Guest Post by Nicole Young
I hate clutter with a fiery passion. Every time I visit my in-laws’ home I cringe and try to subdue the urge to straighten and purge. Worse, according to my husband, is when I get home and try to start donating and tossing things around our own- already minimalist- home.
You see, every visit sparks a fear that one day our home will be overrun with useless knick-knacks, long forgotten children’s toys, and other junk. Many of my friends ask me for advice on clearing clutter from their own home, so I’ve decided to write down my best general advice and put it out into the world.
Have a Storage Unit
You need a dedicated space to store valuable, but infrequently, used items. If you don’t have a basement or spare space in the garage you will probably need a storage unit. When utilized properly, storage units will be invaluable. When utilized poorly, however, it will just be an expensive junk room you have to travel to.
Your storage unit should be used for anything that will be unused for two or more months at a time (obviously you can adjust this for your own lifestyle.) Clearly label storage and keep together seasonal decorations to make life easy.
Don’t tempt fate, keep everything a few inches off the floor because disasters can happen and you’ll rarely find out about potential damage in your unit in a timely manner. Within your storage unit use sturdy wire shelving so vertical space can be safely taken advantage of. A sturdy rolling garment rack is also a good investment. You can store out of season items that are too bulky to box or bag and as an added benefit, you can roll it in last and use the dead space in front of the door.
In-Home Storage Solutions
Within your home, CBS Local suggests identifying your major storage areas and limit yourself to them. Most hoarders (according to my very unscientific viewing of select reality programs) start by letting things build up in a corner of a room and, before you know it (at least in television time) their whole home is overrun with garbage.
Once you’ve identified the places you can store items it’s time to visit the happiest place on earth — no, not a Disney park — the Container Store! If you’re not lucky enough to have one of these beautiful Meccas of organization, find someplace with lots of baskets and clear plastic bins.
In public living spaces use aesthetically pleasing baskets that match the decor of your room to contain items on shelves or in closets, as seen on Real Simple. In a space like a garage or shed remember to use wall space and mount items from bikes to garden tools and keep those floors uncluttered!
Attach clear page protectors to the side of your bins that will be facing outward. Use simple printer paper and bold markers to identify the contents. This way you’ll always have clean, protected, current information on what you’re storing!
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