It's the Little Things: Challenge 25- De-Clutter 'The Any and Everything' Space

Whatever you formally call the space- the garage, storage shed or utility room- it’s probably functioning as the ‘any and everything’ space, the ‘dump it and forget it’ space or the ‘oh is that where it is?’ space.

From sports and fitness equipment to car supplies to lawn and garden, holiday decorations, paint and that old grill, having to de-clutter the number and variety of items you may store in your storage shed can be seriously overwhelming.

But there’s always a solution:

1. Determine your plan of action. Pick a group of items to de-clutter, e.g. tools, or pick a spot like along one wall to better manage how you tackle the space. While removing everything at once is a noble gesture, such an approach may be too much for your energy levels.

2. Gather supplies. By the nature of the items, very likely you’ll need gloves and garbage bags. A notebook to jot down measurements and other ideas is useful as well.

3. Enlist help. Shifting bulky items and making decisions on items shared by the entire family necessitates that clearing your storage space is a job in which as many people as practical should get involved.

4. Identify what you really want the space to be used for after you have de-cluttered. Can you relocate a current group of items to another space? Will you donate or giveaway a group of items you no longer need?

Shopping for Storage Solutions and Maintaining the Space

1. Don’t half-do. It’s easy to buy one shelf or box for the space and hope that will solve your storage problems. But you’ll need to think about the space holistically or one spot will look very organised and the other parts of the room descend into chaos within a month.

In before photos, you will almost always see an attempt to organise the space with shelving that’s just inadequate.

Sketch out the space (we can help) and look at every nook and cranny for their storage possibilities.

2. Shelving is always your friend. Use your walls and get the clutter off the floor. Hooks and ceiling shelves also make for great storage companions in a utility space.

3. Plastic boxes are better. We get it -cardboard is free. But plastic offers a number of great features for long-term storage including being water-proof or weather-tight, allowing for consistency of storage and better stacking options. If you opt for clear plastic boxes, it’s much easier to see what you’re storing.

4. Maintain access. Your final storage solution should create a spot for everything to the extent that you can see the items easily and get to them too with minimum hassle.

5. Inventory & label. After you’ve packed everything up, it’s useful to make a list of what you have stored in your storage shed, firstly you avoid buying duplicates. Secondly, you can review the list from time to time to determine if a particular item still serves your needs and make a decision to give it away so that out of sight is not out of mind.

We feature three before and afters from bloggers that capture these concepts. For more inspiration, head on over to our Pinterest board, “Inspiring, Organised Spaces- Entry, Mudroom & Garage.'

Shop shelving solutions here.

Photo Source: Organising Made Fun

Before and After Photo Source: Apartment Therapy

Before and After Photo Source: Busy Mom's Helper

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