Homes should be places of comfort, but, for many of us, our home is a source of stress. It feels small and cluttered, disorganized and cramped. The solution isn’t necessarily to get more space — at least, not more living space. Instead, you may want to focus on your stuff.
Are you short on space?
Do you feel like your home is shrinking? Do you get frustrated when you open a drawer or a closet and find it crammed with stuff? Do you feel like you need more room to work, play, cook, and just live? If any of this sounds familiar, you may be suffering from a common American affliction: too much stuff, and not enough space.
Of course, one of these problems is bigger than the other. While we’d all like to have more space, the fact of the matter is that most American homes are pretty big. The real problem here is the stuff—we have too much of it, and we have it in all the wrong places.
The stuff epidemic
There’s a lot of stuff in your house. If you’re like most Americans, you have 300,000 or more individual items on your property. Some of that stuff is junk which includes garbage, stuff you never use, knick-knacks, and useless things you would probably elect to get rid of. Other things you own are more vital, and are items you use all the time and can’t stand to be without.
However, there tends to be a third category, which falls in between the previous two. Maybe it’s stuff that you use rarely, but not often. Maybe it’s stuff that you use seasonally. Or maybe it’s stuff that you don’t use, but have to keep, including files, items held for friends or relatives, or emergency items.
To properly manage your stuff, you need solutions for all of these categories. Fortunately, these solutions exist.
Downsize your stuff
Once you’ve established your three categories, it’s time to tackle them one by one. Dealing with junk is the simplest solution to gaining space, though it’s not always the easiest. To banish junk, just throw it out!
Parting with stuff can be tough, but you can make it easier by using one of the many popular downsizing methods that the professionals swear by. Take the three-box method, for instance. Or turn your hangers around to see which articles of clothing you actually wear. There are lots of tips and tricks to consider as you try to downsize.
Organize your stuff
Stuff takes up space, but it doesn’t take up the same amount of space in every situation. A messy pile of stuff takes up more space than it would if those same things were neatly arranged and properly stored.
As you downsize, consider how often you use items. Then, use that information to organize your space. You may need some commonly used items right at hand all of the time, and that’s okay — but other items can be tucked into under-bed storage, closets, and other spaces. Rarely used items can go at the bottoms of drawers or in boxes.
Store your stuff
Storage is the key to smart organization and use of space. You should use storage to stash items you use less often. Referring back to the stuff you use rarely, seasonally, or not at all (but can’t throw out), this is the stuff you’ll want to store more permanently.
And that’s why you should consider getting a storage unit, as many other Americans already have. A storage unit gives you an off-site place to stash items that you can’t part with but don’t need daily. It will drastically expand your storage space.
You should have little to no trouble finding storage units near you. And since storage units are affordable, you’ll be creating space in a very cost-effective way. Since you’ll be moving in items that you’d usually store at home, you’ll gain valuable residential space in exchange for the low rental rate of storage space. Smart, right?
Plus, storage units are a convenient way to get items off-site without actually losing them. You’ll still be able to drop by and quickly pick up anything you actually need from your unit.
Creating space in your home
It’s not our homes that are the problem, it’s our stuff. Luckily, our stuff epidemic is a problem we can solve. By ditching junk, organizing the items we use most, and storing away the rest, we can gain more space for us to actually live our lives in.