Tag Archives: Storage

Storing Seasonal Sports Clothing

Off Season Sports Clothes

Hi Kathi,

Thanks for the great tips on sock organization…. It seems to be working great…but I have a challenging question in regards to seasonal clothing.  My family of four is deep (more…)

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Little Known Secrets For Photo Storage

Photo Album

Proper photo storage is more than simply placing pictures in a photo album. Using the proper materials can help preserve your photos for years to come, and you can (more…)

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How to store almost anything, both at home and in storage units

As much as I try to discourage clients from using offsite storage to house unused clutter long term, self storage units and movable storage units can be lifesavers when you need to move out of your current home and need to house your belongings somewhere until you can move into your new home.

Below is a really helpful guide from NextDoor Storage for how long certain items can be safely stored, both in storage units and at home.

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Have a hodgepodge of collections throughout your house?

Sunglasses Storage

Solution: Store with style. Create or buy attractive storage containers suited for your specific items, whether it is old photos, CDs or your sunglass collection.

For CDs consider using a three ring binder with drop-in pockets. Discard the jewel cases and place the cover and CD inside the pocket.

For trophy collections, Stagger ledge shelves over one wall and place all trophies on these shelves, up and out of the way!

Comment with your solutions for storing collectables. I am sure you have figured out a creative solution or tow!

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Do you have a jumble of loose photographs?


Solution: Find the photos that you really love & frame them. For the others, ruthlessly toss the blurry, red eyed, duplicate & boring photos. After all, do you really need 2 photos of Uncle Ted on his houseboat? For the remaining photos, store them in a keepsake box that you can pull out & look into from time to time.

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Too many things to read? Organize Your reading Material


Solution: Create temporary storage for the items that come & go in your life, such as magazines & newspapers. A bin or basket by your bed or favorite reading chair will keep these items h & allow you to sit down & read without having a scavenger hunt. Once you read the article, discard in the recycle bin. Note: don’t feel obligated to read yesterdays news, if you miss a day, toss it out when you throw in today’s newspaper. This bin also makes a great place for those mail order catalog’s & interesting articles that you want to read later.

Bonus Tip: If you find an article that you wish to read but don’t have the time when you first see it, tear it out & drop it in your to read bin, Don’t save the entire publication, you will forget what you wanted to read. Once it’s torn out, it reminds you to read it when you look into your bin for something to read.

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Organize backyard garden shed

Garden Shed

As summer arrives and the yard and garden beckon, the problem of the jumbled storage shed becomes apparent. Fortunately, a few easy tips can help you make your shed an asset instead of a hindrance.

The key is organization. Four walls and a roof will protect your tools from the elements, but finding what you want when you want it may be a chore. Often sheds are used as extra storage space for items which, upon reflection, are not really needed at all. Cleaning out your shed and adding some built in organizers can make all the difference.

The first step to a better organized shed is to clear out the rubbish. Items that you really need to keep may be better stored in your house. Anything you haven’t used in over a year may be unnecessary to your life! Consider carefully each item and its use to you. Does it pull its weight in exchange for the space it occupies?

Sentiment often makes us hold on to belongings that would be better off finding new homes. Consider donating items you simply cannot bring yourself to throw away; some-one else may be grateful to have them and you can enjoy the thought that they still have value. Check with your local charities, or see if your community has a trade off recycling program.

Any items that remain to be stored can be put in identically sized bins with lids, and filed away for future reference. Any shelving you install can be easily customized so that the bins will fit neatly. This makes retrieval a snap! Label the visible sides, and post a list inside the door that will help you remember which bin holds what.

Once you have narrowed down the items you need to store, you can begin to plan your new shelving system. Wall to wall and ceiling to floor shelves yield the maximum storage space. Depending on the size and shape of your shed, your best bet may be to install this type of shelving on the back wall as well as along one side.

Long-handled tools such as rakes, spades and shovels should hang on the remaining wall. A pegboard can be installed for smaller tools. A garden caddy can hold miscellaneous items: gloves, seed packets, and even a tube of sunscreen or a hat.

If you do a lot of gardening, you may wish to customize your shed a little. Adding a small potting bench or table can make a corner into a handy workstation. Add shelves above to store pots, and bins below for soil and fertilizer.

If your shed is too small for such project, consider building one on the exterior against one of the walls. Mount a piece of lattice to hang your tools, or add hooks to the sides of the bench itself. A waterproof bin can be utilized for soil and additives.

Once you have organized your shed, every lawn and garden chore will be that much easier. By utilizing your space to its highest potential, you avoid wasted time and frustration. The hours saved by not having to dig through the shed for an elusive tool can be spent on that special gardening project instead!

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Organizing baby clothes

Trunk with Baby Clothes

A reader asks:


I have an old leather trunk with a shelf inside, all covered in cloth. I’d like to store baby clothes in this. We live in a low humidity area. I’m wondering what else I can do to preserve the clothes.

Thank you very much for your service!



Start by cleaning each item of clothing that you wish to store. Moths and carpet beetles are attracted to organic stains in fibers especially natural fibers like wool and cotton so make sure these items are free of stains and odors.

For long-term storage, I would consider using an insecticide within the trunk to ward off silverfish and kill anything that happens to be living there now.

There is a new variety of insecticide made with Para-Dichlorobenzene rather than the naphthalene found in old-fashioned mothballs. Para-Dichlorobene takes ¼ of the vapors to work and also leaves no stain or odor on your clothes like mothballs. If you choose to use this alternative, place it high within the trunk, under the top of the lid, if possible, as the vapors will drift downward.

Place your clothing into plastic bins with lids or vacuum seal them into space bags. Add some cedar, which will give off an aromatic scent that will repel adult moths and carpet beetles. As the years progress and the cedar scent fades, simply sandpaper each piece to renew the potency. Use enough cedar to smell it when you open the lid, if you can’t smell it, the pests won’t mind it. This should keep your clothes well preserved for years to come.

Thanks for your question.
Kathi is a Professional Organizer, image Consultant based in San Diego California.

Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com

San Diego Professional Organizer

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Organizing garages

Messy Garage

Dear Kathi,

We have a two car garage and cannot fit one car into it. This is the year that we have vowed to turn our storage area back into a garage. I know that there has to be other ways to store my stuff and still have a garage that is useful. How do you handle a garage full of everything but the car?



Don’t despair, there are plenty of people in Southern California with the same dilemna who have solved their problem. Begin by emptying everything out of your garage. As you pick up each item to move it out, determine if it is to keep, donate, recycle or toss into the trash.

If you feel that an item is a keeper, this means only one of three things: you will move it into your home and out of the garage, it lives in the garage and is regularly used (ie lawnmower, holiday decorations, Costco overstock etc), 0r it will be re-purposed or passed on to someone who needs it. An item should only be kept because you know that it has a purpose or you want to see it on a daily basis.

For the other items that don’t really seem to belong in your life any longer, do yourself a favor. Get rid of them and do not put them back into your garage for the next time you clean out. Do not save anything that you have not used in the past two years ( and that is being liberal) and especially if you haven’t yet used it but have it saved a for a rainy day.

We live in Southern California, which is a desert after all! If you have a load of momentos, do yourself a favor and put them all in one pile. Go through them one by one and try to downsize to only one plastic bin per family member. Your children will not want most of their keepsakes and certainly will not want to sort through yours at a later date. Do it now during this process. Set these items aside and do not let them back into your garage until they have been downsized and refitted into plastic tubs. If they are worth keeping, you do not want to store them in cardboard boxes.

A note about cardboard: Boxes are not a great medium to store anything in. The gum in the adhesive attracts bugs and they will move in over time to feast on the glue. Use plastic bins for long term storage. These bins also keep water damage at bay. As you move items back into your garage, think about creating zones for different categories of items. One wall could be sports equipment like golf clubs, bicycles etc. Another wall could be the tool zone.

Keep your once a year decor along with your memento bins up and out of the way. They do not need to take up valuable floor space and are the perfect candidates for high in the rafters or on the top shelf.

By the time you are done with this exercise, you will probably have all of your trash cans filled plus a few more bags. Plan your garage project the day before the trash pickup. Also, be sure to call your favorite charity to schedule a pick up of your donation items at the end of the day you are working on the garage and you will have the satisfaction of being clean and clear of all of your discards.

Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com

San Diego Professional Organizer

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A garage gets organized

Before 1

Situation: This client has a 3 car garage with no room left for her car. She has lived in this home for 6 years and her car has never once seen the inside of the garage.

Before 2   Before 3

Challenge: This client grew up in a family without much money, and was taught to buy at sales, stock up and to save everything. She has a hard time letting go of things that may be useful some day, or things that she spent money on. “If the item has value, one can’t just throw it away,” she said.

After 1   After 2

Solution: We eliminated the stuff she wasn’t using. While going through what she could get rid of, she realized that these things were not serving her at all, so she was ready to let go of them and pass the on to someone who can use them. Her holiday decor and supplies are organized and easy to find, and her long term storage is safely stored away in plastic bins, with empty ones left over for future storage. We donated all of her unwanted items to her favorite charity.

After 3   After 4

The garage now has the car inside with storage against the walls. Her significant other said that the garage is “like night and day”, and this client can’t wait for her friends to see her organized garage.


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