Storage Solutions for Your Keepsakes and Holiday Items
When you declutter your home and closets, you create a sense of peace and organization that makes your living space a haven. One of the trickiest storage problems is deciding what to do with things you only use once a year or with keepsakes that you want to keep forever but don't need regularly. Outfitting your garage, attic or basement to store these items can give you the space you want in your home while still providing you easy access to your treasures. Here are some great tips for handling keepsake, photo and holiday storage.
Seasonal Storage Solutions
Seasonal items, such as holiday decorations, typically take up a lot of room. Set aside dedicated areas of your attic, garage or basement for these items, and don't let other storage items encroach on these dedicated spaces. If you invest in specially-designed storage containers for holiday ornaments and wreaths, you can pack more into less space making holiday set-up and take-down smoother and faster.
Simplify setup for your next holiday by stacking your holiday lights in a way that keeps them from getting tangled. Buy a dedicated light storage container, or wrap them around a garden hose reel. As you put them away, make sure each strand is working, and label it with a piece of masking tape, noting how long the strand is and what color the lights are.
Gift wrap storage is always a complicated issue. You want it to be easily accessible, but you only need it for the holidays and special occasions. If you have spare closet space in a basement or garage, fill a hanging shoe organizer with all the little gift wrap items that often get muddled: gift tags, tape, tie-ons and tiny bows.
Keepsake Storage Tips
Store special keepsakes in clear plastic bins so you can easily find them. Plastic bins also protect your treasures from water, mold, dust and decay. Pack your keepsakes carefully. Don't wrap anything that has monetary or sentimental value in newspaper. The acid in the newsprint can damage documents, textiles or other collectibles. Instead, choose acid-free tissue or wrapping paper to protect precious valuables.
Consider giving each member of your family a memory box. This storage box should be fairly large and made of a durable material, such as plastic or metal. At the end of each year, have each person sort through all the odds and ends they’ve accumulated and decide what they want to keep. It's key to let each family member decide this themselves; you might throw out that "A+" essay or that first successful work contract without realizing how much it means to someone else. You can always sift through what they decide to get rid of to catch anything you want to treasure yourself!
Photo and Document Storage Ideas
For thorough and efficient organization, sort through your photos before you store them. If you have multiple copies of photos, toss the duplicates or give them away to friends or family members. Consider transferring all your photos to digital storage. You can fit anywhere from 300 to 2,000 photos on a single CD or blank DVD, and it's easy to make duplicates or to take advantage of cloud storage. Think how much shelf space you might save in your attic or basement by getting rid of those boxes and boxes of old snapshots!
If you're going to keep hard copies of photos, choose acid-free archival boxes. If you've been entrusted with old black-and-white photos or slides that go back many generations, tuck a pair of white gloves in the top of each box for careful handling of the photos. Organize your photos by date or subject matter, and label each box to simplify the task of finding specific pictures later.
Storing awkward or heavy items like large photographs, kids’ diplomas, artwork or school projects can be difficult. After these items are stored it's often hard to find what you're looking for. Try storing them in a letter sorter, propping them up between the dividers. This works especially well if you want to save that macaroni-studded photo frame that you can't bear to throw in the trash.
Whatever you're trying to store, you can find storage solutions that help you declutter your living environment and increase your sense of organization. When it comes to your special treasures, including heirloom holiday ornaments and keepsakes, take special care to find the right storage containers and protect the treasures you hold dear.
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