When you feel like the walls are crowding in and suddenly your house is way too small, it’s maybe time to rethink your storage, both the what and the how.
Living in overcrowded spaces isn’t good for the soul. It can block creativity, cause stress, and generally make you feel shut down and cramped.
Getting some order and breathing room back in your home life takes a bit of organisation, and thankfully there are ways and means.
You don’t have to be living in a place for long before all the cupboards are full, the surfaces are groaning under the weight of stray possessions and you’ve no spare space to put anything.
It’s time to wage war on the clutter. Don’t let it overwhelm you, especially if you have some areas of real jumble. We all have them, and they can accumulate almost behind your back.
It might be your kitchen counters, or the little space under the stairs, the kids’ bedrooms or maybe just a single corner in a room that’s somehow become the general dumping ground.
Choose where to start. You could tackle the biggest jumbles first or ease your way in with just one cupboard or drawer. Starting is often the hardest, and once you get going it’s easier to carry on.
Arm yourself with boxes to stow good things you’re not using, bin bags for broken items or random rubbish (old receipts or dried-up pens anyone?). Don’t try and do the whole house all at once.
It’s less overwhelming if you take a room at a time. Or if random things are everywhere, you could choose a category to sort out. It might be toys, books, computer games, hobby stuff etc. Categories are personal, so yours will differ.
Throw any rubbish straight into the bin bag and put all the things you want to keep but don’t use regularly, into a box. The boxes you fill will need storing somewhere, so you could consider a self-storage room. Storage unit prices can be quite reasonable, and it’s an effective solution when you don’t have room at home to store everything you own and love.
Take as much time as you need on this step. It might just be a day or two, or it might take a few weeks. Time doesn’t really matter. As the house gradually clears, so will your mind, and you’ll feel motivated to continue the clearing process.
Once you’ve got the house mostly sorted, you can work on organising what you’re keeping at home so it’s easy to keep tidy and calm.
Cast a critical eye on your home storage, looking for spaces to fit shelves that will help keep surfaces clear all through the house. Even if you think there’s no room for a shelf, you might be wrong. What about above a door? It’s a handy spot that’s hardly ever used, but very useful for books or precious items you want to keep away from curious little fingers.
In the kitchen too, a shelf can help. If there’s no wall space, maybe try a narrow shelf on the end of a kitchen cabinet. With a rail in front to hold things in place, it will help keep spice jars organised or cookbooks handy.
Look for storage gadgets to help keep cupboards organised, like corner stackers or trays and baskets that hang underneath fitted cupboard shelves. Tubs and baskets can help too, whether in the kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom to help corral bottles, small toys or electronic devices and cables.
This ongoing task takes cooperation from all the family so you might need a couple of family discussions on how to make it work. If you can get them to agree to a bit of gentle nagging now and then if they forget, that’s even better. Changing habits is hard, so it can be tough to learn not to drop towels on the floor or leave shoes lying in the hallway. Try not to lose patience or give up. It’s worth the initial effort to persuade everyone to take some responsibility, even if just for their own stuff.
You might find seasonally rotating items into and out of self storage useful. By storing summer things during winter and vice versa, you naturally reduce items stored at home. Include clothing, so your summer wardrobes aren’t full of winter coats and jumpers.
For just two trips a year to your storage facility to swap things out, you effectively double your home storage. And you get a treasure hunt every time, because there’s always something you’ve forgotten about that’s lovely to see again.
So, give it a go if you’re feeling like your possessions are enjoying your house more than you are. There’s nothing to lose, and every chance you’ll rediscover all that lovely space you used to have.
Thanks for reading xxx
Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.
I really wanted a concrete place to share my love for travel, in particular Disney and offer my readers a chance to gain some knowledge around what we love to do as a family of 5.
I share our family adventures which include days out, travel advice and tips, holiday reviews, restaurant visits and of course, our love for Disney, including Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World.
Life is about creating memories, and here we are sharing them with you