Martha’s Tips for Storing in Large Spaces

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A few weeks ago I got to hear a professional organizer speak. Martha Dunlap is the owner of the Tyler, TX organizing and estate sale business Divide and Conquer.  I’ve taken an organizing class before, but I still learned some new things and I thought I’d share a few with you this summer.

Last week I shared with you Martha’s tips for organizing your makeup/hair area of your bedroom or bathroom, and before that I shared how to prioritize the items in your spaces. This week I’m going to share her tips for making the most of tall closets or cabinets that don’t have enough shelving.

Martha says to use large plastic drawer units or small shelving units to extend your storage space upwards. Then partition items for easier access. (which translates to less headaches of course) While some bottles will fit upright in drawer units, some will not.  But, bottles can be stored laying down on their sides.  To prevent them from leaking, Martha recommends unscrewing the lid and pressing gently on the bottle while rescrewing the cap.  The bottle will naturally be trying to replace the air that was removed rather than expel it.


When storing items up high (things you won’t use often), turn crates/bins on their sides with the opening facing outwards to create compartments and extra shelves.  There’s nothing worse than pulling something off a high shelf only to have the rest of the items come with it.  :-)  Keep a small step stool handy so you’re not constantly straining to reach.

When you think about it, the average spare room is 100 sq. ft. After considering the floor space consumed by furniture there’s nearly as much open floor space as there is open wall space on just one wall.  If you find your floor becoming cluttered then you need to take advantage of your walls and their height for storage.  Buy a shelving unit or drawer unit to get those items off the floor.

Place smaller items into larger containers that are stackable.  Be sure to stack heavier items closer to the ground. Clear plastic containers are preferred so the contents are easily identified, plus they deter pests.  Inexpensive shelving units can be found at hardware stores.  A nice bed sheet will hide the boxes on the shelf and add color to your room at the same time!

Next week I’ll share with you Martha’s tips for storing items in storage unit, as well as my own tips and thoughts on whether storage units are necessary.  

If you need some help organizing your home or planning an estate sale you can send Martha a message here to see how she can assist your family in creating some organizational peace in your home!

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