The idea that disorganization is the result of insufficient storage space is, in most cases, a misconception. However, having more stuff than you have space for must be handled if you are going to create a working, sustainable organizing system.
So, howdo you handle it?
1. GET RID OF STUFF!! If you haven't read my last post, take a look.
2. Add more storage.
3. Stretch what storage space you do have by making better use of the space.
#1, in my opinion, is the best solution. Try to de-clutter to the point that you only have as much stuff as you realistically and comfortably have room for.
#2 is generally costly and a project in and of itself...buy a bigger house, build a shed, rent a storage unit, etc. You may have more storage space but you are still spending time and energy dealing with stuff. A less costly alternative would be to use places in your home for storage that you'd prefer to use for other purposes (like the garage...NOOOOOOO!!!!!!). But is that really in line with your goals and how you want to live in your home?
#3 is a great solution and I'll focus the rest of this post on one method of stretching available storage space.
My husband and I went to Disneyland a few weeks ago. As we were walking down Katella Avenue, just outside of the park, I noticed the parking lot for Disneyland cast members. It was just a regular, ground-level lot surrounded by tall hotels and multi-level parking structures. I pointed out to my husband that this was a complete waste of space on a prime piece of real estate. There was so much unused vertical space! In our homes, we often don't take advantage of available vertical space that can be used for storage. In fact, sometimes it doesn't even occur to us. So, LOOK UP!
Let me just mention that I recommend maximizing vertical space for storage in areas that are out of view for the most part, such as: closets, cabinets, pantries, storage rooms, and garages. Using vertical storage in your main living areas can lead to a cluttered look. Keep items stored on visible shelving, bookcases, and cabinetry to a minimum for a clean, organized look. And even behind closed doors, items need to be easily accessible and neatly arranged.
Here are a few examples of how I use vertical space to increase storage.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL AVAILABLE VERTICAL SPACE BETWEEN SHELVES IN CABINETS, PANTRIES, AND CLOSETS BY USING HANGING BASKETS, CABINET SHELVES, OR STACKABLE CONTAINERS.
IF YOUR HOME HAS HIGH CEILINGS, USE ALL THAT EMPTY VERTICAL SPACE IN THE TOPS OF CLOSETS FOR ITEMS YOU ONLY NEED TO ACCESS OCCASIONALLY. THIS SAME PRINCIPAL CAN BE APPLIED IN GARAGES BY USING CEILING MOUNTED STORAGE RACKS.
DOORS AND WALLS PROVIDE VERTICAL SPACE THAT CAN BE USED FOR STORAGE. DOOR-MOUNTED ORGANIZERS CAN BE USED FOR AN ASSORTMENT OF THINGS. I CREATED A WRAPPING STATION ON THE BACK OF MY CRAFT CLOSET DOOR USING A LARGER, SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT VERSION OF WHAT YOU SEE IN THE PICTURE BELOW (FUTURE POST!).
COMMAND HOOKS (LOVE!) ARE GREAT FOR HANGING ITEMS ON THE INSIDES OF DOORS AND CABINETS. MY LITTLES HANG UP THEIR BACKPACKS ON THE INSIDE OF THE COAT CLOSET DOOR IN OUR ENTRYWAY AS THEY WALK IN FROM SCHOOL. COMMAND HOOKS ALSO HOLD CLIPBOARDS ON THE INSIDE OF A SCHOOL SUPPLIES CLOSET FOR MY KIDS' SCHOOL PAPERS.
Comment below to share ways you've used vertical space to increase storage!