My storage situation was a disaster. I can’t stand disorganized storage because it makes life SO much harder than it needs to be. Don’t you hate having to remove five to ten other boxes of stuff before finding what you need? Or risk everything falling on you in the process? I always end up hurting myself somehow. And then I get that bulging vein in my forehead because I’m so frustrated. So I needed some serious storage room organization.
We have two small storage closets and we don’t have a garage to use. So everything we need to store goes in these two rooms. I WISH I had taken a before picture, but just picture these two rooms filled to the brim with crap. And I apologize that these pictures aren’t the prettiest–my storage rooms have no windows or natural light in them.
Now–they are SO organized and accessible! It makes me SOOO happy that I did this. It was a major undertaking but so worth it.
First I took out EVERYTHING in the closets. So everything else was stacked around my house for like three days. It was claustrophobic and messy to be sure. Then I built the shelves which I will show you how to make tomorrow. Then, with the help of Uncle Tim, we managed to get the shelves in the small room and they fit JUST perfectly–but it was tight. I could NOT have done this without someone else’s help. He helped me assemble the shelves also. Once they were in, I bolted the unit to the studs in the wall so it can’t tip over (in case some curious little kid climbs up there.)
After the unit was ready, it was time to go through the boxes in my house. I left many of them (like all the Christmas decorations) alone. But all the boxes holding clothes I went through. I ended up giving away two full boxes of clothes. Then I bought the Ziploc Space Bag 15 Bag Space Saver Set and vacuum sealed the rest of the bags shut.
The Ziplock space bags were great, but a little trickier than I thought. Most of the bags were larger than my bins. The Medium size bags were perfect for the size of the bins. But the large-jumbo sizes were bigger. In order to get them to fit in the bins, I would fold it in half and then suck the air out. This made more of a double-decker storage bag. But it worked well enough. For the Jumbo size, I put my husband’s clothes in there and sucked out the air, making it as flat as possible. Then I just stored it up on the top shelf, along with some decorative pillows. Isn’t it great that it’s so flat?
I went from this many boxes of clothes to this many. Amazing!
I then used white Duck Tape with a sharpie to label my bins. The clear ones I skipped labeling since I can see what’s inside. I also had a few boxes that I left.
When I put the shelves in, we tried our best to get each shelf at the right height, but one of the shelves ended up being short of 16″, making it too small to fit my gray bins on. But it was still high enough to fit the clear bins and other boxes, so it was all good. But next time I assemble these shelves, I will mark the spot with marker, that will make it SO much easier to know where to screw in the shelves.
Now this is my main storage area. It’s so pretty and clean and orderly. And you could put these shelves in a storage room or a garage or whatever. It’s 2 ft deep and 7 ft wide. If I had the space, I would make it 2 ft x 8 ft, because the plywood comes in 4×8 sheets so you don’t waste anything.
We still have some other bins hidden in the deep recesses of the under-the-stairs closet, but I will deal with those when we move. They are filled with college books and other crap that we will never use again but yet deem unable to part with. But seriously, look how nice and spacious these closets are now!
In the under-the-stairs closet, I have a few shelves I bought from IKEA for a makeshift pantry/food storage. This has been very helpful. And now we also have space to keep other large items not being used, like that bed box spring and that rug and our luggage. It makes me SO happy to have this space here and to be able access my stuff so easily! Isn’t storage room organization the best?