Storage Wars: Organizing your garage, basement, or shed without a fight
The basement, garage, or shed spaces seem to be sources of frustration for all of us homeowners, because they’re the spots where all of the leftover items wind up -- or, as some say, “it’s the last stop before something goes in the garbage.”
Organizing these areas can certainly be challenging -- but here at TIMBER MART, we’re always ready to lend our expertise ...
Get rid of as much as you can: Sometimes it feels easier to just tuck something into the back of a room rather than dealing with it. You tell yourself it might come in handy one day, or that it’s too expensive to throw out -- and sometimes you just really don’t feel like taking it to the donation bin or recycling centre. But every item you keep is something you have to store, and space is precious! Close your eyes and picture a clean, well-organized space -- it’s worth a bit of purging, isn’t it?
Evaluate what’s staying: Take a quick walk through the space, or throw everything into the center of the room to take inventory. You need to take a closer look at the items that have made the final cut, in order to see what kind of storage solution is going to work. Do you have a lot of small items that would be best stored in a cubed shelving system? Or are your items massive and awkwardly-shaped?
Choose shelving wisely: All too often, people slap up a single set of rickety metal “utility” shelves and call it a day. But that might not be able to organize more than some half-empty paint cans and a few packages of nails and screws. There are so many easy ways to make wall-to-wall shelving that’s functional and attractive. Buy a series of inexpensive wooden bookcases and install them along a full wall, giving the illusion of built-ins. Or buy basic MDF boards and metal brackets to create a wall of customized shelving.
Take advantage of vertical space: We’re big fans of using hooks to get items off the ground and into a spot of their own. Sometimes you’re so used to storing your rakes and shovels in that corner behind the door that you don’t even think of storing them any other way. But every time you hang a broom, dustpan, mop, yard tool, ladder, ruler, level, or step-stool, you’re getting something off the floor -- and that’s a victory! If an item doesn’t have a hole for hanging -- or if the hole is too tiny -- use a zip-tie to make a nice sturdy loop.
Don’t forget the ceiling: Depending on the construction of your space, the beams might be a great place to slide items out of the way -- like leftover wood, rakes, plastic storage bins, or the kids’ sleds. If you’re really handy, you can build a series of wooden runners that allow plastic storage totes to slide in and lock in place overhead. Just be sure everything’s secure, or you might get beaned by an errant snow shovel!