Storage With Benefits

An unruly supply cabinet can really kill productively, especially in a large office where certain things are only needed occasionally. When managing the New York headquarters for Google and Chanel, I always assigned myself the task of storage setup because it’s so tricky to get right. There’s a lot of NYAH content on storage for everyday things, but today we’re focusing on those special occasion items. When your infrequent home items are still easy to find, you’ve become a true storage professional.

Cue Your Brain
Your brain is already wired to categorize, so help yourself out and literally turn your mind into matter. When we create categories that meet our needs, we’re not tasked with remembering where we put every single item. Knowing a roll of tape is with mailing supplies or gift wrap category provides us with a useful storage shortcut. And if you have something that doesn’t fit into any of your categories, (like a gianttoolbox that was used once by that person you hired to put together an Ikea bed frame 5 years ago), it might be time to donate and move that item from long-term to long distance.

Measure Up
To take full advantage of your storage space, make a list of what you have (2 closets, 1 chest, 3 bookcases, 6 cabinets) and thenmeasure each space. Only then is the right time to ask how you can best use these spaces. The above photo is a sketch of a client’s pantry that depicts storage spaces numbered 26 to 31. Yes, we identified 31 storage opportunities simply by measuring each area in the kitchen. This works for movable spaces like dressers, too. When you literally size up your storage and allocate the space accordingly, it’s easy to find the perfect spot for everything, even those orange twinkle lights you only need every October.

Sort It Out
Just because you’ve measured your space doesn’t mean you have to fit in everything you own. A fun way to set a cap on quantity is to accessorize. First, try purchasing storage bins of a few different sizes that will fit your space. Then, create a visual layout that’s connected to your already established categories. When you take the time to visually sort it out, it’s easier to see that some storage items (large summer season fan) are needed infrequently but super useful, while other items (sleeping bag from camping trip never took) might just be superfluous.

Fit To Function
You’ve categorized, you’ve measured, and you’ve sorted it out. Now it’s time to assess what you do. How you fit everything in depends on how you use a room and how fast you use things up. The client who owns the cabinet pictured above loves brewing large batches of kombucha occasionally and consuming matcha daily. Knowing the frequency of use, we organized from low shelf (daily teabags in this organizer) to high shelf (kombucha in this bin).

Outta Sight Storage
Since these wire baskets feature exposed content and handles they are the perfect way to store seasonal or event-specific items like holiday decorations, suitcases, extension chords, or picnic blankets. Paired with bin clip labels, they make everything easy to find but might not look nice enough to be displayed in a living room. Even our outta sight storage needs a functional setup.

Part Time Storage
When it comes to fully tackling your storage setup, think like a professional storage aficionado. Make sure you know the difference between your every day and your part-time items. Investing time now to categorize, measure, sort, and setup storage. So when you need your shark fin headband for Shark Week, it’s right where it should be: in the “costume accessories” box that you fit perfectly on your top closet shelf.