It has the same satisfaction as taking a long, deep-muscle stretch where gateways are thrown open ahead of vibrant waves of energy eagerly rushing through. I'm talking about the household purge/organization phenomenon, and I'm experiencing it right now. Somehow, when the physical space that surrounds me is in order, I'm so much more at ease. Mental snarls that I didn't even realize were there, dissolve. I literally feel like I can breathe better, though surely the lungs functioned before just as well as they do now.
It reminds me, again, why an organized, distilled, purposeful, beautiful environment speaks serenity to me. It also reminds me why I enjoy doing the professional work I do. Well-designed space brings us to our best selves, and therefore to our best lives. This fascinates me.
How can you take a 126 square foot shed and have it function like a space ten times its size? By design. How can you take 665 square feet and create a home that five people have lived in comfortably for over five years? By design. How can you take a 6700 square foot under-construction plan and make it function impeccably for a family of 11? By design. In other words, it's not necessarily the amount of space, it's the design within the space that makes all the difference.
Many things come into play when I'm space planning, but there are a few key elements that help immensely in achieving maximum function and a successful end result. Since I recently completed an overhaul of our humble storage shed, here for you are some storage-specific space planning tips. Because sometimes, a fresh take and new perspective are all we need to get started.
:: Think cubicly. We often get caught up in thinking in square feet only. Thinking in cubed feet makes you realize just how much more space you have, especially effective in planning storage situations. Hint: Consider the ceiling.
:: Center your thoughts. The center of the room/shed/closet holds space that often goes unused. If the room's overall dimensions are large enough, consider floating additional storage in the center of the space. Our shed originally had two bookcases running down it's middle (remember the library shed?). Now, they've been replaced by hanging garment storage (similar, with cedar) and an industrial shelf. Even a storage space as small as 8' x 8' can handle a center shelf tower or two.
:: This for that. Sometimes, trading in-the-way function for out-of-the-way function makes all the difference. In our shed, a vintage machinist's stool is being swapped for a folding step ladder.
:: Go verticle. We often think that horizontal is the way to go. If there's a horizontal shelf, for example, it must have things placed horizontally on it. Not always so. Apply the book-shelving method to other things, and place them vertically. Especially narrow things like paint trays, seed trays, camp chairs, etc.
:: Label, label, label. Our shed now holds an assortment of thoughtfully-packed bags, bins, and totes. It's so helpful to know exactly where to look when you're on a mission to retrieve something in particular. These and these are arriving tomorrow. I'll be labeling away.