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Selecting Storage Containers… A Home Organizing Challenge

Organizing ContainersWhile shopping for containers for a small space or a single shelf can be fun, outfitting a larger space with multiple cabinets and closets can be a daunting task.  I recently worked with a client who wanted me to purchase containers of varying sizes and styles for a studio apartment that she had renovated.  In lieu of leaving space in the apartment for a dresser or chest with drawers, she had decided to maximize the space by installing built in cabinets on all available walls.  My challenge was to find the appropriate sized containers for all of the spaces…some of which were odd sizes.

Here are some tips i’ve developed through my years as a NYC Professional Organizer that I would like to share in hope that they will help you with your next home and closet organizing project.

Measure:  Before shopping, be sure to carefully measure all shelves taking hinges, electrical outlets and entertainment equipment wires into consideration.  Make careful notes of the length, depth and height so that once you get to the store you will be able to easily understand the information that you have jotted down.

Dimensions:  Take your tape measure with you to the store so that you can confirm measurements as needed.  When reading the measurement info on the products or store signage, double check that it is written in the same order as your information.  It is very easy to mix-up length and depth dimensions on some containers. You want to avoid getting the containers home and finding out the container will only fit on the shelf sideways.

Plan:  Decide which items will be stored in each location before giving thought to the best organizing solution. When doing so, be sure to keep like with like and position items which will be used in a specific area in that area.  For instance, storing extra soap, toilet paper and toiletries near the bathroom.

Selections:  Determine the size and quantity of the standard size containers that will be needed for the project before going shopping. This information is readily available on sites like The Container Store or Bed Bath & Beyond.  You will save a lot of time in the store by doing this at home where there are typically less distractions and always the opportunity to clarify your measurements.  In addition, this will give you plenty of time in the store to focus on finding an organizing solution for the odd size spaces.

Lastly, be creative when making your selections.  If you find that you are having difficulty finding a good storage solution for a particular spot, ask the sales help for suggestions.  In some cases, they are especially knowledgeable and can identify a non traditional solution that works perfectly.

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