The Myth about Storage Bins

 

storage bin coverStorage bins, baskets and containers are everywhere after the holidays.

They are alluring.

They are on sale.

They come in great colors.

They are offered in a dizzying amount of sizes and styles.

They illicit thoughts of neatly organized spaces.

Don’t buy a single bin until you read this.

Our homes are over-run with storage, yet we are not more organized as a result. You may ask yourself, “why”?

It actually isn’t your fault.

We are all fed a nefarious lie every January. Retailers would love you to believe that your home will be organized by simply purchasing their products. They seduce you by the neatly stacked displays. They remind you of your resolution to become more organized. (Becoming more organized has been consistently in the top 5 most popular New Year’s resolutions for the past ten years.) If you pay close attention, you will see organizing products in nearly every cart as you leave Target and Costco in early January. It happens every year.

holiday storage #1

 

Buying more bins alone won’t make you more organized.

In every home or business I have organized, there have already been storage bins and boxes present. In fact, those individuals who often need the most organizational support have MORE bins than they could every use. It often looks like a “container graveyard” in their space. Clearly, valiant attempts have been made to use the organizing items my clients have purchased. A lot of money has often been invested. However, the retailers have left out some crucial information to make you successful when you purchased your bins.

What you need to know before you buy another bin, box or basket this year:

1. Edit

You won’t know what needs to be stored until this vital step is completed. Before you put away your holiday gifts or pack up the Christmas decor, consider if those items truly fit your lifestyle and taste. Local charities could be blessed by your duplicates or excess.

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Are the items in poor repair? Don’t hesitate to toss them. Space is a valuable commodity. Choose what stays in your home carefully.

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2. Consider the storage location

Will the items be stored in the rafters? Heavy-duty bins that withstand heat/cold temperatures will be essential with visible labels. Will the bins be stored in closets? Measure the space you have so that they stack neatly and work with your space. Are pests a factor? Make sure the bin you choose closes securely for dark, deep sheds and garages.

3. Be honest with yourself about your needs.

We only access 20% of the papers we file. We wear less than 20% of our wardrobes. Children play with only a small percentage of the toys they own. Before you purchase bins or storage systems, truly consider WHAT you are storing. Perhaps that nifty, new file box isn’t the best answer and buying a scanner would fit your paper needs better. You may surprise yourself and enjoy the found space removing ill-fitting clothes/shoes provides rather than the newest closet system. Maybe rotating toys into your child’s space would benefit your family more than purchasing bins for every new Christmas toy. In short, careful and creative consideration is much more valuable when organizing than a bin ever could be.

Bins are not “the answer”, just a tool.

Consider editing, the storage location and being honest with yourself about your storage needs before purchasing any more bins. You will save yourself valuable money, time, aggravation and space by carefully considering your personal needs. “Bin” there, done that!

Vacaville Organizer would love to partner with you on your holiday storage project through vacavilleorganizer.com, directly at (530)902-5960 or by using the contact form below. Local consultation are always free.

Happy Organizing!

Lorinda with Vacaville Organizer

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NEW! School Memory Book Service Offered

Memory Binder Ad

New Service:  School Memory Books

In nearly every home I encounter bins of school papers. The most common explanation as to “why” families haven’t done anything with their children’s paperwork, school photos, artwork and memorabilia is two-fold:

  1. They simply do not have the time. These are busy, dedicated mothers and fathers who often have more than one job and adding to their already lengthy daily “to-do” list simply isn’t possible.
  2. They don’t know what to keep and what to toss. As a result, they simply keep EVERYTHING.

Would you like to eliminate the guilt of collected school memorabilia for your child?

 

Would you enjoy being able to access those memories/photos/papers to enjoy them now…rather than in 20 years?

Vacaville Organizer is offering a limited time service of creating memory books for clients. The process is a simple 3 steps.

  1. Make an appointment to Vacaville via phone, email or text.
  2. Vacaville Organizer will come to your home (within our service area of Fairfield, Vacaville, Winters an Dixon) to pick-up your items, in a sealed tub. We will provide you with protective envelopes in which you can sort your child’s art/mementos/photos by year in school.*
  3. Within two weeks your finished product will be returned to your home.

*There is a $40 deposit required for each book.

What do the books look like?

Vacaville Organizer uses crisp, white 2 and 3 inch binders with acid/archival free page protectors. The outside of the book will be customized to your specifications. Some clients choose a “school theme”, while other prefer a simple color that matches the decor of the home. Dividers are placed to delineate each year in school. The format includes a school photo, class photo, reports cards and then any artwork, reports, certificates and school memorabilia for each year in school.

Generally, it takes (1) or (2) 3-inch binder(s) to cover grades K-8 and one 2-inch binder for the high school years.

What will be included in my binder?

All school photos, report cards, 8.5X11 artwork, personal writings, certificates and anything with a hand print will always be included. Generally, workbooks, mass-produced art, tests and things that are not personal in nature will be put aside and returned to the client in a sealed enveloped.

What if I have over-sized items that I would like to include?

We can absolutely do that. Our answer to those bulky items it to take a photo of the trophy, diorama, jersey or oversized art piece and include that in your memory book.

Can you scan it?

YES! Vacaville Organizer uses a high-powered, professional Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner. We can scan your entire school memory book for you and provide you with a disc containing the image of each page. You can their ensure that these memories will last a lifetime, you can share their memory books with loved ones and store a digital copy of their books in a different/fire-safe location such as a safe or safe deposit box.

The cost is for scanning each book ranges from $75-100 per book, depending on the amount of pages in each book.

What if I later want to scrapbook these items?

If, at another point in life, you decide that you want to make a scrapbook for your child, the School Memory Book Vacaville Organizer creates will have preserved the integrity of all of the important photos and artwork for you, in chronological order.

Let go of the guilt today.

I help many families who are simply overwhelmed by the task of creating a way to enjoy their children’s keepsakes. Vacaville Organizer would be honored to partner with you in creating a keepsake that can be easily displayed on a bookshelf and enjoyed with your children for years to come.


 

February Paper Series-Quick idea for school paperwork

Vacavilleorganizer.com: Week Two of Office/Paper Series: Almost every client with children has the issue of what to do with ALL of the treasures that come home on a daily basis. I actually think the school photos, important notes, compositions, artwork, returned homework, awards and report cards multiply like rabbits at my house! I love this idea for the following reasons: IT IS MAINTAINABLE, preserves the items, portable for moving, stores like a breeze and can change as your time permits. Choose a stury, well-made plastic box with a tightly fitting lid. Put each child’s name on the outside of his/her designated box and place the box somewhere that is easily accessible. (I love the photo examples included from Destination Domestication and A Bowl Full of Lemons.) Pick out the papers, art, awards, photos and grade reports that you intend on keeping and place them in the box on a weekly basis. That’s it. It’s fabulous. As each summer rolls around, you may want to go through the box and weed out those pieces that aren’t the best representations of that school year and any duplicates. The box also allows you to further break down their school years with files and tabs for each year/milestone. The thing that most appeals to me about this simple system is that it gives you options. If you only have the time and energy to get their papers into the designated boxes-that’s fabulous. If you want to break it down by year and begin to set up files-you rock. If you want to use these memory boxes as the organized starting point for a digital scrapbook or Project Life book-you are a super star. The papers are preserved and can easily be referenced with little money or time invested.If you have boxes full of school work and memories that need a system, maybe a professional organizer can help. February is office space promotion month at Vacaville Organizer and all packages are 50% off if booked before 2/28/14. Happy organizing!

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