Posted on: September 18, 2019

Karen Murdock, founder of Your Organized Friend is a member of the Westend Seniors Activity Centre’s, Friends of WSAC business program.  Karen has been a guest speaker here at our centre since 2017, providing educational Toonie Talks on home organizing, downsizing, and this fall she will be hosting a Toonie Talk on creating a Photo Legacy .  

This month’s we are happy to share Karen’s thoughts on “Bringing The Life Back Into Your Home”


Guest Blog Post:
Karen Murdock, Owner of Your Organized Friend

3 Areas Of Your Home That Need Serious Organization

We spend so much time organizing bathrooms, kitchens, and children’s bedrooms that we often overlook three seriously unorganized parts of the house. We’re talking about the basement, the garage, and the attic. All three spaces tend to become catch-all rooms for overflow items and turn into jumbled, messes, making them prime spots for a focused organizational strategy.

Before you start organizing the basement, attic, or garage — go through all items in those three spaces, recycle or donate anything you don’t use, and then start the organization process as outlined below:

Unfinished Basements
The basement often becomes a catch-all space to throw overflow items, but since the basement is more likely to flood than any other room in the house, it’s actually the room that needs the most thoughtful organization. In order to protect your items from flooding, it’s a good idea to install weather-resistant vertical storage units made of heavy-duty metal shelving several inches off the floor.

To protect your items from moisture, replace cardboard boxes with plastic storage bins, and then place those storage containers on wooden or plastic pallets if you don’t build a shelving unit. Food will attract pests, so the basement is great for canned goods, but not ideal for other food items or perishables. The basement is great for storing general overflow items like winter clothes, family heirlooms, paint, kitchen items like extra water bottles or bulk paper towels, or items you rarely use like certain sports equipment, camping gear, etc.

It’s important to keep the garage organized because your stuff is vying for precious real estate with the car. You should store items you consistently use, whether year-round or seasonally, in the garage. The garage is best for storing items like outdoor equipment, strollers, mechanical tools, gardening items, fishing gear, and sports equipment, i.e. things you pull out daily, or weekly, as opposed to one-time seasonal items like Christmas decorations.

To organize the garage, map out a floor plan by dividing the garage into sections according to use or season (i.e. the East wall is for daily gardening tools, the Northwest corner closet is for winter gear, the West wall is for fishing items). Utilize the walls in the garage, especially if you use the garage to park your cars and don’t have a ton of floor space. Bikes, shovels, rakes, and other items can be mounted or attached directly to the wall, but you can also build shelving units (great for storing small items), peg boards (great for mounting gardening tools of all sizes), or create a wire grid that you can customize with hooks, baskets, or storage cubes, as needed. The garage is also a great place to store large, heavy items like fitness equipment that are too heavy for the attic.

Check the weight limitations on your attic floor before you load it with heavy stuff (the attic may not be the best place for your metal filing cabinets). The attic is also not climate controlled, so family heirlooms like books, videos, papers, and photographs should be kept in airtight containers so they don’t spoil with the elements. Just like the basement, it’s best to swap cardboard boxes for plastic ones in the event of pests or roof leaks.

The attic is a great place for storing extra clothes and we suggest installing hanging rods so you can carefully hang your clothes (wrapped in garment bags, of course) during offseasons. Create a shelving unit in the attic, so you can store lightweight and seasonal holiday decorations (clearly marked and labeled), that are easily retrievable year-round.

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