By Don and Sally Merriman
This year, many people had extra time at home to devote to storage and organization in their living spaces. But sometimes the non-livable spaces became haphazard catch-alls for household items and outdoor tools. If so, devote some time, tools, and a new mindset to those spaces, and start the new year with a clean(ed) slate.
If this is where you store all the stuff you can’t bear to part with, you may have kicked out its intended occupant — your car. After your home, your car is your next largest investment, so bring it back inside or just add a little more room to maneuver.
Keep long-handled tools and yard implements safely off the floor with a handy storage rack that hangs everything where you can see it.
There are lots of options for garage shelving, and four- or five-tier steel units with corrosion-resistant finishes fare best in damp or humid conditions. Look for free-standing units with a high weight capacity for bulky items like fertilizer bags or gas cans. For smaller items, wall-mounted shelving units are great. Just make sure to secure them safely to the wall studs with an anchor.
Don’t forget your garage’s vertical space. Overhead storage racks are a popular choice for storing totes and hanging items like bicycles, sporting, and camping equipment.
The Attic and Basement
Even a small attic is a great place to keep items safely out of the way. But before tossing items into an unfinished attic or basement, consider their fragility. Non-insulated attics are like ovens in the summertime and ice boxes in winter. The hot and cold cycles of the seasons can wreak havoc on them. To avoid fading or decay, don’t store paper-based keepsakes like baseball cards, scrapbooks, and photographs there.
Items that can stand the heat but not dampness should be placed in strong plastic bins with snug-fitting lids. A small container of Damp-rid would come in handy here as well. Large vinyl storage bags with handles are great options for airtight and watertight sealed storage.
Large or bulky attic-worthy items like artificial Christmas trees do well with just a tarp covering to keep dust or dampness off its limbs. Your home’s ceiling often makes up your attic floor, but open drywall won’t hold you or your stuff. Consider laying down some thick plywood with strong screws across the floor beams.
There are many storage solutions for all those other spaces around your home. With a little creativity and desire to pull it all together, you’ll have all your spaces tidy and manageable in no time.
Visit your local Do it Best store or doitbest.com for thousands of the best home improvement products, including storage solutions for all areas of your home.
DON AND SALLY MERRIMAN are the owners of Doc’s Hardware in Albion. They are member-owners of Do it Best Corp., a Fort Wayne-based cooperative of thousands of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout the US and around the world.
(This article is for informational purposes only. Indiana Connection and Do it Best Corp. assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, or for injuries, property damage, or the outcome of any project.)