Done the right way, creating a storage space in your home is a relatively painless project. Done the wrong way, and it’s the home improvement equivalent of the Titanic — a total disaster. Cutting corners or being too hasty about getting the job done is a sure fire way to hit the metaphorical iceberg. Avoid these seven common pitfalls and your project is guaranteed smooth sailing!
1. No Plan
It may seem obvious, but starting any renovation project without a plan is a one way ticket to frustration town. Have a clear idea of what you want the room to look like, as well as a detailed list of what sort of organizational tools you’ll need and a reasonable timeline for the entire project.
2. No Budget
Having a budget goes hand-in-hand with having a plan. Start creating a storage space without one, and you’ll end up bleeding cash. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford. Do research beforehand to see what items warrant the big bucks and what ones have cheaper price tags.
3. Wrong Space Size
Great closet or basement storage is all about using the space well. Know exactly how much space you need and what you realistically have to work with. Over and underestimations are only going to lead to headache-inducing disasters like an overstuffed room or doors that won’t open or close properly. And unused space is such a pitiful thing.
4. Ignoring Lighting
A new, efficient storage space requires a different lighting scheme. Know what sort of lighting will best serve the space, as well as whether or not the room needs to be rewired and where switch plates and outlets should be located. Skip this step, and you could end up having to use a flashlight to find your stuff.
5. Forgetting Insulation or Ventilation
Creating a storage space in the attic, basement or garage? Forget to insulate and ventilate the room and you might as well just leave goods out in the yard, especially if they are sensitive to temperature. Insulation protects the room from getting too hot or too cold, while ventilation eliminates humidity.
6. Stacking Items on the Floor
Stack items on the basement or garage floor and you’ll probably end up rescuing them from a foot of water. Both of these spaces are prone to leaks and even flooding. Even if it seems unlikely that either will happen, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take the extra time to create a storage space where everything is off of the ground.
7. Being Inflexible
Storage needs can change as often as your hairstyle. Creating a space that’s totally full from the get-go, or one that can’t be reorganized, is asking for trouble. Pick shelving units and organizational tools that can easily be rearranged according to your storage needs. Weed out items you don’t need in order to leave space for future goods you may want to store.
A storage space should be the one area of your home you don’t need to think about once it’s done. Taking all of these factors into consideration before you start the process of creating one, will eliminate any major disaster.
By Megan Mostyn-Brown