The basic answer to the question of where to store something is to store it where you use it. But, what if you rarely use something? Things that you use only a few times a year don’t belong in your prime real estate. They need to be accessible, but not within arms’ reach as do daily-use items. Here are a few examples to help you think outside the box.
Good dishes/China: These entertaining-only dishes don’t have to be stored in your kitchen. I realize this violates the “store them where you use them” rule, but in this case the frequency trumps the storage rule. If you don’t have a china cabinet – and many people don’t – then think of other spots in your house. I have a friend who keeps them on a shelf of her home office, which is very close to the kitchen. Padded zip covers such as these from Organized A to Z will help protect them from chipping or gathering dust. They could go on the top shelf of an entry closet, in the guest room, or even in the garage.
Gift Wrap: Long tubes of gift wrap can become unwieldy and messy over time. They are best stored in a container that prevents other items from smashing them and making the wrap unusable. Possible storage spots include a shelf in your home office, under the bed, or at the back of your clothing closet. If you don’t have a bin that fits the space – upright or flat – I recommend buying one.
Mementos: Really, these can go in any spot where they won’t get damaged – just not in the garage. I like to store paper memory items separately from bulky ones. You can create a “treasure box” for things like your grandmother’s thimble, a polished stone from a vacation, or a ceramic piece your child made in third grade. If you place them in a covered, decorative box or basket then they can go on a bookshelf where you can look at them whenever you wish.
Guest Linens: If you have a dedicated guest room, then you probably don’t struggle with this. But, if you have to set up an air bed or pull-out sofa for guests, then what do you do with the guest linens? I like to bundle the sheets and pillow cases together and only use them for a guest. A Space Bag is a great solution, and you can include blankets and pillows in the bag. Then, place the bundle underneath your own bed or in a corner of a closet.
Off-Season Clothing: Depending on where you live in the country, you may or may not switch out your clothing twice a year. Even if you do not, you probably have some once-in-awhile clothing. You could put them on the top shelf of your closet in a bin. Or, store them in your suitcase – which otherwise would be empty. Great use of space.