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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Assessing Storage Options

In addition to your storage style, many other factors play a role in determining what type of storage works best for your particular storage location and stored items. Here are some points to consider when choosing storage solutions:

  • The size and design of your garage—A major factor in choosing a particular storage option is the size of your garage and its layout. If your garage is very small, you would be well advised to hang as much as possible on the walls to maximize your space and create loft storage by utilizing the upper portions of the walls and ceiling (this will be discussed later in this chapter). If you are lucky, your garage has lots of windows that will provide lots of natural light. However, this will limit the amount of hanging space you have available for rakes, shovels, and brooms. Although your preference might be to hang as much as possible, your available wall space could dictate otherwise.

  • The quantity of the groups of items you store—Your storage system must be appropriate for the collections of items you'll be storing. If you have a small amount of camping equipment, for example, a labeled storage container on a shelf could work just fine. However, if you have an extensive amount of camping gear, you might want to devote an entire cabinet to it.

  • The size and dimensions of the items you store—Beyond accommodating the collective size of your items, the storage system also needs to be appropriate for the size and dimensions of the items you store. Long-handled items, such as rakes and brooms, lend themselves to hanging storage, and many products are available for this purpose. Small nuts and bolts are easily stored in small drawers, compartmentalized containers, cans with lids, or jars.

  • Frequency of use—Providing easy access to frequently used items is another important factor in choosing a suitable storage option. If you make frequent camping trips, you will want to store your camping equipment in a convenient, accessible location. However, if you go only once a year, loft storage would be quite suitable. And, of course, if you haven't gone in the past five years, you need to question why you are holding on to this equipment at all.

As you will quickly begin to see, there is no one right answer to the question of what's the best storage option for a particular item. Although there is often a more common, appropriate, or desirable approach to storing something, there is almost always more than one way to do it. Table 3.1 provides a general guide for some of the more commonly used methods of storage. Later in the chapter, you will be prepared to make some specific choices that will work best for you. In the table, I've marked my personal storage preferences with a bold x, but other methods are indicated that might work for you as well. If the x is followed by an asterisk (*), this indicates that you might want to seriously consider placing the item(s) in an appropriate container before you store them. The additional blank lines will allow you to write in items you have that are not included in this list. The later section, "Choosing Storage Methods That Work for You," includes a blank version of this chart in which you can mark your own preferences.

NOTE

Remember, there are many "right" ways to store any item. Storage options not indicated in Table 3.1 aren't unsuitable solutions—they simply are less common choices. Always use your imagination and choose a solution that works best for you.

Table 3.1 Suitable Storage Options

Item Stored

Hang

Shelf

Drawer

Cabinet

Loft

Floor

Balls

 

x*

 

 

 

x*

Baseball bats

x

 

 

 

 

x*

Bicycles

x

 

 

 

 

x

Brooms/mops

x

 

 

 

 

x*

Buckets

x

 

 

 

 

x

Cable, wire, rope

x

 

x

x*

 

 

Camping equipment

 

x*

 

x*

x*

 

Canoe/kayak

x

 

 

 

x

 

Car seat

x

 

 

 

x

 

Chemicals

 

x

 

x

 

 

Cleaning products

 

x

 

x

 

 

Clothing

x

 

x

 

 

 

Electrical supplies

 

x*

x

x*

 

 

Extension cords

x

 

x

x*

 

 

Fishing rods

x

 

 

 

 

x*

Folding chairs

x

 

 

 

 

x

Folding tables

x

 

 

 

 

x

Food items

 

x

 

x

 

 

Garden hose

x

 

 

 

 

 

Hand tools

x

x*

x

x*

 

 

Holiday decorations

 

x*

 

x*

x*

 

Items with handles

x

 

x

 

 

 

Ladders

x

 

 

 

 

x

Lawn chairs

x

 

 

 

x

x

Lawn tools

x

 

x

x

 

 

Luggage

 

x

 

 

x

 

Lumber

 

x

 

 

x

 

Paint cans

 

x

 

x

 

x

Paint supplies

 

x

x

x

 

 

Patio furniture

x

 

 

 

x

x

Pesticides

 

x

 

x

 

 

Plumbing supplies

 

x*

x

x*

 

 

Power tools

x

x

x

x

 

 

Skis

x

 

 

 

x

 

Weed trimmer

x

x

 

x

 

 


To Do List

  • Learn cost-effective ways to create hanging storage.

  • Use specially designed hooks for easy hanging.

  • Discover unconventional hanging storage techniques.

  • Utilize ready-made wall-mounted hanging devices.

  • Learn innovative ways to use pegboard hanging systems.

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