Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fitting It All In: Storage in Small Spaces

I'm NOT an expert when it comes to storing things in small spaces. However, I have had to learn a few tricks since living in my current home. We live in a ranch style home with no basement or garage. We do Vacation Bible Schools during the summer so we have quite a bit of 'extra' things to store besides just our own items we have acquired over time. We do have an attic, so I have learned to make use of that in storing the larger items that won't warp, melt or explode in the heat. But, for the rest of the items that WILL do those things if stored in our very warm attic, I have had to become a little creative in my storage ideas. Since we are a pastor and live in a parsonage where we frequently have overnight guests, I can't just stuff things under the beds or throw them in a heap into the extra guest rooms either. (Not that any of us ever do that I'm sure...)

But we have one bedroom that is an "extra" room right now that I have dubbed my "work room" for VBS material. Keeping in mind that this room also has to be able to be used as a guest room at a moments notice, I have utilized some "ordinary" means of storage in this room. As you see in the pictures above, I used the dresser as a means of a sort of 'filing cabinet' and storage bin. It's a great way of getting the "odds and ends" out of sight. It also makes it easy to organize things so that you know where they are when you are in a hurry.

Of course, you can't get along without using those WONDERFUL storage bins that they sell in every shape, color and size nowadays! But, don't just throw a bunch of odds and ends into them that will make it impossible for you to find it ever again. I try to put "like with like" or do it by themes (since I am using this for VBS storage). Then put a label (not permanent) on the outside so that when they are stacked you can easily see what is in each bin.

Learn to use EVERY available storage space in your home. By that I mean, look around and see if you have an empty crate, toy box, decorative bench with a cubby; ANYTHING that would work as a means of storage, BUT will get the item out of sight. For example, the room I use as my "work room" for VBS storage is decorated in a outdoor woodsy type of theme. As a part of the decoration, I have a wooden crate with a blanket that matches the decor tossed over it. But no one can see what's in the crate. So guess what?! It's a "hidden storage space"! I put small items in here that otherwise don't have a "home" and they're easy to get to whenever I need them! But I haven't ruined my decor, or cluttered up another closet; just utilized the empty space that was sitting vacant.

Maybe these ideas wouldn't work for you or were not very helpful. Don't despair! Check out Joy Ever After and Borrowed Time Blogging for more ideas on this subject!

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