In partnership withThe Libman Company

One Storage Solution Everyone Has at Home—But Maybe Shouldn’t Be Using

published Sep 25, 2020
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Credit: Nathan Rigaud

Apartment Therapy’s Decluttering Cure is a free 20-day decluttering program, guaranteed to leave you with a lighter, leaner home. You can sign up here to get all 20 lessons delivered to your inbox.

Some universal truths comin’ atcha: Surfaces collect clutter. And the largest surface in your home is the floor. So it’s all too convenient, especially if you live in a small space with a lack of storage options, to use your floor to store some of your things.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. You should feel great about maximizing every storage opportunity in your home, and sometimes that means that you forgo a book shelf in lieu of some artfully bohemian piles of books stacked in your bedroom (that may or may not double as nightstands).

The problem with floor storage is when it becomes more of a reflex than a rule. Storing things on the floor intentionally? Great. Storing things on the floor because you haven’t thought of a better place to put them? Not great.

Decluttering Tip: Storing things on the floor makes your space look more visually cluttered than it is. Try vertical or wall-mounted storage solutions when you can.

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So today, we’ll run through one quick exercise to identify and re-home some of your floor storage…

Credit: Nathan Rigaud

Day 18: Find a home for stuff you store on the floor.

Today’s lesson might not apply to you, and that’s OK. But everyone reading this should at least do this first part: Travel throughout your home with your eyes fixed to the ground, taking stock of anything you’re storing—permanently or temporarily—on the floor.

You’re probably going to come across at least one thing or one area where your floor storage situation feels less than intentional. And that’s when today’s challenge really begins: Let’s find a new home for that stuff—or at least put it back in a more deliberate way.

Clear everything out of the area, setting your stuff aside in another room or area. You’re likely to uncover some dirt and grime under or around the stuff you’re picking up, so now is a great time to spot-clean the floors in this space, too.

Taryn cleared out her shoes and other just-got-in-the-door clutter to make a fresh start. Then she gave the newly excavated area a quick spot clean with Libman’s Freedom Spray Mop, which is a great way to skip the bucket routine and do a fast, targeted cleanup.

When you’re done clearing and cleaning, re-assess your pile of stuff. Try and figure out if there’s a new place or way you can store it:

  • If you come across any trash or recycling, toss it.
  • If you come across anything you’d like to get out of your home for good, place it in the “sell,” “donate,” or “maybe” boxes from day one.
  • If there’s anything that’s better stored in another area of your home, make room for it there.
  • With everything else, look for inspiration on how to organize that item better, in the same location. You might be able to maximize your floor space and visually reduce clutter with vertical or wall-mounted storage solutions.
Credit: Nathan Rigaud

Ultimately, it’s fine if you need to leave things stacked on the floor at the end of this exercise. But now you have the confidence that it’s the best storage method for your home, and not a careless habit.

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