Archive for the 'Home Storage' Category

Dec 29 2010

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Home Organization: Packing and Storing Holiday Decorations

Storage ContainersWhile many of us enjoy decorating for the holidays, almost all of us can agree it is not as near as much fun taking it all down, packing it up and putting everything away. The following tips come from various organizational experts and are sure to help you clean up and store your holiday decorations so they are easy to find and display next year.

 

1.    Purge what you have. Before you pack everything up, go through what you have. It’s OK to get rid of things you really don’t like or items that no longer match your decorating theme. Get rid of things that are broken, strands of lights that are burnt out and things you don’t use anymore. Be sure to recycle what you can and donate usable items to charity. Consider decorations of sentimental value. You might not be able to part with a particular item no matter what, but if something is in pretty bad shape but you continue to keep it because it reminds you of something special, maybe snapping a photo will be enough to preserve that special memory.

 

2.    Gather and take inventory. Before you can organize and store your holiday decorations you have to know what you are going to keep. Collect all holiday decorations and related items in one place. Group similar items. Take inventory. How many boxes of ornaments do you have? How many wreaths?  Does each child have his or her own stocking? Count everything you have and be aware of sizes, especially anything oversized or oddly shaped.

 

3.    Keep track of what you have.  It is not a bad idea to keep track of new holiday items you buy throughout the year whether you find a deal on wrapping paper at a clearance sale or find something special at a craft show you attend in July. One way to do this is to keep a small notebook in an easy-to-find place such as in a drawer in the office or on the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet. Record anything you buy that will be part of the coming year’s décor and holiday festivities. Furthermore, you could do this with other Christmas and holiday related items such as keeping a record of gifts you’ve already purchased, recipes that friends have shared with you, or the dates when your cousins plan to be in town to celebrate the holidays with you.

 

4.    Select a storage space – Look around your home. Select a storage space that is big enough to hold ALL of your holiday decorations and other Christmas related items safely without being in the way all year long. (ALL means everything from gift wrap and cookie cutters to lights and the artificial tree.) This could be a space in the attic, a storage closet, a corner of the basement, etc. Measure the storage space and purchase containers that will fit in the given space. If you have a limited storage space, this may help determine what items you purge in Step 1.

 

5.    Label everything – Make an effort to label every box and storage container with the exact contents inside. The labels don’t have to be fancy. Simply write on the outside of the box or tape an index card to each box listing what is inside. You can even color code them if you choose. Labeling will make decorating a lot easier next year.

 

6.    Store it together – Move all boxes, storage containers, etc. into the storage space you selected. Safely arrange the boxes so they will not fall. Whenever possible, stack your storage containers with their labels facing forward or up so you can quickly identify what is inside each box next year. Keep everything together in one place whenever possible. This makes it easier to get your decorations out next year. There is an exception here. Make note of special items such as highly breakable pieces, linens or antiques. These may need to be stored in a temperature-controlled environment within the main living areas of the home. Keep track of these types of items in your notebook from Step 3 since you won’t be storing them with everything else.

 

Though cleaning and packing up after the holidays is not much fun, and sometimes a lengthy process, these home storage tips for your holiday décor will help cut down the amount of time you spend putting things away and make decorating a little easier next year.

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Apr 15 2010

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Functional Garage Storage Ideas

Filed under Home Storage,The Garage

Garage Storage IdeasNow that you’ve built your dream home using a house plan from The House Plan Shop, it is time to think about storage options for your new garage. Before you begin, there is one rule to follow: Go vertical! From floor to ceiling, it is necessary to capitalize on vertical storage space keeping the parking area and walking spaces free and clear of clutter and unorganized chaos allowing easy and safe movement about the garage.

 

First, think about the walls. There is a wide range of storage items and accessories that can maximize your garage storage space in a safe manner. Common organizational items include pegboards and hooks or cabinets. Pegboards give you flexibility when hanging and storing items while cabinets hide your personal belongings away. Both of these options can be arranged to fit any size garage and can even be used together. A slotted panel system is another choice for garage wall organization. It combines the use of hooks, shelves, baskets and cabinets. No matter which method you choose for your walls, make sure each piece or item is securely mounted to the wall and do not store anything that exceeds the recommended maximum weight capacity.

 

Now consider traditional shelving units. They are available in many different sizes and styles and can easily stretch from floor to ceiling in a given space. Just like wall units, all shelving should be anchored to the wall so they cannot be toppled easily, especially where small children are present. Organizational boxes and bins work well on shelving units. Place open bins on the lower shelves to organize the kids’ sporting equipment and toys in a place where they can access their things easily. Group like items, a box for various balls, a bin for rollerblades, helmets and kneepads, etc. Use bins on the middle shelves as well. This is a good place to group related items like flower pots and gardening gloves, fishing tackle and life jackets, and so on. Plastic storage containers and bins with lids are great for folding and storing seasonal clothing like winter jackets, hats, gloves and boots. Reserve the higher shelves for items that may be dangerous and harmful to children and pets such as chemicals and items that do not hang well on the wall like a leaf blower. (Note: Carefully read labels on chemicals regarding temperatures. Some chemicals are better stored indoors where the temperature is more consistent such as in the basement.)

  

Finally, it is time to think about the ceiling. Though we do not traditionally use the ceiling for storage in our homes, the garage is one place where you can make good use of the space above. Often, hooks can be installed in the ceiling for hanging and storing bikes, lawn chairs and even strollers in some cases. If there is room above the rafters, consider creating a storage loft for boxed items you cannot part with and other things you access only once or twice a year, like holiday decorations. Usually a ladder or pull down stair is the easiest and most inexpensive way to access the upper level space. Make sure the floor is sturdy enough to support the weight of the items you plan to store and be careful hauling heavy boxes and bulky items up and down the ladder.

 

With careful thought and extra planning, you can create a highly functional and very efficient storage space in your garage.

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Nov 12 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Garage Storage Safety Tips

Garage StorageOften the garage is a catch-all for the many items we need to store, but don’t know exactly where to put them. In most cases, the garage is the ideal storage space. However, sometimes storing chemicals and tools in the garage can be dangerous and even hazardous to your health. These garage storage tips will help you determine what items are safe to store in the garage and how to store them without threatening your heath, harming your family or causing damage to your new home.

 

Chemicals

·         Road salt and ice-melt mixtures can be very harmful to children and pets. Store these items in childproof, non-spill containers. Place them on a high shelf, in a high cabinet or in a locked garage closet out of reach of children.

·         Do not store auto fluids, paints or pesticides in old food containers or containers that do not have tightly sealed lids or caps. These containers might leak causing burns, fumes, respiratory problems and fire hazards.

·         Sweet smelling anti-freeze may be very attractive to pets, but it can kill them. As little as one tablespoon can make your pet (or child) very sick or even be deadly to cats and small dogs. Make sure caps are sealed tightly on all anti-freeze bottles and store out of reach of children and pets.

·         Propane is extremely combustible. A single spark of static electricity or flip of the light switch could ignite nearby propane causing an explosion. It is necessary to store propane containers and anything that uses propane away from the home in a storage shed, detached garage or other outbuilding. Do not store propane in your attached garage.

·         Get in the habit of storing all chemicals in their original containers complete warning labels so you know what is inside and what dangers or threats each may pose. Store these in a safe place out of reach from children where they will not fall or spill. Chemicals are best stored away from the home in a detached garage or a shed rather than in an attached garage.

 

Ladders, Tools and Other Items

·         Ladders should be stored against a wall or at floor level using storage hooks to secure them. Ladders stored vertically or not securely fastened to the wall can easily tip or fall harming people and damaging property.

·         Store lawn and garden tools and other small hand tools such as pliers, a hammer or screw drivers in a secure place such as a toolbox. Lock the tool box if possible.

·         Store tools, especially those with sharp blades and points, out of reach from children. However, be sure they are easily accessible to you without having to balance tools overhead or reach dangerously overhead.

·         Use peg board and hooks to hang long-handled items on the garage wall such as shovels and rakes. Secure them tightly to the wall.

·         Make sure all power tools are turned off before storing after each use.

·         Place heavy and bulky tools and items on low shelves or on the floor preventing them from falling. Make sure all sharp points and edges face the wall preventing someone from getting hurt if they bump into the sharp and pointed edges.

·         Check all extension cords that are stored or used in the garage to be sure they are rated for outdoor use due to possible moisture. Those not rated for outdoor use are a potential hazard.

 

Read more home safety tips from The House Plan Shop.

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