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Sheila Chandra

Why what you’ve learned about storage doesn’t work in your living space

We’ve all been misled about storage!

We all know the ‘rules’ – use space efficiently and store ‘like with like’. Would it astonish you to hear that when it comes to your living space these rules are wrong? This is something which naturally tidy people seem to understand instinctively and which naturally messy people don’t. The ‘rules’ work well in storage places like attics  but not in living spaces. And the confusion arises because we use the same word for both types of storage, and it isn’t clear that they function in very different ways.

Why are attics and living rooms different when it comes to storage?

Attics, or any space which is outside a main living area and is used purely for putting seldom used items in, is easy to organise. People don’t tend to access such spaces very often, and provided the containers in them are well marked, then finding things and keeping some semblance of order in them isn’t usually a problem. But more frequently used and lived in spaces often are, and it is a common trap to believe that the only way around the fact that you’re in these living spaces all day ‘messing them up’, is to tidy up frequently. In fact, if the possessions in your living spaces are well organised, then they will tend to gravitate back to their correct places automatically, and tidiness becomes something that almost seems to maintain itself.

Is there a way of organizing your storage so that things stay tidy?

Understanding the way storage should work in a living space is key to attaining this state of organisational ‘nirvana’. To begin with, in a way, you might think of every single item in a bedroom as an item that is being ‘stored’ there. But in the case of larger and frequently used things such as the bed, which wouldn’t be put in there unless they were essentials, we see very easily that they are being used and are therefore not being ‘stored’ at all.

But what about the less frequently used and smaller items? These are the ones we tend to insist we need ‘storage’ for in our bedrooms (whether we choose wardrobes, chests, chests of drawers or cupboards). But are they being ‘stored’ in your bedroom, any more than the bed is? The answer is no. Smaller and less frequently used items in a bedroom need to be just as easy to access and use, as the larger and more frequently used ones. If they’re not, you will subconsciously feel that you’re living in a broom cupboard, and that things are not set up to help you. That will be because they’re not.

The secret about storage that naturally tidy people understand

The point is that with larger items of furniture, it’s easy to see that they form a living working system, that you need to access and use every day. What is just as essential to know, if you want to stay well organised effortlessly and without frequent ‘tidying up’ sessions, is that every single item, however small and infrequently used within a living space such as a bedroom, needs to be regarded as part of a living working system too, and placed accordingly.

Are you finding tidying up a constant chore? It doesn’t have to be that way, and I’m currently offering coaching around ways to make your home more of a sanctuary without huge daily tidy ups. Contact me to find out more…


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