Sometimes decluttering is not an option. Sometimes, you need everything you own.
If you own your own business, are an independent contractor, or simply work at a company that stores products, tools, and supplies, it’s possible that everything in storage is useful and necessary. With so many objects, it doesn’t take long for storage closets to overflow and become disorganized. Fear not: there are ways to keep storage rooms and closets organized.
Last week I volunteered to help a non profit organization with their, well, organizing. New Moms is an inspiring organization that helps young moms develop job skills and find permanent jobs and housing in Chicago. They donate diapers and formula, as well as other necessary items, to young mothers and women. Needless to say, they store lots of diapers, formula, and other necessities. If you are interested in donating money, items (like diapers, formula, winter coats, shampoo, etc.), or your time to a great cause like New Moms, click here. Or maybe you just love candles, especially holiday scented candles. You can support New Moms through Bright Endeavors, an organization that teaches women job skills via candle making (they smell delightful and 100% profit goes to the women).
Organizing their inventory only confirmed my life philosophy to minimize my stuff and maximize my joy. I can do that by spending money on only things that I deem truly necessary and valuable in my life. That way, I can save that money I would normally spend and donate it to others. Owning fewer things means I don’t spend as much time maintaining and organizing them, which allows me to give that extra time to others.
It’s not easy, but I try really hard to not spend money on unnecessary things so that I have the freedom to spend my money and time how I want, which includes volunteering. Ideally, I’d like to live a life where I can spend my day earning money doing what I love to do (writing and organizing), while saving and donating surplus money.
Enough of my philosophy! Let’s cut to the chase:
Tips for Organizing Storage Spaces
1. STORE SIMILAR ITEMS TOGETHER
Because there were so many boxes and packages of diapers, they were stored in many different places in the basement. The first step I took was to place all the diapers in one location. I also had to use the storage that existed, so some of the shelves are packed to the brim with supplies. That’s OK. Your storage space doesn’t have to look totally perfect and aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes it’s just not economical or necessary. Do your best.
2. ORGANIZE BY TYPE
Then, I separated the diapers by size.
Premie > Newborn > Size 1 > Size 2 > Size 3 > Sizes 4 – 6 > Pull-Ups > Overnights > Swimmers
Next, I organized them further by material: organic, sensitive skin, regular.
Finally, I organized them further by brand: Huggies, Luvs, Honest Company, generic, etc.
3. ENSURE VISIBILITY
I made sure that every package was turned so that its label was visible. You shouldn’t have to take an extra step of moving or pull out a box to see its label. I turned the diaper packages and boxes so that the brand, type, and size labels were visible, thus easily accessible.
I organized items in another storage closet in a similar way. One shelf existed for women’s products: shampoo, lotion, soap, feminine care products, makeup and hair products, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Another shelf stored baby products: bottles, nipples, pacifiers, diaper rash cream, wipes.
The easiest way to organize is to store similar items in the same location, organize further by type, size, brand, and to ensure that all labels and items are visible, thus easily accessible.
Remember, the fewer items you own, the more time and money you save, which means you have the freedom to spend your time and money however you want.
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