We are well into that holiday season and if you are like me, you may have discovered (while putting away the Halloween décor and getting out the Harvest décor) that a good amount of stuff you are storing may actually be junk (yes, junk!). Sometimes those plastic storage totes in our basements, under our beds and deep in our closets can be the worst enemy. They create an illusion of organization and space saving, when in fact we may just be hoarding crap we no longer use. You know what they say…out of sight, out of mind.
I’ve got 3 really easy steps to follow when approaching storage bins or containers. This will help you alleviate the stress of stock-piling useless items and the best part is you may even find or create a ton more storage space for items you didn’t think you had room to store or items you recently bought. Post-holiday bargains anyone?
3 Ways to Conquer Storage Bins + Containers
#1 – Bring it into the Light
The only way to truly assess what you are dealing with is to pull all storage bins out. Now this may seem obvious, but sometimes we cheat ourselves by trying to tackle a closet storage bin while in the closet! This is too cumbersome and actually makes the task even more difficult. I suggest going room by room as to not overwhelm yourself. Make a list organized by priority or maybe by length of time it will take. For example, start with the master bedroom since you get the most use of storage more than likely from that closet drawer space. Pull out storage bins, buckets, baskets, luggage, etc. from the closets and under the bed. Put everything in the middle of the floor. Open the containers….remember to breathe!
#2 – Make Piles
Start by making 3 piles. A pile to keep, a pile that can be donated and a pile that is trash. I know some of you struggle with never wanting to toss anything, but this is the only way to keep clutter to the minimum. My rule of thumb is for every 4 items purchased, you must purge at least one. You can do it!
#3 – Clear & Concise
Now, once you’ve identified what is surely a keeper, place contents back into bin or container. And now for the magic, take a photo with your smart phone of the contents inside the box. You can either archive the image into a folder, email it to yourself or for our over-achievers, you can have it printed and actually place the image on the storage box. Now if that’s too over-the-top, grab a sheet a scratch paper and a sharpie and simply list the contents (feel free to write the general category, ei: Christmas Décor or Heavy Sweaters) and tape to the storage bin. This is a great way to always be able to identify what is inside and will save you from opening bin after bin in search of your holiday wreath.
Organizing and having a system in place will help with the overall stress of managing your home. It’s one less thing to be concerned with. I would suggest kicking up the dust with seasonal and keepsake storage containers at least twice a year…for personal wearable items, once a quarter is more ideal. Make it a seasonal event with your family or friends. It’s also a great way to streamline your shopping, allowing you to identify what you have and what you need going into the next season.
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With Love & Light,