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Lists and Planning: Your Allies When It Comes to Cleaning and Organizing Your Ottawa Storage Space

Are you dreading the thought of cleaning out your storage space in Ottawa?

The task of getting your storage unit organized can be a daunting one for many people. And one of the more common (but less productive) responses is to shy away from it. Procrastinate. Put it off. Just about anything – short of a trip to the dentist or maybe preparing for a tax audit — seems like it would be a better alternative.

Still, you did the right thing (back in the day) by renting that space. You’re getting good use out of it. It’s just that you could take even better advantage, if only you could get past the “ugh” of getting it cleaned up and organized. In that spirit, we’d like to pass along some helpful tips and advice on how to get over the “when-I-get-around-to-it” stage, push past the procrastination and make the most out of your space.

The Same Advice Goes for Basements, Garages, and Much More

shutterstock_344519045While these strategies ought to help you maximize your storage space potential, they’ll also come in handy for cleaning out and organizing your basement, garage, and whatnot. And you might even be able to use the anti-procrastination tactics in other areas of your life!

Lists are your friend; while it might seem like an extra step, this valuable planning step will help save time in the long run as well as put you in the right frame of mind for action

Are you a list-maker? If so, this may be preaching to your proverbial choir, as it were. For those unconverted, however, we respectfully state our case. Lists are an invaluable tool, one that gets (and keeps) us organized, enabling us to make better decisions and take better actions. One of the things that scares some people away from lists is that they say it’s too “structured” and “analytical.” But we encourage you to keep an open mind about this, and remember that the lists you make are generated from your input and your criteria. You only have to put items on the list that suit your needs, and you can structure your lists in ways that work for you. When it comes to organizing a space, for example, you might find it helpful to make a few different lists and sub-lists:

  1. What’s already in the space
  2. What you want to remove
  3. What you want to bring in

These are the big ones. And really, it comes down to simple math, doesn’t it? A space will only hold so much volume. Organization, therefore, ensures that you’re getting the most from your space, be it a storage unit, garage or basement.

The first one, an inventory list, is something you may already have for your storage unit. If not, we highly recommend that you make one. It will help you know what’s where, and can be beneficial for insurance and planning purposes as well. The other two lists are based on your needs, wants, dreams and desires. Many people find that the act of putting something down on paper allows us to see more potential, a key step in taking action and turning goals into reality. The beauty is, once you’ve got your list(s) in place, you pretty much know what needs to be done. Now it’s just a matter of making it happen!

The Steps to Take in Cleaning & Organizing a Space

shutterstock_125653256Easier said than done, you say? Maybe so, maybe not. One of the biggest barriers to “getting started,” to taking those first steps, is not knowing where to start. Now that you’ve got your lists in place, problem solved! Simply build back from the master lists. You don’t have to follow this order, but you might find it helpful:

  1. Take out the items that you don’t want. Decide in advance, of course, how you’ll go about removing them, as well as what you want to do with them. Will you be donating these items? Selling them? Putting them somewhere else in your home? Is there anything that will be thrown into garbage or recycling, or otherwise ‘kicked to the curb?’ And then there’s logistics. Will you be making multiple trips in your car or truck? Where is the Salvation Army / thrift store drop-off and what are their hours? The more you can plan and anticipate, the likelier it is that your task will go smoothly.
  2. What cleaning materials will you need? If you’re making a trip to the storage unit, be sure to take everything with you. Again, anticipate what you might come across. Brooms, dustpan, Swiffer, cleaning fluids, spray bottles, buckets, mops and rubber gloves might top your list; you may have other favourite tools of the trade. The more you have in your arsenal, the quicker and more mightily you’ll win this battle.
  3. Now that the space is de-cluttered and cleaned, you’re free to do with it what you please. Before you physically move anything more into the space, however, you’re best off deciding how things will fit, how you’re going to arrange everything. Again, physics will dictate the limits and dimensions of what you’re working with. If you’re a visual person, you might find it effective to map things out. After all, you have entire the length, width and height of your space to use to your heart’s content. What about bringing in shelves, bins, or other space-organizers? Think of the different ways that you can utilize the space. Prior planning, as they say, will prevent poor performance (which, in the case of a storage space, means not taking advantage of the entire space).

After executing these steps, you should find yourself the proud owner of a well-organized, highly functional space.

And If You Need More Storage Space?

shutterstock_556437874If you’ve taken the space-maximizing actions above and find yourself adding in more than you’ve taken out, it might be time to move up to a bigger space. Or, if you’ve cleaned out and organized your basement, garage or other space at home and now have some items that you’d like to hang onto (but just not in that revamped space), a storage unit could be just what you need.

At Acceptable Storage in Ottawa, we’ve got spaces ranging in size and shape that will suit just about any storage need. One of our experienced team members would be happy to discuss how we can help solve your storage needs. Contact us today to get started!

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