Need More Space for Your “Stuff?” Think Outdoor Storage – On the House

Need More Space for Your “Stuff?” Think Outdoor Storage

By on March 27, 2015
Storage Tips

Storage – it is something that no one ever seems to have enough of. Extra clothing, books, toys, recreational equipment, luggage, holiday decorations, tools and garden equipment are a just few of the almost endless list of items that overwhelm the limited storage space of most American homes. The result is chaos! Cars are parked in a driveway or at curbside instead of in the garage – the intended use for this space. Closets are often so cluttered that one would have to be a super sleuth to find what he is looking for. Attics are filled and basements are cramped. Is there any end to this madness?

While we would agree that storage in most American homes is at a premium, this condition may be more than just a storage problem. It’s time for a reality check. Here’s a tough question that only you can answer – “am I a pack rat?” If so, consider the line that actress and entertainer Cher used opposite Nicholas Cage in the movie Moonstruck – “snap out of it!” Clutter reduces comfort, increases frustration and can be a tremendous safety hazard. Cramped spaces can cause spaces to overheat which could result in, among other things, a house fire. An overloaded attic space can come crashing down and worse, blocked doors or paths can prevent easy escape should disaster strike.

Before you decide to add on to your home of convert a bedroom into a closet, consider an alternative or two. The first and most important step in improving storage is to get rid of items that are no longer being used. Except for a crib or like items that could be of value sometime down the road, if an item has not been used in the last year or so, it probably never will be. Thus, it is taking up valuable space. Consider a garage sale or, better yet, donate the items to a person or family in need. You’ll feel good by helping someone and you may even be able to take a tax deduction for a charitable contribution.

The next step to manage the storage space that you do have as efficiently as possible. This may require removing existing shelving and installing new storage systems – an assortment of adjustable shelving, wardrobe poles and other storage accessories.

If you have done all of the above and are still “storage-challenged,” additional storage space may be the answer. One alternative is off-site storage. A public storage facility located in your area may be the answer if you have gobs of stuff that you simply can’t part with such as large pieces of furniture. These facilities have freed many a closet, attic or basement and have allowed vehicles to become reacquainted with garages that were designed to house them.

For some, however, off-site storage is not the answer. It can be remote and inconvenient to access and security and the weather resistance of the space are other concerns. If off-site storage is a must, look for one what best suits your needs in terms of location, space needed, security, accessibility and, last but not least, budget.

Another, often more affordable and convenient alternative is an on-site outdoor storage facility – a storage shed, if you will. This type of structure became especially popular in the late ‘60’s and has continued to grow in popularity as a quick and easy solution to many storage problems. For years the vast majority of these structures have been constructed of metal. Unfortunately, the thickness or “gauge” of material used is often so thin that the structure appears flimsy. Additionally, thin panels can be easily dented and over time rust can take over, reducing the shed to a mere pile of rubble. Consequently, you lose a storage facility and gain an eyesore. Yikes!

No need to fret, technology to the rescue! Just as other aspects of construction materials have improved – building materials, siding, roofing, fencing and decking – so, too, have the materials used to build storage sheds. Today’s top-of-the-line outdoor storage sheds are constructed of virtually indestructible and weather resistant resin. Aside from enhanced lasting quality, these sheds are easy to assemble – the average shed can be fully assembled in about two hours. And you don’t need a toolbox filled with tools to do it either. Some models produced by leading manufacturers interlock and require only a rubber mallet and a Phillips screwdriver. Yes!

Plastic construction also offers a couple of other benefits – it has greater impact resistance and won’t rust or rot like its metal or wood-fabricated counterparts. Some models come equipped with a floor system that makes the shed completely weather-resistant to provide dry storage.

Because it is typically neither affordable nor practical to construct an outdoor storage shed is that matches the exterior of a home, the shed you choose should be camouflaged with plant material – regardless of how attractive one may think it to be.

Besides construction material used and the method of assembly employed, there are a few other important steps that should be taken that we provide the best and longest lasting installation. First, select a level site with good drainage. This will help keep contents dry by allowing for a better seal at the roof and around doors.

If the shed you purchase does not come equipped with a floor, your best bet is to pour a concrete slab. If concrete is a little too “concrete” (permanent) for you, sheet plastic with pea gravel or plywood on pressure treated sleepers are reasonable alternatives.

It was over 30 years ago in the movie classic “The Graduate” that the character portrayed by Dustin Hoffman was given the following sage advice – “I have one word for you – plastics!” Who knew then that he would be referring to the storage shed in your backyard?

In addition, if you are looking for a bigger storage space complete with 24/7 security, you may consider renting a storage unit from a nearby self storage facility in your area.

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