Monday, February 6, 2012

{storage wars - making it all fit}

So. There's no denying it, I live in a pretty small house.
There are four of us and as our family has gotten bigger, our house (much to my dismay) hasn't. It's no small task, as curator of this joint, making it all fit.
We have two sheds (one in the front and one in the back) with outside stuff and seasonal stuff.
It's a constant, daily and ongoing shuffle to keep up the level of tidy and organized that I like to live in.
I enjoy a good reorganize and purge and a big bag of stuff being dropped off where it can be sold to better my community.
I'm not going to show you my kitchen cupboards or upstairs hall closet, because those are things we all have. What I'm focusing on are ways, above and beyond the standard storage spaces, to make those spaces work for what I need and ways to create space, within my space.
(and sorry about the crappy photos. I took them in a hurry and edited them in a hurry too)
:: downstairs hall closet ::
the addition of six small stacking bins has allowed me space for coloring stuff, hats and mittens, some shoe care, lightbulbs and one full of around the house odds and ends (rubber bands, adhesive strips, 3M hooks etc)
as denay got older, it became less and less practical to keep all of her shoes upstairs (especially when they come in dirty) so this basket, albeit super messy, is a contained way to keep all her footwear downstairs with ours.
just a run of the mill shoe rack. this closet is our only one downstairs so it has to fit a lot of stuff. it's sort of an unwritten rule around here that if you get a pair of shoes, a pair has to go because we ain't got room for no more!
:: downstairs powder room ::
this is fairly new to us shelf and we got it for cheap-cheap from Home Depot. there isn't a whole lot to it but it's been awesome at giving us some much needed space in thise very small and much used room. up top is where the vacuum cleaner goes, the middle shelf is for laundry products (that used to be crammed in the under sink cabinet and cabinet above the toilet). the other middle shelf is for cat food and litter and the bottom is for the cat box. tucked in behind is my drying rack, ironing board, swiffer-vac, broom and steam mop. i also moved the drapes that used to hang on the sliding glass door in the living room so it's all neatly hidden away.
:: living room ::
this is an Ikea coffee table-turned-uber-storage. i found six baskets that fit the cubbie's perfectly and I keep our remotes, wires/chargers/cables and some DVD's. i have actually organized to the point of having a few of these empty. but one day, when there's another baby around here, they'll get filled up once again!
i'll just come out and say it, this set-up isn't my favourite. it's inconvienient and awkward. but the alternative, well, there isn't one so we make it work. what you are seeing on right, is a wall and on the left in my couch. inbetween is our TV cabinet. let's just say it's better that when they were UNDER the couch.
:: dining area ::
this cabinet was a steal from London Drugs and not only serves as a tiny bit of pantry storage, but I can put pretty things on it!
and this. my. "crafting room". since I took this photo it has been relocated and is pushed under the countertop overhang (in the right side of the photo). it's not pretty (it's a hot-darn mess) but it's much easier for me. instead of hauling everything out of various closets and crannies, it's all in one spot, together and i'm much more motivated to scrapbook.
:: upstairs bathroom ::
this little cabinet replaced the older and more unsightly one that was there when we moved it. it house all (yup ladies, that's it) of our deoderant, face wash, hair products, moisturizers and lotions for all four of us. it's also place to keep some extra hand towls.
underneath the sink is where everything else it kept. sunscreen, nailpolish, toilet paper, hair appliances (straighter and a dryer that I've never used), some bulk toothbrushes and extra toothpastes. i've found using plastic baskets (on the left) keeps things contained and keeps everything tidy. the addition of the white plastic rack has also made life so much easier, and allowed me to access some unused space on top, creating more space, in the space i had.
:: bedroom ::
bedside tables. these guys were a serious downsize from the ones we had before we made the switch to a king-sized bed but they were cheap and only served to help me pass along the stuff I didn't need and keep the stuff I did. the top drawer (and this is my side of the bed) contains books, vitamins, a few pens, my sleep mask, a bookmark or two. the middle has my bible and the bottom drawer, has, other stuff in it.
just so you know, that laundry sat there for another two days after this photo was taken.....and had already been on there for one before it was taken. we got this guy for around $60 from Canadian tire. it's been awesome not only for storage but for somewhere to sit, other than my rather high bed.
i keep my lovely purple snuggie in there, as well as some completely (and not worth mentioning) random stuff. it used to be one of the four spots i kept my scraping stuff as well.
three words friends - under. your. bed. it's a wealth of under (no pun intended) used space. it is hard to see, but there are three of the white lidded, low-profile bins tucked under there. i've got all of my maternity clothes in one, purses and totes in another and excess home decor in the last one. the decor bin is full, so I got lazy and just stuffed the overflow under without looking :)
under my side of the bed are two, larger but low-profile bins full of DVD's and all of my wrapping/gift bag stuff. i also kept some of my scrapbooking stuff (and when i say "kept" i mean "stuff until you can't anymore") under here.
i will also say that we have all of our christmas decor, infant gear and extra winter stuff in about seven huge bins over at Oma and Opa's storage center (thanks mum and dad). i so wish i could have it all here but in this house, it isn't an option.
it's been a five year process of sorting, recycling, donating, tossing, and reconfiguring to get it all to fit and have a "spot"......then rinse and repeat. it's taught me to learn to live with less, think twice before I buy and lead a very practical life.
so there you have it!
I would love (like really a lot) to hear some of your space saving ideas and organizational tips!
::: Laura, please contact me about your soap nuts! Hit the email me button over on right column. I'll give you until Friday this week before I'll draw another name :::

1 comment:

Shawna said...

holy organization batman! My hat is off to you ;)