Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Storage Magic & Organization

Sigh...as much as I love my wooden toys and natural fibers I also love my plastic bins for organization. They are not natural at all and a bit unsightly, but they have saved me so much money and time!

About 12 years ago a friend of mine had her basement flooded and lost most of her possessions and treasures that were stored in boxes. She told me to always store things in plastic bins. I cannot tell you how thankful I am to her. Our basement flooded twice and our storeroom leaks and has terrible humidity problems. Without those plastic bins I would have lost many treasures of my own.

The second benefit of these bins is how easy it makes it to organize things. The bins were an investment each time I purchased one for about $6 - $8.00 but they have paid for themselves over and over. I purchase clear bins so I can see through them and I organize everything I store in these bins. I also label each bin. This makes it very easy to find things I usually would have lost, forgotten about or left buried at the bottom of a pile of storage boxes.

Today was a good example. I actually have a bin for "random pet items". This bin is filled with items we have used for pets over the past 5 years. Tonight I needed some "land" for our tadpoles so I got out the bin, found some "water structures" we had used for a gecko a year ago, washed them and put them to use again. These structures had also been used for our hermit crabs a few years before that. One time we found a stray dog and I found a collar and food bowl for him in there. Without having these items organized I know I would have just lost them somewhere in a pile of things. Like I used to do - LOL!

I have bins for each season/month of the year and each time we want to set up a new nature table we get out the appropriate bin. I also have bins for seasonal clothing, memory boxes for each child (many for each), one for negatives, random cords and cables from around the house, lights and other items.

Last week I had to attach a VCR to the computer to convert some old tapes to DVD. The instructions said, "You need two cords (illustration). These are not included". I was not worried. I went straight to my "random cords" box, searched through it and found the two cords I needed. I remember paying more than $30.00 for these cords so I am glad I knew where they were! I remember when I used to just toss cords in random boxes and drawers and ended up buying the same ones twice all the time.

I am so thankful that I took the time to set up this system. I initially balked at the cost of the plastic bins and it took me a few days to label and organize them but it has been such a time and money-saver ever since.

And you don't need a lot of space to store them. I keep them in a large closet stacked on top of each other. I use them about 4-6 times a week.


MamaAngel said...

We use a ton of plastic bins too. I hate how they look but like you say, they keep moisture out and are so easy to use!

Emma said...

I couldn't agree more. I'm in the process of organising our belongings and the basement, it will take me well into the winter and even up to next spring - my plans are ambitious! My storing has born fruit though, we are reusing clothing from my first son with my second; storing them has kept them in great condition. I believe that it is less expensive to buy bins than to be constantly repurchasing new belongings, better for the earth too!
Seasonal boxes are my next step and I really want to create annual memory boxes with examples of art, birthday cards and other bits and pieces. These will be a time capsule for the boys when they are adults.
Great post!

Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND said...

Dear Emma,

Oh yes the clothing is my favorite part! It is so easy to lose track of otherwise. If only my oldest and youngest daughter had more of the same style I might get even more use out of it!