How to Organize Space

Finding suitable storage space around the house for all the personal and household belongings every family accumulates can be quire a challenge. One difficulty is making a sensible compromise between tidiness and accessibility; it is no good having a place for everything if that means spending hours each day laboriously taking things out and putting them back again.

The solution is to tailor make storage to suit its purpose. Some things need a temporary resting place where they remain readily accessible. Others need long-term storage, perhaps being retrieved and used only occasionally. And there is the third storage category, that of display, simply to show things off.

In a typical home, possessions are stored in one of three main ways: on shelves, in cupboards (closets) or in drawers. These may be combined in a variety of storage or display units, and the amount of each type of space that is required will vary from house to house. For example, the avid book worm will have miles of shelves lining the walls, while the clothes horse will need more wardrobe space.

The storage that is needed can be provided in one of two ways. One is to buy or make pieces of free-standing furniture that match the required storage function. The other is to use raw materials such as wood and manufactured boards plus the appropriate hardware to create built in storage space, arrays of shelving, cupboards in alcoves and so on. The former is the best solution for those who value furniture more than function, since the pieces can be moved from one house to another. However, built-in storage is generally more effective for providing the most space for the least money, since the house walls can often be used as part of the structure.