The Shelving Store Blog
Love it or hate it, we all have company sometimes.
Relatives come to visit, kids come home from college with baskets of laundry in tow, holiday parties last a little too long and someone needs a couch to sleep on, it happens to everyone.
While it’s always a good idea to keep some extra accommodations around for company like towels, blankets, and the like, it can be hard to find a place to keep them, particularly if they need to be separate from the rest of your linens for whatever reason.
If you find yourself frequently trying to find space for your guest accommodations (particularly if you don’t have the luxury of a guest room to keep them in), here’s a couple of tips we’ve pulled together to keep everything nice and tidy:
Figure out where your guests are going to stay.
A good first step to planning storage of your extra blankets is to figure out where your guests are most likely to stay. Is everyone staying on a pull-out couch bed in the living room? Do you have a guest room or an unused extra bedroom (after the kids have moved out, for example) that they can stay in? Identifying your visitors’ likely nesting place will help inform a lot of the storage decisions you make from there.
Make an inventory of your guest accommodations.
From there, you’ll want to take stock of what accommodations you have to provide. Do you have a full bed with its own set of sheets and pillows, or just a guest blanket and spare pillow? Will towels or bathing supplies be provided? Ask yourselves these questions as soon as you can to help eliminate any mystery.
Identify extra room in the guest area.
A good way to keep your guest accommodations close at hand is to see if there’s any extra room in the area they’re sleeping in. If you have a guest room available, try to set aside the bottom drawer or two of a bedroom dresser to hang onto everything. Wall shelves are a good touch in situations like this as well since they’re up and out of the way, and if worse comes to worse there’s always the bathroom or hallway closet.
Find out-of-the-way areas.
Of course, if you’re too busy trying to store blankets for the people that live in your house, this might be a bit more daunting a task, so identifying any extra space you may have is critical here. Room under the bed? Space in the basement? Unused shelf in the kids’ closets? Just leaving them draped across the couch before it becomes a pull-out? You might have to use a little imagination to find just the right hiding place for these blankets.
Keep your blankets clean in storage.
Of course, if a blanket is being stashed in the closet, it’s bound to get a little...funky if it’s not used properly. Take it out for seasonal washings even if it hasn’t been used, try to keep an air freshener and a moisture trap in the closet to prevent mildew or moldy odors, and when you know you’re going to need them, try to give them a wash (or at least a quick Febreze-ing) before they’re unveiled.
Wash after use.
Finally, whatever blankets and pillowcases you might have lent out to your guests, don’t think anyone will be offended by you washing them right afterwards. They might wind up staying in storage longer than you think, and a good washing will prevent unwanted smells and/or reduce wear and tear in the long run.
Moving can be a roller coaster of emotions, can’t it?
There’s the ecstasy of finally finding the house of your dreams (and being able to buy it, which is a process all on its own), there’s the agony of finding a buyer for your current place, and then there’s the sudden headache as you slowly realize exactly how much stuff you have to pack up.
Whether you’re moving across the country or simply down the street, whether you’re buying your first home or simply trading apartments, the idea of packing up for a move can bring about a lot of anxiety. We’d like to help take some of that anxiety out of an already-stressful situation by helping you with one of the biggest steps in the moving process: decluttering!
Figuring out what not to take with you when you move can save you a lot of time and headache from the get-go, and provides a perfect opportunity for you to do some much-needed decluttering like everyone should sometimes. Here’s a few of our favorite tips for decluttering before a big move, and what they can do to help your home get where it’s going:
Start as soon as you can
It might be a bit late if you’re reading this, but a good rule of thumb for decluttering before you move is to start as early as possible. Got the new place picked out? Start decluttering. Already boxing up the old place? Start decluttering. Just recently decide to commit to a move? Start decluttering. The more heads-up you have for this project, the easier the whole thing will be.
Decide on what you need to get rid of before the move
Obviously this will vary wildly depending on what exactly you’re sorting through to move, but making a preliminary list of things you know you should or can get rid of is going to go a long way. Focus on things like broken items, old furniture or fixtures that might be too bulky to take with you, or the old “rule of 12”—if you haven’t used something in 12 months, you probably don’t need it. Get an idea in your head (or make a list, whatever helps you the most) of what you plan on parting with and work from there.
Figure out where it could go in your new home
If there’s something you’re on the fence about (or even for things you intend on keeping), a good question to ask yourself is where you plan on keeping it when you move. Do you have enough wall shelves to hang onto all those knick knacks and souvenirs when you move, or will they need to be rehomed? Do you have basement shelves for whatever you have in your basement now? If something is going to require too much work to implement into your new space, it might not be worth taking along with you.
Go room by room
When it comes time to actually start decluttering, make sure to take your time and move through each room as needed. Start with whatever room will have the most stuff you have to move - the majority of the time this is the kitchen or the living room, maybe the basement—and make your way through the house, being sure to declutter as needed as you pack up everything else.
Figure out where it’s all going
Okay, so you’ve finally gotten your head in the game and you’re getting big piles of stuff together to get rid of. Now you just need to figure out where it’s going. Don’t be too precious about it, as this can lead to you putting it right back where it was, and nobody needs that. See if any of your friends would like to take any old furniture or unwanted clothes off your hands, and get ready to give the rest to charity. Try to avoid the trap of saving something to sell unless it’s a guaranteed mover, and prepare yourself to get pretty friendly with the employees of your local Salvation Army over the next few days.
Bathrooms: a necessity for everyone, but also surprisingly hard to get organized.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have the sort of sprawling, two-bathtub bathrooms we see on TV, and as a result we have to make the most of the room we have. Closets are fine, under-sink or behind-the-mirror cabinets are always a plus, but there’s a lot of unused wall space that could be put to work to help better organize and arrange everything.
Case in point: that space right around your toilet!
Often considered “off-limits” for...understandable reasons, the area around your toilet can actually become a convenient storage area for a number of needed bathroom items, keeping them close at hand while avoiding clutter elsewhere in your bathroom. Here’s a couple tips we’ve found for helping make the most of that space and adding a little extra decor, flair, and convenience to even the most crowded bathroom:
Over the toilet shelves: One of the easiest (and most commonly seen) ways to help organize bathrooms is to use over toilet shelves. These storage units are specifically designed to fit in the small spaces over a toilet to provide extra storage of things you’ll find yourself needing in there, especially if you don’t want to have to go too far to get them. Find one that best matches the decor of your bathroom and plant it right on down.
Hanging wall shelves: If you don’t have the room for the over-the-toilet option, or if you want a bit more understated look, wall shelves are the way to go. Unless you plan on keeping a lot of stuff on them, you can use this as an opportunity to spruce up your bathroom with a more decorative shelf option like wood shelves or glass wall shelves to freshen the look up a bit while keeping things like toilet paper, air fresheners, or even reading material nearby.
Baskets: If you’re the crafty type, a bathroom storage option that’s been gaining more popularity lately is baskets, mounted directly to the wall. Something a little more decorative like wicker or ratan works great for this option; simply drill the appropriate holes and mount the baskets to the wall using either the right-sized wall screw or wall-mounted hooks to hang the baskets and make sure they can support the weight of whatever you put in there.
Recessed shelving: When your bathroom is particularly hard-pressed for shelving space (such as in circumstances where the toilet is too close to the wall) and you don’t mind doing some renovations, a lot of homeowners have been turning to recessed shelving to help increase their available space. By carving out a small, open, cabinet-like space right above the toilet and installing wall shelves, you can create an additional (but smaller) closet for toilets and other needed supplies.
Towel racks: Of course, a lot of people looking to get more bathroom storage often jump right to the point, and they turn to the space over their toilet to serve as a good place for towel racks. Whether pre-fabricated or homemade out of pipes and metal fixtures (a common sight for families with DIY tendencies and a love for the ‘industrial’ look), the space right above your toilet can be the perfect spot for a towel rack. This can help solve one of your bigger organizational concerns while freeing up floor space or wall space elsewhere.
Art: Worse comes to worse, you can always hang your favorite painting or a treasured old movie poster up there.
Whether for cooking or for drinking, wine is a big player in a lot of people’s kitchens right now and it’s not going anywhere.
Of course, in order for something to not go anywhere, it needs a place to be. Think about the last time you needed to find your wine somewhere safe to sit while you were finishing dinner, or just keep it somewhere at hand during your next big gathering. Kind of a pain sometimes, right?
Not to worry! We’ve got just the kitchen storage solutions you need to keep your favorite wines organized, easy to get to, and out of the way. Take a look at our five favorite ways to store wine in the kitchen and see which one works best for you:
Kitchen Islands: A lot of kitchen islands offer extra space for longer or more awkwardly-shaped items like pots, pans, and utensils, and if you’re not already using this space it can be a perfect landing spot for wine bottles. Better yet, using a kitchen island will allow you to easily wheel your wine around to guests or different parts of the kitchen if you need it for cooking or serving.
The Walls: Particularly if you typically use your wine for cooking, keeping your bottles on the walls around your kitchen is a good shortcut to make them easily accessible (and you’ll never forget where they go). Set up some durable shelving that can handle the temperatures of the kitchen like wire shelving (or, better yet, specially-designed wire wine shelves or wall wine racks) and keep your favorite cooking wine right nearby so you can splash it on your meals.
Right on the Counter: If you don’t have many bottles, or if you use them mostly for entertaining and don’t mind turning them into a centerpiece, why not keep them right out on the kitchen counter? Stand them up on their own in the center of the action so nothing will get in the way, or use a countertop wine rack to display them with a bit more style (and help keep them out of the way).
Inside the Walls: So long as you’re feeling up to a big home renovation and you find yourself needing a lot of wine around, a lot of houses are turning to built-in wine coolers. Parts of your kitchen or basement can be handed over to wine cooler space instead, in order to keep your favorite wines at the temperature you want them to be.
Unused Drawers: Many kitchens have those bigger, longer drawers they don’t need anymore, particularly if you moved all of your pots and pans onto the wall or in other storage. Those bigger drawers can be a great spot for a few stacked up or lined up wine bottles to keep them out of the way while protecting them from sunlight, helping to extend their longevity.
Sometimes, a storage unit is just the thing you need for extra stuff.
As much as we like to talk about decluttering, some things you just can’t get rid of for whatever reason, and if you don’t have space for these overflow items, storage units can be the solution.
Of course, this creates a whole new set of problems: what if your storage unit gets too cluttered with stuff you can’t get rid of yet?
There’s ways to organize your storage unit, just like there’s ways to organize any room in your house, it just takes a little patience and the right supplies. Here’s a few tips we’ve found to help get even the messiest storage units under control:
Divide and conquer. This might be a tall order if you’ve already moved into your storage unit, but separating everything and taking inventory is a great place to start. Make a detailed inventory of everything in your storage unit to help understand what you need to organize (and what you have in there, in the event of an insurance claim). From there, try to rebox everything with like items—bedroom supplies in one box, kids’ clothes in another, etc.
Label absolutely everything. It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many storage unit tenants skip this step—and just how much of a headache it causes later. After everything is separated and reboxed, make sure to legibly label everything (be it with a label maker or simply a Sharpie) on a side where you can see the label when it’s all stacked back up. It’ll save you a lot of time in the long-run.
Make it feel more at home. A lot of people consider their storage unit separate from their house, and while that may be true in a physical sense it’s still another place where you need to organize your belongings, and a good rule of thumb is to consider it another extension of your basement or garage. In most cases this means you need to set up some extra storage like wire shelving or garage shelving to hold the load and keep everything organized, but it will make everything much easier in the long run. Another good touch is to keep air fresheners and moisture absorbers around, particularly in units that aren’t climate-controlled.
Be careful when stacking. Cardboard boxes are a fine solution for storing things in storage units for any amount of time, but you need to pay special attention to how and where they’re placed. Fill cartons tightly to prevent half-filled boxes from collapsing, seal them as tight as possible to prevent dirt and pests as well as provide stronger balancing, keep heavy items in smaller boxes to distribute the weight better, and provide padding like bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or even towels and rags.
Remember the smaller things. A lot of items that get packed will have smaller parts or accessories, and in many cases these can go into other boxes. Separate small parts like feet or or arms from all stored furniture, take chargers from electronics (and label them, of course), and keep all glass objects like drinking cups and mirrors safely wrapped and stored in their own box away from the less-delicate objects.
Organize by need. Whether you’re in there once a year or you make constant visits to take stuff back out, it’s a good idea to stack everything by how often you need it. Put bigger, more awkward, or less-needed stuff near the back and keep the front free for smaller items that you’ll need to access more frequently. It’ll save you more headaches than you expect.