When you put your things into a storage unit or stuff boxes into the back of the closet a lot of time those items become “out of sight out of mind.” And while you may have stored valuables for a good reason, you may also be keeping unnecessary clutter in your storage spaces.
To ensure you have plenty of room in your home and are keeping tabs on all of your valuables, create a schedule that will enable you to review, rotate and reduce your storage.
Determine Your High Traffic Areas
There are going to be certain storage areas that need frequent reassessing and others that can go much longer without. A storage unit outside of your home is most likely going to be much less visible and therefore easier to ignore. Where as a drawer in the kitchen or coat closet could be a constant source of storage irritation.
Take stock of all the different places you are currently using for storage and write them down from highest traffic to lowest.
The areas with the most traffic will most likely need the most attention. Despite what you’re storing, you’ll want to ensure the places you are interacting with most have as little clutter as possible.
Decide What Items Are Stored and Unpacked Most
There are a lot of items that go into storage and are removed again within the course of a year. Not only should these be put away in a place that is convenient to reach, but their packaging and containers need to be considered more often.
Seasonal clothes, holiday décor and family photos are just a few of the items that get shuffled around frequently, but are still stored items. For clothes and other items, one organizer suggests a biannual assessment.
“Go through your storage, especially if it’s clothing, twice a year and get rid of anything that you haven’t used in a year or doesn’t fit,” says Barbara Reich, author of Secrets of an Organized Mom.
Once you’ve determined if all the things you have stored should remain stored check the containers to make sure that your temporarily stored belongings are in a protective box. The more often a cardboard box is handled the quicker it falls apart and the odds that your items will be damaged increase.
Large, Long-term Storage
For your storage unit, attic space or basement, there may not be as big a need for accessing your items or unpacking them, but there should be an evaluation of your belongings at least annually.
You may not necessarily need to unpack every box, but you should shuffle your stowed stuff and scan them from top to bottom. If water has seeped into your space or insects have decided to make a home in a bag, items can be destroyed slowly over time. At least one rotation a year can help you avoid this sort of damage.
Storing can be a quick fix or an extended solution, but reassessing what you’ve stored and how you’ve stored it can be the number one way to ensure that your belongings stay safe.