As more people work from home, apartments and households get more crowded. Living spaces often become more cramped, and you can become more depressed and, despondent. Decluttering the home is therefore now more important than ever. Fortunately, with creative space planning, storage space for all the dislodged items can be found in many places around the home and beyond it, even for residents of small apartments.
Clutter takes many forms, from kids toys and magazines to all the clothes you bought which didn’t quite fit in the wardrobe. Then there is the paperwork that you want to sensibly get organized. Most papers can be tossed or shredded, yet for important papers you want to find the correct spot for easy access. Marla Stone, CEO of I-Deal-Lifestyle and author of The Clutter Remedy: A Guide To Getting Organized For Those Who Love Their Stuff, will certainly get you uber organized. Stone will find places to store all the that are important so you will manage your life and live in harmony with the others in your household. This can be easier in some places crowded spaces that others, and access to storage space at home varies across the country. Although, solutions are available, and a nearby self storage unit can be rented to act as a helpful garage or storage space a meaningful and successful decluttering process is important to see what is actually important enough to store.
Living Space in US Homes Have Become More Cramped
The pandemic sent employees home to telework from their bedrooms, and many of them would like to keep working that way. And then, with college kids no longer able to live in their dorms and seniors sometimes preferring to receive care from relatives, multigenerational living is now increasingly seen. All those family members take up space, with many households increasing in size and living space becoming more cramped. The other issue is that everyone has moved out, and yet they have left behind their belongings in your precious space. In addition, homes haven’t necessarily become bigger over the years to accommodate larger households. Certainly builders are creating smaller cabinets with tiny shelves, instead of deeper shelves, smaller pantries, and not enough place to stash things away.
New apartments were built with less space between 2010 and 2019, losing 90 square feet — equal to the size of a small bedroom — and ending at an average of 1,156 square feet. Also, with increasing accommodation costs, many Americans are not able to move to larger homes, so they want to be more cognizant of how they will keep their living spaces free from clutter.
Utilize All Your House’s Storage Solutions
If you have a house with a basement or an attic, there is potential storage space. Be aware that conditions there may not be ideal in terms of temperature extremes and humidity, which can damage paperwork, clothes and wooden furniture. A garage or a garden shed are also tempting places to use as storage rooms, but they are even more exposed to the elements, so are only suitable for tools, tires and those windsurfing boards.
Regions are not equally equipped with storage options for house owners. Basements are often built beneath houses where the frost line necessitates deep foundations. Therefore, cold-winter cities like Milwaukee, Boston and Pittsburgh, and New York feature basements in around 90% of houses, while Texans and Floridians rarely see them. Garages are more fairly distributed, but this time metros in the West and Southwest fare better, with around 90% of houses having them.
Your Apartment Building May Have Storage Options
Apartment dwellers are obviously more squeezed for space. But their buildings increasingly provide storage options, perhaps lockable units in the basement or more informal partitioned spaces. Other buildings have outside lockers where tenants can keep bicycles and maybe other outdoor items. These options are more common in the West and Southwest, with over half of the multifamily buildings in the California, Phoenix, AZ, Dallas, TZ, and Portland, OR, metros having them.
Other storage options for apartment dwellers are parking garages on their block, friend’s houses or storage units, though this tends to be in the more high-end buildings. These are more common in the metropolitan areas of the spacious West, but even the metros centered on Dallas, TX, Kansas, MO, Milwaukee, WI, and Denver, CO, only offer the facility in 16%-18% of their multifamily buildings. As well as keeping your car there, some landlords allow items such as bicycles to be stored.
Get Clever Finding Extra Storage Space
When your home doesn’t provide storage space outside the living area and your cupboards and shelves are fully utilized you want simple and economical solutions. Corner storage cabinets, spaces above doors, shelving, ceilings and corridor wall units are places in the home that can be used for additional storage. Ottomans are types of furniture that increase your storage options. And restyling your home to add new levels and even storage rooms are good ideas.
Renting storage may also be a good solution for you. For example, the average street rate for a standard 10’x10’ storage unit is $128/month, and that will hold all the contents of a small apartment. Also, when revamping your home for added storage, you will be able to keep your prized furniture and other items out of the way. Self storage is much cheaper than residential space, and with the rapid expansion of the industry, you will find a facility near your home.
Decluttering is certainly a feature of many Americans’ lives right now, especially when they are coping with increasingly cramped living space. Fortunately, there are some effective storage solutions to cope with space challenges. Residents of multifamily buildings can maximize their options. Happy decluttering!
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Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of