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Published On: Mon, Jan 22nd, 2018

Keeping Your Belongings Safe in Stormy Times

For most people, having clutter in our homes is not desirable even if it is more and more common. Therefore, as we accumulate more and more stuff, we have to find solutions to our acquisitions. Some of these solutions are as exciting as new and bigger homes with more space. More often, we have to find a way to Tetris our expanding needs for space.

Stacking, or using vertical space can save horizontal space, but can still be unsightly and difficult to access. Some stuff can survive the elements of the outdoors. However, we can put our winter clothes outside for the summer, but if we do the reverse, our summer clothes end up soggy and ruined. There are some solutions to our growing demands for space.

photo/ Paul Brennan

Totes

One way to keep your stuff protected from the elements but out of the way of your inside space is to use plastic totes. These smallish plastic containers can provide a dry place to house your weather-vulnerable items, while freeing up inside room. These bins can be put outside as well as in the garage or shed.

They still take up space. They can be considered unsightly if you don’t want stacks of plastic in your yard or other areas. They are also not completely impervious to breeches. Sometimes they can crack, allowing water in. This makes them imperfect for items susceptible, like electronics or items which can mold and mildew.

Garage Shelves

Garages often get so cluttered that their primary function of providing space for cars to park is often compromised. However, when quality shelves are constructed, space in the garage can be created to allow for the car and well organized storage. The key is creating shelves which use the full vertical space of the garage.

This can create great places for things like Christmas ornaments, off-season clothing and can provide better organization for tools and lawn equipment. The problem still exists that garages are usually not climate controlled, which can damage electronics and other heat-sensitive items.

photo Clker-Free-Vector-Images

Another problem with storing in the garage is that it can consume space that is for tools and other typical garage implements. A woodworking bench could end up supporting a box of old files. Your table saw becomes a stand where your CD collection rests. The garage can be good for storage, but there are tradeoffs.

Attics

Above the ceiling in many homes is space where items can be stored, but not without concerns. First, in order to get things into the attic They usually need to be carried up a ladder and fit through the access hole.

This limits much of the attic to lighter and smaller items. Additionally, larger, heavier items can actually stress the rafters and perhaps break through the ceiling. Nobody wants this. Further, the attic often traps moisture and and heat can cause mildew or warble items sensitive to wetness or temperature.

The attic can get a good place to put old trophies, but not records, photo albums, electronics, valuable clothing (like a wedding dress or heirloom) or anything which could melt or crash through.

Commercial Storage

This is often the best choice. The drawbacks are twofold. First, commercial storage will cost you some money. It’s usually inexpensive, however, it is more than the nothing which your attic and garage cost? Secondly, the commercial storage is not in your home. If you want to access your stuff you have to drive to the storage unit. Sometimes you are subject to business hours.

However, commercial storage can provide quality protection for your stuff, including climate controlled space. Commercial storage allows you to keep your home, including your garage and extra spaces, free from clutter. There is some peace of mind in that commercial storage is responsible if there is a breech that is outside of normal conditions (like if the roof leaked and ruined your stuff).

Commercial storage is also safer than your home when it comes to theft. Storage units are not only better secured than most homes, but they are also often equipped with security systems and out in the open, where thieves are loath to operate. Also, in some cases, storage can be considered a business expense and can sometimes be written off on taxes.

Don’t let the accumulation of stuff in your life compromise the quality of your life. You acquired this stuff because you have been succeeding. You can afford more things. Don’t let your success actually lower your quality of life. Don’t end up underneath a collapsing tower of last season’s clothing.

Use these methods to unclutter your life, while you maintain the valuables you’ve managed to acquire. You deserve your stuff and you deserve space. Have both, but do it wisely.

Author: Clarissa Caouette

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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