4 Tips for Finding The Perfect Storage Solution

4 Tips for Finding The Perfect Storage Solution

Several years ago I downsized from a large, 2,700 square-foot home to a two-bedroom apartment, and then again a year ago to an even smaller two-bedroom apartment that lacked even the most basic storage: coat closet, linen closet, garage or extra space of any kind. Throughout the process, managing my things was a huge challenge. I purged as much as I could, giving carloads of clothing and household items away to charity. When the purging was done, I was still left with a huge amount of “stuff” that I didn’t want to give up, but had nowhere to store.

I set off on a mission to find small-space-friendly storage solutions that wouldn’t create clutter. In this process I found that furniture was expensive and took up space that I didn’t have. At the same time, adding storage space was not an option.

This was when I discovered what a great resource the internet is for finding storage solutions. From free to low cost, it was mind blowing to see the unexpected and clever ideas. With some research, I came up with a plan to solve my storage woes.

Many of my ideas worked amazingly, causing me to wonder why I hadn’t found these ideas earlier.  But, others were a complete flop, wasting my time and money. In the end, I learned a few things about choosing the right storage solutions:

Consider the ease-of-use and time involved in your storage solution. While so many of the storage ideas out there look stylish and useful, they’re often not as slick in implementation. These closet shelves had me envisioning a beautifully organized closet where I could see and access my sweaters easily. There were a few things that I didn’t consider: 1) The shelf was too high, so I couldn’t nicely place my sweater in them and ended up throwing them up onto it and 2) the shelves do not securely attach to the shelf, causing them to fall over or off and contributing even more to the sloppiness of the closet.

Consider the number and cost of pieces that you’ll need for your storage solution. Sometimes it can add up to be more expensive than traditional options. I loved the style of these shelves when I saw them online and expected to save quite a bit of money on them. However, by the time I purchased the baskets and boxes, the shelves, brackets, and the chalkboard tags, I could have purchased a bathroom étagère.

Do the items you’re looking to store fit easily into the storage solution? Is the storage solution designed to support the weight of the items? I was very excited when I came upon the door shoe holder as a solution to store cleaning products in my small laundry area which lacked any storage at all.  But once I set it up, I quickly realized that two-thirds of my cleaning products were too large to fit in the compartments. For most, I was able to solve the problem by repackaging the products or purchasing them in smaller sizes. I still was unable to make some fit into the shoe holder.

If it’s attached to a door or a wall, what kind of damage could it do? Will it support the weight? With my smaller closet, I found an over the door shoe rack that I was sure would solve my shoe storage issues. When I set-it up, it looked really nice. But I did not want to attach the shoe rack to the door at lower points for fear it would damage the door. What I found:  Because I was always opening and closing the door, and the rack was not attached to it, eventually my shoes worked their way between the rack and the door, allowing all of my shoes to slide out of the rack and causing a huge mess!




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