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Make the Most of Your Home's Own Storage Potential before You Rent More

Even though we are not on the television show, Hoarders, we still wish our homes looked a little more like Architectural Digest and little less like Everybody Loves Raymond. Therefore, renting some storage makes sense. Renting extra space is a great way to gain some sanity, but making a few changes first is an even better plan.

First, organize your spaces by frequency of use. If you find that you consistently wade through the painting supplies to get to the fertilizer, you need reorganization. Here are some places to find un-used space.

Hall space
The hall is often a wasted area. This is a great place for coats, jackets, shoes, and other outdoor wear. Add a hall tree or a row a hooks, and watch your things levitate off the floor and into the hall.

Wall space
Walls are another area of overlooked space. Consider adding shelving and using baskets to attractively store items. Like hallways, walls also invite hooks, so think about how your walls improve your organization.

Functional Furniture
Some furniture, such as a storage ottoman, serves multiple purposes. An old-fashioned trunk makes a coffee table/linen closet. Many headboards are made to store linens as well. Head to the local flea mall or antique store and find attractive pieces that can store everything from food to frying pans.

The Donation Box
Admitting you have a problem is the first step. Are you really going to read those books you snagged off the sale table five years ago — right before you got the Kindle and quit reading bound books altogether? Anything you have not used in the past two years can be better used by someone in need. Gather it up and donate it. You can even write that good deed off on your taxes.

Storage facilities are fabulous solutions to real storage problems. But they should not become another place of disorganization. Do some spring cleaning before storing things. You will be glad you did when it is time to unpack the unit.