How to become a grown-up in 468 easy(ish) steps.

Step 59: Do not allow places like this to fester in your apartment

I am so, so ashamed to admit it, but that photo is my storage closet. Remember when I said that my storage strategy was to balance things precariously on top of other things? Well, I don’t even bother with that physics formality in the storage closet. It’s wild, and dangerous, and I’m not sure what is or isn’t in there anymore. It’s the Chernobyl of my apartment, so it’s probably for the best that I can’t open the closet door more than a few feet.

But you know whose dwelling I’ll bet is like Stockholm, all cute and tidy and coordinated and organized? Storage Geek M. Her guest post was so good that I broke it up in two parts (here is the first), lest the thick layer of knowledge she is about to spread on y’all become overwhelming. M.?

Q: What are your storage pet peeves?

A: I had to think about this for a bit but I came up with two. The first is dust! I detest it. It is hard to show off a pretty collection when you live in a dusty house. So for me, whenever I am considering a storage option I always think of the dust factor. Takes some of the fun out it for sure.

The second is what I have termed “Flat Surface Annihilators.” We all know one, and most of us are guilty of it ourselves — dropping things on the nearest flat surface, like the chair by the door that no one can sit on because it has your mail and purse on it. The top of the fridge is another drop zone that drives me crazy.

The best $20 you can spend on storage, where to find (among other things) free filing cabinets and her very favorite storage methods — after the jump!!!!

Q: Let’s say you have just $20 to spend on storage stuff for your house — how do you get the most bang for your buck?

A: First, put it back in your pocket and look around your house. Do you have empty baskets? Under-used rubber bins? How about your recycle box? Cereal boxes, cans and glass jars go a long way. No luck?

Have you tried Freecyle? I have received some seriously awesome stuff from Freecylers. Both by asking; last year I was given a half ton truckload of new and vintage canning jars when I put a wanted ad for mason jars. I desperately needed a filing cabinet but could not afford even a second-hand one so I put an ad on Freecycle and within hours I was offered an old extra deep metal one in perfect working order. I have also given things away via Freecyle; I like to keep a balance.

No offers on the Freecycle? Okay, now you can spend your money, but can I recommend trying message boards, thrift shops and yard sales first? With a little elbow grease and sometimes paint, the options coming out of a second hand shop of under twenty bucks are endless (Think old trunks, wooden spice racks, wooden hangers, CD racks, and so on).

Still need something new and shiny that hasn’t quite finished off gassing? Head on down to your local dollar store. There you will find plastic bins and baskets, zip pouches, hanging shoe organizers, stationary as far as the eye can see (well, about thirty linear feet of aisle anyways). Sometimes you even luck out and get some nice stuff like woven bins and wooden boxes.

I picked up my wine rack from the side of the road. Everyone who sees it enjoys it, and it is still in an unfinished state.

What is one of your favorite storage solution you’ve ever seen? 

A: *Insert lame quote about picking a favourite star in the heavens.* It really is hard for me to pick just one but I love a simple and effective one. Something that takes little to no money and just as much effort. Reusing a ladder as a shoe holder comes to mind. As does bread tag plug labels (Which I use in my own home) or salt pour spout added to a sugar jar. These are not the be all-end all favourites but they are perfect examples of what I love about the storage game.

Hopefully that wasn’t too long winded, and even more I hope I have inspired you to organize your things! As always after I tell people what to do give people sage advice I encourage you to share with me the things you have done in your own homes/offices/dorms.

Cheers, M. aka The Storage Geek

P.S. A bonus shot of Chernobyl Closet. If you can’t tell, that’s the board game Taboo, an empty box that someone sent me something in, an old bridesmaid bouquet (that I am saving why?), lightbulbs, a magnetic poetry set, and Trivial Pursuit cards. I was trying to think up a snarky theme for it, but I can’t, except maybe the I Don’t Give A Shit shelf.

21st Sep 2011 36 notes , Comments
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