at a Glance® Storage Options
Plan for Storing “Stuff”
Have you ever met someone who had too much storage space
in their home? It’s probably never happened.
For many of us, the lack of space, disorganization and clutter
become significant sources of stress. In fact, according to published
studies, Americans on average lose up to 150 hours every year
looking for lost or misplaced items. Take control over your life
and give yourself a little more time by addressing the storage
opportunities of your home.
One of the hallmarks of a wellthought-out homeplan is linen storage.
Typically located in or near bath areas, will the linen closets/
cabinets be adequate for extra pillows, comforters
and sheet sets, as well as towels and washcloths?
many linens are oversized: towels, bedding, blankets.
You don’t want to have to default to using
other bathroom storage, taking away from places for blow
dryers and personal care items.
sporting goods, etc.
Its no secret that garages are getting bigger, and
today’s larger vehicles are only part of the reason why. Four bicycles, golf clubs, every kind of ball imaginable, skates, scooters—all in a pile—yuck!
Adequate storage makes the mess go away. Today’s
garage systems help organize your garage and your life by having a place for tools, gardening supplies, sporting goods, etc.
Sizable bedroom closets.
“More closet space” is one of the most
often mentioned reasons for buying a new home.
Stuff multiplies–we’re not sure how! But in
addition to bigger closets, closet systems can actually
help you organize and store twice as many
items as the standard rod and shelf approach! Ventilated
hanging systems have become very popular
due to its flexibility and the ability for air
to move between clothes and through shelving—keeping
clothes fresher longer.
Photo courtesy of Medallion Cabinets
The day after Thanksgiving and it’s time
for holiday decorations to come out. But where
are they? Mixed up with St. Patrick’s
Day, Valentine’s Day and Halloween!
From Christmas trees and lights to Monopoly®,
we want convenient places to keep our stuff. Storage solutions may include closets, or unfinished areas of the home.
Table settings for twelve, pots and
pans, the 36-cup coffee maker, a dozen cans
of tuna and gourmet cookbooks! Large families
and packrats need lots of storage in the
With the kitchen as the activity hub in most homes, more thought should go into storage and serving issues. Will items be stored convenient to where they will be used? What about big pots and pans? Or, pretty dishware and other items you would like to display? Pantry storage for prepared foods? Only you know how you want your kitchen to function, so talk with a kitchen cabinet specialist regarding products and solutions available to create your dream kitchen!
Cell phones, keys,
zone. Everybody needs one and everybody
has one. It’s just that too many
of us use a kitchen island, breakfast table
or other area that just happensto be convenient
to drop off keys, pocket change, the
mail, cell phones, etc.
Eliminate unsightly clutter by putting
a cabinet near the entry from the garage to organize
these things. Be sure to incorporate a recharging center
phones and the video camera. You may also want to add
a tal space for hanging umbrellas, and a cork board or
board to turn this into a message center as well. Stress-free
living includes knowing you’ll
never lose your keys again and where your fully charged
cell phone is when you leave the house!
Johnny’s history is often in a box—baby
clothes, baptism, first day of school, birthday
cards, a brilliant essay, all kinds of
awards. Until Johnny is old enough to take them
off your hands, you have a storage challenge!
Items with tremendous personal value but
infrequently accessed need dry, long-term storage. Garage storage or unfinished areas of the home can be ideal long term storage spots. Be sure to use the right kind of containers—as cardboard
boxes can deteriorate and contribute to a musty basement smell.
Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid
Bulk items/Cleaning supplies.
We all love a good bargain,
but where do you keep the jumbo 12-roll pack of paper towels? Or
cleaning supplies, some of which need
stored out of the reach of children?
Ideally you would like to keep these items close
to where they will be used. Convenient to the kitchen, a walk-in
coat closet off the garage entry offers shelving for such items
while in the laundry room, a broom closet and generous cabinetry
offer plenty of additional storage.
Everyday coats, shoes,
If you live in a cold winter climate, have a larger
family or entertain frequently, you’ll appreciate
adequate coat storage easily accessed from the front door, garage
entry, or both.
Nothing is more stressful than getting the
family out the door with everything they need,
on time in the morning. If you have lockers near
the garage entry, that’s where the kids
will find their lunches (or lunch money), backpacks,
gym clothes, etc.
Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid
are so much more than
simply a place where cars are kept. As
with homes overall, garages have become
larger and are serving more purposes. In
addition to auto supplies, garages are ‘
home’ to lawn and garden products, tools
sports equipment, wintertime products,
paint, and much more.
If, when parked in the garage, your daily
commute to your car weaves around bikes
steps over garden tools and dodges dodge
balls, you’re not alone. In fact, the stress
associated with this reality has given rise
to garage storage and organization systems
becoming one of the hottest markets in
both new construction and remodeling.
The promise of a neat, tidy, organized
garage is compelling both rationally and
Whether you are building a new home, or
looking to reorganize the garage of your
existing home, the first step is to identify
any activity zones, such as a workbench or
a gardening center, as these may dictate
specialized storage needs. Second, determine
what you really want to keep in the garage. With an existing home, that means
throwing some stuff away! Be prepared–you just may need
to rent a dumpster for all that stuff that’s been collecting in your garage.
Knowing the activity zones and items which will be stored in the garage is the first step in designing your storage solution. With blueprints (or garage measurements) in hand, identify spaces along the walls which don’t interfere with opening the doors on your cars or walkways into the house. Sometimes there are also storage opportunities between parked vehicles or even overhead if your garage has a high ceiling.
Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid
Since keeping the garage reasonably clean is important from many perspectives (including safety, pest control and overall appearance,) you’ll want to get most items up and off the floor. Various garage wall storage systems are available, offering hanging for tools, shelving, cabinetry, and sporting goods storage options. Mobile storage—wheeled storage cabinets for example—address
the same need as these units
are easily moved to clean around.
The choice of open shelving vs. cabinet storage
is often comes down to aesthetics, personal preference
and price. But another consideration
should be child safety. Sharp or dangerous items
(pesticides, for example) are best kept in cabinets
concealed from curious eyes. Optimally, these
cabinets would be lockable.
Sporting goods, particularly bicycles, present
their own challenges. With an active family, these
frequently used items need to be readily available.
But what do you do with four bikes? Garage
organization suppliers offer numerous solutions
which help store bikes out of the way, many
times off the floor, yet are easily accessible.
The far end of the garage (when parked, the wall
closest to your car’s front bumper) offers a specia
storage opportunity, particularly for less frequently
needed and larger items. Deep cabinets can be
mounted high enough on the wall so that when
you pull your car in, the hood clears underneath
Also, many innovative overhead storage products
are becoming available. These solutions are ideal
for seasonal storage (where do you store the
Christmas lights and decorations for the other
eleven months?) At the same time, you must
consider safe accessibility. Climbing ladders to
retrieve heavy or bulky items is obviously unwise.
Though not strictly storage, one final issue merits
its own consideration—guys who spend a lot
of time in the garage pursuing hobbies or even
watching TV while playing cards. If that’s you,
don’t overlook heating (keeping your favorite
space usable year-round); refrigeration (cold
beverages, not frozen beverages); and even where
to put the cable TV jack.
here to read more about gargae storage.
courtesy of Rubbermaid
One final tip if you are going to install a garage storage
system in your present home. After the dumpster is
hauled away, you just might want to rent a U-Haul
truck to store everything else from your garage during
the installation of your new storage system!
Garage storage and organization systems are an excellent
investment for your own sanity and peace of mind.
They may also be an amenity that helps you someday
resell your home for a higher price and in a quicker
timeframe. You’ll never regret spending a little extra
time carefully planning this aspect of your home!
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