Storage galore — miscellaneous storage in your home

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

No amount of pre-planned storage is going to solve all your storage problems. There are always little items like drawing pins, elastic bands, corks, postage stamps, pens and pencils and computer disks, and medium-sized things like calculators, cameras, film and so on which don’t fall into any convenient storage category.

It is important to find places for all these, otherwise they become the very things you can’t find when you need them most. There are also bulky items—extra blankets, sleeping bags, duvets and pillows for visitors, and the inevitable stepladders, bicycles and pushchairs.

Let’s look at the bulky items first. Drawers that pull out from under beds are practical for extra bedclothes. If the bed is tall enough drawers from an old chest-of-drawers will do, but if you are buying a new bed or divan choose one with drawers specially designed to go under it. Large but comparatively narrow items such as bicycles can be hung on a wall.

In modern, minimalist homes they can be a decorative element in a living room, but they take up potential storage space which could be used for other items and this idea would not suit everybody’s taste. Items which fold up into narrow shapes take up less space when hung than when simply leaned against a wall.

When it comes to the medium-sized items such as calculators and cameras, you can allocate a drawer to a particular type of storage so that cameras, film and boxes of slides will all be found together.

For the little items which are so difficult to organize, mini chests-of-drawers intended for carpenters’ nails and screws are excellent for home office use and will take labels, paperclips and other small items which need to be separate and available. Other drawers can hold buttons, thimbles, hooks and eyes, and other sewing equipment.

Filing can be a problem. Paper never looks tidy and gets lost so easily. Specially designed chunky ‘household’ files with categorized compartments are theoretically the answer, but the pre-ordained categories seldom correspond to those one actually needs and the files usually end up being too small. It may be better to buy box files or even to use shoeboxes for filing.

A low filing cabinet may be the answer, where you can store writing paper, envelopes and other office paraphernalia as well as letters. In a room which has to double as an office and a guest room, files can act as low room-dividers and there’s a choice of colors to make them less industrial-looking.

Many bits and pieces can be organized into albums. Photographs take up far too much drawer space and are largely wasted because of the trouble of sorting through them. Albums can be lined up in a bookcase, where they look orderly, take up less space and are easy to find. If you keep Christmas cards, postcards, children’s paintings and letters, they will be better preserved by being kept in scrapbooks rather than scattered about in cupboards and chests.

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