Getting The Most Out Of The Storage Space You Already Have
If you have the time to visit a new track home this weekend you may be surprised to discover that they come with more built-in storage than “Carter has Little Liver Pills”. Modern home construction definitely is “trying to keep up with the Jones”. Walk-in closets are in every room and in the master bedroom – holy cow – the master closet is bigger than the entire master bedroom used to be. Unbelievable! Apparently, storage space is fast becoming a really important selling feature in new home construction. For those of us who already have a piece of the American dream we must make the best of the storage space that we already have. And if you are looking for a bigger storage space complete with 24/7 security, you might want to consider renting a unit from a self storage facility in your area.
Everyone knows that adding an inexpensive built-in closet system can maximize storage in a given area. However, it is important to select a versatile system. For example: Consider purchasing the “interchangeable” kind – where each module allows you to alternate between hanging and/or adjustable shelving – or drawers. No matter how much planning you do you won’t really know exactly what configuration to use until after you have made several attempts at organizing and then reorganizing. Having a system that allows you to alternate between hanging and shelving can make it easier for you to alternate how you use your wardrobe between seasons or when needs change. For example: in the winter you may want more hanging jackets where in the summer you may want more shelf space for T-shirts – or whatever. In any event, keep in mind that the ability to reconfigure the storage space will add versatility and minimize waste as your needs change.
In addition to a versatile storage system we need to think in terms of how that space can be best utilized and how storage can be maximized. Even folding your clothes incorrectly for the available shelf system can be a mistake and a waste of space. Why spend $150 on a closet storage system and then not think out the best use of the additional space? You must first determine how many “columns” (or stacks) of clothing you can get onto each shelf utilizing it full width and depth.
Note: Keep in mind height is adjustable, and therefore not as critical – but a consideration none-the-less.
The “folding to size” part of the planning process is extremely important. A shelf that is 22-inches wide and 14-inches deep should be fully covered front to back and side to side. To do this, simply experiment. Fold and refold the items to be placed thereon until one or more stacks FULLY cover your shelf corner to corner. You will only have to experiment once. After you have determined the “folded size” that works best for your shelving system then you can move to phase two and create a your very own combination “folding template & shelf scoop”.
Think about it! Did you ever wonder how they do it in a clothing store? How they can get so much inventory into such tight places? Yes, you’re right. They do in fact plan on how to maximize the space by properly folding their inventory so that it fully covers the shelf without any wasted space. But loading and unloading such tightly packed shelves poses yet another problem. Without the proper tool it could mean completely emptying a shelf just to grab or repack a single article. Not a fun idea.
Well, there is a trick: All you actually need is a thin, stiff sheet of plastic (or hardboard) to act as a folding template (so that your clothing can be folded to a uniform size) and to act as a “slip tray” help you load and unload your shelf. Whether it’s a towel, a sheet, a shirt or a sweater creating and using your own handy-dandy folding template and shelf scoop will save the day.
Measure the width and length of the article(s) to be folded. Use these measurements to cut a sheet of eight-inch plastic or hard-board for use as a folding template and shelf scoop. You will want to create a unique folding template for each different set of shelves. Simply fold the article around the template – creating a uniformly folded garment. Then, you can use that same template as a “scoop” to add or remove part (or all) of a stack of clothing or linens. Use the template to “slide” new items between existing ones. How simple can it be?!?
Let’s say you like to keep your sweaters stacked by color. And the one you want to add to the stack needs to be placed somewhere in the middle. All you have to do is slide the template/scoop into the stack at the point where you want to place the new item. Holding the sweaters that lie above the template with one hand, and holding the template with the other hand, simply slip the upper portion of the stack cleanly off the shelf. Nothing will be wrinkled or ruffled. Place the additional sweater onto the stack (use the scoop to help if necessary) and then reverse the process and use the template/scoop to replace the top part of the stack. Again, no wrinkles or crumples. And, that’s all there is to it. For more home improvement tips and information visit our website at www.onthehouse.com or call us at 1-800-737-2474 every Saturday, 9 AM to 1 PM EST.
And, good luck!