t, so you can organize both your home and your mind.
Map Your Home into Zones
Before doing anything, try to look at your home in terms of different zones. Obviously, there are the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom zones, but what about everything else? Do you have a specific area where the kids play? Is there a designated spot for your pet? Do you ever have to bring work home but don’t have a home office set up? Understand how you use your space outside of the general floorplan so you can better plan for random storage needs. Our habits are so engrained in daily life that we tend to overlook these small details on a day-to-day basis. Draw out the zones on a piece of paper and look at it from an objective view. If you tend to do most of your at-home work in the kitchen, but store your supplies in the bedroom, you’re working harder not smarter. Understand how you use each room so that you can find a place for the things that are otherwise just floating around. This will come in handy later.
Evaluate Your Storage Effectiveness
Think about all the things you use in your home throughout the day. How many of them end up back where you got them from when you’re done? For many of us, that answer is closer to zero than we’d like to admit. That’s not necessarily because you’re messy, it could actually be an indication that where you’re keeping something just isn’t working. The accessibility of our things can also be applied to how easy it is to put them away. We need to work on increasing that accessibility for frequently used items if we want to limit our end of the day cleanup. So, after looking at the zones in your home, look at the current effectiveness of your storage. Try making a list of everything you put back in its place at the end of the day for a week or so to get a better understanding of where you can improve and then make some small changes.
Create the Necessary Storage Places
In addition to the things that you found to be ineffectively stored, here are some of the most popular items in our homes that tend to float around without a specific storage place of their own.
- Kid’s Artwork
If you have young children, you’re probably very familiar with craft hour or school projects. Now more than ever, parents are helping their kids foster creativity through hands-on art projects, paintings, and crafts. It’s a great way to complement at-home learning during these times, but as you may know it leads to an abundance of artwork with no place to go. While you might choose to hang a few of your favorites on the fridge or around the house, the remaining art adds up. A lot of parents don’t want to simply throw the artwork away as your child worked hard on it and it’s always fun to look back on them when your children have grown and indulge in a little nostalgia. Rather than scramble around the house trying to find blank wall space to display your kid’s artwork, get a clear plastic bin that can easily slide under a bed. When the bin gets too full, you can go through them together and keep your favorites.
- Incentivizing Toys
Another great storage idea for parents is incentivizing toys or treats. Fill a basket with new toys or treats then store it out of reach in your closet. Implement a star system and let your kids earn stars when they do chores, clean up after playtime, practice compassion, or finish their homework on time. When they’ve gotten a certain number of stars, get the toy basket down and let them pick a new toy. It’s a creative way to get your kids excited about cleaning up and helping without breaking the bank.
- Healthy Snacks
While most people store their snacks in the pantry, it ends up perpetuating the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. When you do open the pantry to get a snack, you’ll be faced with a difficult decision: healthy vs. unhealthy. Unfortunately, more often than not we’ll reach for whatever tastes better. To help instill good habits, keep healthy snacks stored in a decorative bowl on the kitchen island, table, or in clear glass jars on your counter.
- Quick Fixes
How many times have you caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror while running out the door and realized that you needed a little touch up? This tends to happen a lot but running all the way back to the bathroom is time consuming and sometimes unrealistic. To help you manage stressful days, keep a few of the essential grooming supplies that your family regularly needs and uses by the front door so you can spruce up before you leave without wasting time. This is even more helpful if you have kids or a big family!
- Home Offices
With so many people working from home right now, we’ve quickly come to realize that our office is wherever we decide to sit down. If you don’t have a dedicated home office room, this means chaos and clutter in the kitchen, living room, and even bedroom. Create a mini transportable home office that allows you to keep everything organized and right where you need it. Ideally, you can take this cubby with you wherever you decide to set up for the day and store it away when you’re done. It’s a great way to help you maintain a healthy work-life balance while still being productive at home.
- Pet Toys
Animals love to scatter their toys throughout the day, but many people end up leaving them wherever they drop. While cleaning up after a dog or a cat is much like cleaning up after a child, designating a specific storage place for your pet’s toys will allow you the opportunity to declutter your floors. We recommend getting a designated basket or bin for pet toys and storing them with the rest of your pet’s accessories.
- Unused Décor
To give your home a fresh feel, most people change up the décor. However, buying new décor every time you want a change gets expensive. Instead, find a spot to store your unused décor and create a rotation. This is especially important if you have a lot of paintings or you’re a fan of holiday décor—those small trinkets add up quickly! If you don’t have any room in your home, consider renting a self-storage unit to safely keep your unused décor out of the way until you need it.
- Sports Equipment
Finally, storing sports equipment can be tricky, especially if you have a big family and kids that play a lot of different sports. Every season brings something new and alternating between football pads, soccer equipment, and golf clubs takes a lot of space. To help keep you sane, create a specific place for all of the sports equipment, regardless of what’s currently being used. If you don’t have the space, store equipment not currently in season in a self-storage unit.
While you’re going through your home, evaluating your current storage effectiveness, and creating places for some essential items in your life, put aside things you rarely use. If you never put things away because the closet is cluttered or a drawer is overflowing, take the time to clean it out and see what’s in there that’s taking up so much room. More often than not, we get so caught up in our lives that we throw things in a crevice and don’t think about it for years. It becomes clutter that adds unnecessary chaos into our lives. Instead, put it aside and consider whether or not you really want to keep it in the first place. If you do, but you know you rarely use it, put it into a self-storage unit so you can access it when you need to. Using a self-storage unit will help you declutter your life and make space for things to be properly stored, used, and put back away in your home. For a self-storage company you can trust, head over to The Lock Up Self Storage today. All of our self-storage units are temperature controlled and 100% secured so you can be assured that your things are safe and well taken care of. To learn more about our available units near you, or to talk to a representative about procuring a self-storage unit, give us a call at (866) 327-LOCK today.