My team recently had a chance to organize a community storage room for the Tredyffrin Public Library. I love libraries and they love organizing, so it’s kind of a match made in heaven. Let’s see if some of these storage and organizing ideas might work at your home or office.
Organize a Community Storage Room
Space wasn’t the problem in this large storage room. Because a number of groups use it, the problem was more about creating zones and ease of use for people to put things away. Before, the only place to put things was on top of other things.
There is an entire portable stage with desk, backdrop and lighting taking up about half of the room. The other half was occupied with weights for the fitness class, tubs of fabric for the quilting group, portable tables for various meetings, an extra lectern, and a giant rolling cart that someone thought needed to be here.
I met with the library contact, who let me know what needed to stay and what needed to go. We put together a plan for vertical storage mounted on the wall that would be easy enough to reach either with or without a ladder, that would allow us to use the floor space for storing tables and the heavy stage equipment.
Installation Plan to Organize a Community Storage Room
My team of four employees worked just four hours to empty the space, install the shelves, and re-set the organized room. I won’t say it was easy, but with a proper plan, it was quick.
I typically work with Organized Living’s online design tool to layout a closet design. The design tool allows you to order all the needed materials, including hardware and accessories, which ship right to your door.
SORT and Succeed in the Community Storage Room
This project is bigger than a household closet, but SORT and Succeed are the same five steps that will transform this space.
Start with a Written Plan
We met first to plan the shelving layout and chose four walls to install hanging shelves. It took a couple of weeks to design, approve, and ship the shelving kits before our work day.
It also took some planning to get rid of some things. There was a large wooden box stored in the middle of the room. It was probably a stage at some point, but it was too heavy to move, and hadn’t been used in years. My contact gave it away before we met. She made other arrangements for the extra lectern that was no longer needed.
Organize into Groups
We pulled everything out, grouped it together, and let the library contact decide what was to go back in. There were a couple of small piles of supplies from groups that were no longer meeting, and a couple of broken signs.
Reduce, Release, Reset
The reset, in this case, involved installing the shelves. These shelves are durable and sturdy enough for so much more than closets. We strategized for what needed easy, everyday access, and what was longer term storage. We install custom-planned Organized Living shelves for clients, but they also come with installation instructions that are easy enough for most people who are good with a drill and ladder.
Once we got rid of the handful of items mentioned earlier, we were actually asking for any remaining items accidentally stored elsewhere. We had a bit more space than they were used to having.
Tweak Your Space
We located stage curtain, lighting, and sound components in their own corner of the room. They are expensive, so we don’t want community members moving them to get to their weekly meeting supplies.
It is now easier to get out and put away the stage, since the hardware is stored right above the platforms, and everything is labeled.
Succeed and Celebrate!
The team all did high fives and my library contact called in some colleagues for the big reveal.
Here’s the before:
And here’s the after:
Yes, that’s the same view from the same doorway.
If your business or community group is having trouble making the most of your storage space, I hope you’ll give us a call. We can organize a community storage room like this one for maximum use and community harmony.
More Storage Systems
These storage systems from Organized Living are great for so many spaces:
and of course…