Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our Storage, or Physician Heal Thyself

When we moved into our 888 square foot house five years ago we had bigger things to concern ourselves with other than the efficiency of the one tiny storage closet near the carport. It had prefab shelving in that held our 66-gallon storage boxes so we shoved them in and basically forgot about it except at the holidays when we retrieved our decorations…

…until we decided that the time had come for us to practice what I preach: clean out the off-site storage unit we got when we moved and stop paying to store things we rarely use.

The first step was to evaluate the storages unit’s contents, which was mostly my husband’s art supplies, camping gear & CDs and various family items I inherited and couldn’t bear to part with.

The art supplies went to his art studio and he ingested the CDs into iTunes and sold the discs to a record store. I rePURPOSED a few family items (more on this later) and we were left with the camping gear and a few framed pieces of family art. Surely this would fit in our storage closet?

Here I go again with no “before” photo. You’ll have to take my word that I made some clever changes to this closet.

When I measured the closet I realized how much room the prefab shelves took up. If we installed plywood ones we could gain an additional shelf plus a slot for vertical storage for family paintings. So we did.

I hired a carpenter to build shelves the same height and depth as my storage boxes. I measured the new shelving to accommodate a footlocker that had been stashed under my desk in the house (which is why my chair never went fully under the desk). Then I corralled items that were not already in storage boxes into additional ones I bought, which I labeled. This arrangement left plenty of room to hang the camping backpack on the inside of the door and beach chairs on the side walls. Perfect!  Everything is findable, accessible and it will only take five months of not paying the storage fee to cover the carpenter’s cost. From then on, free storage!

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