If you’re preparing to move from your current home into a new custom Florida home, you might be ready to start a plan for better household organization and storage.
Oh, the junk! Stuff you didn’t know you had! Oops, but some of it is important. What do you do with it?
Here’s how to properly store mementos, important papers and seasonal decorations.
First, assess your stash
What do you have? How much? Which items stay or go away?
Some things are non-negotiable — passports, birth certificates, military discharge paperwork and Social Security cards.
Some things are not — holiday cards received every year for the past two decades.
You can’t plan manageable storage unless you know the extent of it. Take the opportunity to de-clutter.
Second, chose a storage system
Let’s tackle the first category, mementos.
This one’s tough because mementos can be thousands of different things. It’s not always items small enough to fit into a scrapbook.
What about that dollhouse a great-uncle made for your kids? Still-treasured high school sports trophies? Antique tea cups collected on trips around the world?
You’ll have to assess what you decide to keep after de-cluttering, then decide what storage container best fits the items that aren’t displayed, such as sports trophies.
One tip: clear, study plastic containers are a good choice because you can see what’s inside and they’re mostly impervious to dust, dirt and moisture.
Not everything can be retained digitally.
Older, historical documents likely aren’t available in digitized form, so be careful before shredding any personal, business or financial documents that predate online banking and other processes we now take for granted.
Check with your financial adviser and/or accountant or banker to see what physical papers and hard copies you should retain for tax purposes. Don’t mess with the Internal Revenue Service. When in doubt, it’s better to not need it, than shred it and have an IRS rep request it.
Plastic containers, again, are excellent for paper storage. Avoid cardboard or anything that attracts moisture. Lidded, plastic totes with hanging folders are versatile, safe and portable.
Back to plastic!
Nowadays, you’ll find plastic containers for almost every type of decoration. Those with several layers of slots for holiday ornaments can’t be beat for safety and efficiency.
Your other options are plastic bags, cardboard boxes and tissue paper. None of these permits you to see what’s inside. They also don’t protect well. If you step on a wreath in a plastic container, no harm, no foul. Different story if it’s in a plastic bag.
Save the cardboard boxes for moving other household items, then unpack and recycle the boxes. Plastic totes are sturdier, and are the better choice for items you plan to keep in storage for a while.
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