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Intentional storage means considering what we keep to determine how to keep it. However, in talking about storage, we must discuss the difference between putting things down and putting things away.

Putting Things Away

A simple life with fewer things means that we can adequately contain the contents of the house and develop sound systems around the use and care of those possessions.

A home that operates in this way is a home that facilitates putting things away instead of just putting something down.

Putting things down is the beginning of the end if you’d like a tidy home. 

Putting things away after using them every single time is fundamental to having a home that breathes peace and order.

And it’s much easier to learn to put things away consistently when everything has a logical, designated place in the home and everything fits its designated storage space.

Containers Keep Us Accountable

I heard Joanna from The Home Edit say something that stuck with me because it is so accurate, and I never thought of putting it into words as she did. She said: “Containers keep us accountable.”

I can see now why their organizing method always includes all that micro-organization and over-division of stuff. The more (appropriate) containerization, the easier it is to determine when our stuff is becoming too much – they’ll start spilling over.

When things start spilling over, we must decide (if we don’t want clutter to take over) what we should let go of or if that group of items has grown for a legitimate change that might require a permanent change in space planning. And this is what being intentional with the storage means.

The Why Dictates The How

Suppose you love crafting, embroidery in particular. And you have a section in your home office with all those supplies needed for your hobby. At some point, your hobby turned into a business possibility. So, you decide to pursue embroidery as an income-generating activity. Now, you’ll need much more material and supplies and probably more significant, better equipment to handle production.

In this case, it makes sense to “set shop” on a different part of the house dedicated to these activities, transform your home office into the facility you need, or even rent some industrial space. Either of these alternatives calls for a total change in how you gather, store, and use your embroidery supplies, materials, and tools.

Having a ton of new material available because your mother-in-law gave you a bunch of stuff over the holidays is not a reason to overflow or change the storage system that has worked for you so far. If you received embroidery material that you were not expecting or needing, you should decide:

  • whether to keep the new stuff and get rid of the previous material
  • sell or donate the new stuff
  • keep parts of each collection and give away the rest

The two instances are different but require an intentional decision and an action.

All that additional material will hang around the carefully appointed system and previously set containers without an intentional decision. As a result, it won’t look as contained anymore nor be as functional as it was.

When Storage Space Is Minimal

And one more thing! If the home of your dreams has minimal storage space, some “stored” items might not be concealed (as in open storage). So, when stuff needs to be in view like that, the trick is to blend that with the design and make it “disappear” from sight.

You’ll need some out-of-the-box thinking to achieve this. Finding the right storage solution means transforming potential eyesores into space enhancers, conversation pieces, and even eye candy. How about that? Are you up to the challenge?