Types of Home Storage

What types of storage areas does your home have and how do you make best use of each type?

When doing a storage makeover, keep in mind that there are four main types of storage available; Open/Display, Closed/Hidden, Convenient/Accessible, and Remote/Auxiliary.

When you plan a new home or remodeling project or anytime you buy new furniture, it is good to keep these types of storage in mind, planning the right mix of each to meet your home storage needs.

For example, a side table for your dining room may look great, but will have very little storage capacity. A sideboard, chest or buffet table with closed cabinetry and drawers may be more convenient from the perspective of storage utility!

Read on to learn more about each of the four main types of storage and how advance planning will make your home storage more functional, flexible and convenint.

Open/Display Storage
Examples: Bookcases and shelving, tops of tables, coat racks, wall hooks, glass-door cabinets

This type of storage, of course, is typically used to display art, books, photographs and other home accessories. It is also important for items that are used daily, such as TV remote controls, coasters, salt and pepper shakers, etc.

Open storage may introduce clutter unless care is taken to arrange and organize correctly. For instance, if you have a collection, you may want to keep it out but think about displaying only your favorite or most important pieces if the collection is very large. You can rotate pieces of a collection over time for variety without the clutter that an unwieldy collection can create.

Closed/Hidden Storage
Examples: Cabinets, closets, armoires and dressers, chests, buffet tables and sideboards, entertainment centers, drawer units, file cabinets, and storage boxes.

Use this type of storage to keep your home uncluttered, storing less attractive items like CDs and DVDs, office supplies, cooking utensils, clothes, etc. out of site. You can use bins, boxes and other storage containers to keep smaller items organized together for easy access.

Convenient/Accessible Storage
Examples: Home furnishings, closets and other storage space in a room

Very simply, it makes sense to keep things needed regularly in a specific room as handy as possible. You wouldn’t keep kitchen items in the laundry room logically. While most of your clothes will be in bedroom closets, it makes more sense to keep coats and hats in a hall closet or coat rack near the entry way.

It also helps to prioritize your storage spaces. The top drawer next to the dishwasher for silverware, socks in the top drawer of your dresser, and so on.

Since storage space is often limited, keep your most frequently used items in the most convenient places possible. Then, organize your less often used things in less convenient spaces like the upper shelves, the lowest drawers, etc.

Remote/Auxiliary storage
Examples: Hard to reach closets, attic, basement, or garage storage locations

Things you don’t use frequently are the best candidates for auxiliary storage areas. Holiday decorations, gardening tools, out-of-season clothing, sporting goods and equipment, shop tools and collections and memorabilia are all good examples.

Following these common sense ideas and thinking ahead about how best to maximize use of your storage areas will save you time, reduce clutter in your home, and make your life less complicated.

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