Friday, January 16, 2009

Shelves and Bins

The new year is underway and many of us are in our "I am going to get this house under control" mode. Going through our houses (or even one room that needs done) will end up with items that we do not want to donate or throw away. There might be clothes that the younger child can wear next year, or the cheer leading outfit that will still fit next year but it doesn't need to take up space in the closet until next fall. What ever it is, it needs some form of storage.

I believe very strongly in clear storage bins if at all possible. Can you tell me which bin the box of Ritz crackers is in? was in both, but you didn't know it on the green ones did you? Point made. I love the colored CLEAR bins especially for holiday storage. The colors stands out immediately when you look at your shelf, but you can still can get a general idea of what is inside.

The other very important thing you need to do which takes a few extra minutes initially but will save you time in the future is to label all your bins with what is inside. You don't need necessary need to put down every little thing but get the big things and a general idea so that a year from now you can take a quick glance at the bin at the label to know what is in it. You can use sticky address labels. You do not have to have anything fancy. Then if you change what goes in that bin next season it is easy to peel off or just use another one on top of it.
Now that you have your bins full, you need to put them somewhere. The basement, garage or attic work great. There are many different styles and prices of shelves you can buy. I prefer the heavy duty plastic shelves. They have pieces that fit together easily without screws or nails. Be careful to purchase good ones though. If you buy plastic that is too cheap, it will not hold the bins well and may break. I do not care for the metal ones that may be cheaper for several reasons. They are a pain to put together, they tend to rust, they aren't very sturdy and the shelves dent. (Now there are metal ones with boards for support that are usually over $100 per shelf. That is not what I am talking about here...those are commercial grade and are very nice)

Decide how many shelves you have space for. You will need to measure your space. - width and height. (There may be pipes in basement or low ceiling that you need to account for). Next measure the bins you have. You need to make sure that you have shelves that are tall enough in between shelves for your bins. You also want to be able to get at least 2 bins across on a shelf. So measure the distance with the lids on the bins of 2 across to make sure your shelf will be wide enough.
If you have the shelves first...then measure those before going to buy your bins and buy your bins according to your available space.
MEASURING your shelves and bins and space is an important factor here. If you just go on "I thinks" then you will end up with shelves that don't fit the space, bins that don't fit the shelves and over all wasted space and wasted money.
Plan ahead and get the most out of your space and money for your storage. You will be glad you did.


Zeemaid said...

Such great ideas. Thanks!

Felicia said...

Yep.. it's time for us to organize! said...

I love organization...but can I tell you my "little dirty secret"...I'm a closet messy.
Thanks for the tips.