Storage Room

One of my Favorite Tips when Tackling Storage Spaces

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Don’t Mix and Match

Whether you’re organizing your garage, attic, basement or storage shed,
this one piece of advice will go a long way in getting that area organized in  a way that you will be able to maintain it:

– use the same containers –

This could mean the same bins throughout the entire space, or specific bins for each category (Christmas, keepsake, kids clothes, etc).
However you choose to organize them, having the same bins in the same area will make organizing, stacking, and locating
easier than trying to shove a bunch of mismatched bins together in one place.

Also, I typically recommend bins with locking lids when working in these areas, because they last longer and
do a better job keeping dirt, insects and who knows what else out of your bins.

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A Guest Post All About Garages

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Today’s guest post is by Morgan from Morganize with Me and it’s called How to Organize a Garage / Storage Area.  I know for some readers this may not mean much – maybe you don’t have a garage or storage area.  But trust me, this tip can apply to more than just those 2 areas.

Her 3 basic rules are:

  • Create Zones: place like items together and put items that are used more often in an easier place to access and the items that are used less often in harder to reach places.
  • Less IS More: don’t just toss stuff into your garage/storage area, just because you can. Use the space for items that you actually need to keep and hold on to.
  • Put Things Away: commit to putting things back to where they belong and work to keep the order in place.

To find out how she applied this to her space, click the title of her post and check out her before and after pictures.

Do you have your own garage / storage transformation to share?  Let me know! Contact Top Shelf

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Don’t Go On a Shopping Spree

By | Least Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | One Comment

The 3rd week of the month is supposed to be a post about an organizing tool I don’t usually recommend or something that I use differently than how it’s marketed, but I also want to include some general “Don’ts” if you’re serious about getting organized.

My first “Don’t” is: don’t go out and buy a bunch of random containers without knowing what you need.  Generally, before I start a job I do a consult with the new client and we discuss what needs to be done.  We create a general game plan for the upcoming space and then I do research and send different ideas to the client.  Sometimes we need to buy containers and sometimes we don’t.  While it is nice to have an assortment of options when I come in to get a space organized, I would rather have something that I know will work, as opposed to trying different options and settling for one just because it’s already there.

Now don’t get me wrong, when I come into a new job and see a bunch of baskets and bins already there I get really excited but sometimes it creates more of a headache later on because it can also limit what can be done in that space. And, if you over-buy bins then you either have to take some back to the store or you have to find storage for them somewhere and either way you’ve wasted money.

So whether you want to tackle your organizing job yourself or you’re hiring a professional organizer to come in, please make a game plan first and then shop.

Do you have your own organizing “Don’t” to share?  Let me know in the comments below!

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The Austin Home Overhaul Part 2

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This post is a continuation from the previous post “The Austin Home Overhaul Part 1”.

After completing most of the office/guest room and the girls’ bedroom I moved on to random part of the house, including her twin boys bedroom, the front hall closet and their storage area, lovingly referred to as “purgatory”.

Most of the items in the twins bedroom just needed to be sorted, organized and put away.  Their clothes in the dresser were all mixed together and I was able to sort and organize their clothes in the 3 drawers so now pjs, socks, random items are in the top drawer, onesies and shirts are in the second drawer and pants and shorts are in the bottom drawers.  Even if she doesn’t keep everything folded and completely sorted, as long as she maintains those categories getting them dressed will be easier.  I also took any shirt/outfit that should be hung up and added them to the closet.  She uses a book shelf in the closet for more storage which makes things tight, but also gives ample space for diapers, wipes and shoes.

Their hall closet was a random assortment of items that needed to be donated, returned to friends, moved to another location or thrown away.  The items that actually belonged in the closet were all lost among the chaos and impossible to reach.  I was able to pull everything out and put back in only what needed to be in there.

And finally on to Purgatory.  This room literally housed items the homeowners hadn’t seen in years.  We had to put EVERYTHING out and they had to go through each box to see what needed to be kept, donated or thrown out.  It was a very long process but the end result is amazing!  My client has a lot of wrapping paper/accessories so I was able to give her a specific area to hold all of those items along with a space for extra storage for everyday household items.  Needless to say my client and her husband were thrilled with the end result.

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Whole House

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I met with this family over the 4th of July weekend and right away I was excited to work with them. Their house is full of amazing built-ins and has so much storage space it is an organizer’s dream house. And the family is pretty awesome too.

The family of 3 had moved in to the house 2 years prior and didn’t know how to properly utilize the storage spaces they now had. The main areas that needed help were the master bathroom, master closet and master bedroom, the storage room, the junk drawer and the counter space above it in the kitchen and their daughter’s playroom.

The wife did an awesome job at purging as we went along, and we were able to get the entire job done in just 2 days. Now they have results they can live with and, more importantly, maintain. And now everything in their house has a home.

Slide the blue line right and left to see “Before and After” pictures

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