Disclaimer: I do not claim to be an expert, perform any of the below processes or task perfectly, and I know different life circumstances will make some of the items I am about to talk about easier or harder. This post is merely meant to show how I have managed to claw back some time in my own life by implementing certain efficient and effective standard operating procedures(SOPs) and physical changes.
Quick background: I share a house with my significant other and two dogs, that is of average size when it was built in the 1940’s. We have what may be considered an above average amount of toys for the different hobbies we enjoy and way too many dog beds. For us this means that we have done a certain amount of optimizing to the physical infrastructure of the house, we are in progress on optimizing our furniture to make the most effective use of space, and if we make the mistake of not immediately putting stuff away the house will quickly look like a hurricane passed through recently.
This post will concentrate on the physical changes we have made to our home so far and why I think they are important.
We live in a small space and we have too many fun things that we want to do. By taking the time to better organize the physical infrastructure in our home and lives we are able to spend more quality doing what we want and less time trying to find the stuff that might be necessary for the fun times. Even though we invest a certain amount of time and money into our projects I believe this is a good investment because of the time we get back later but being more efficient.
I know there are people out there who make a living at helping you organize your home and it seems like the Europeans have some amazing small home storage systems but what follows is what we were able to do ourselves with our budget and skill set. We made four main changes to the physical infrastructure of the house that were to make better use of the space.(closet, basement, crawl space, and bike hanger) The closets: we added an additional hanging rod to our front entry closet to be able to store more coats, we would like to add built in cubbies for additional storage of shoes in that closet. The bedroom room closet, from a downloaded set of plans we made our own built in closet system which gave us 1/3 more hanging space and floor to ceiling cubbies, the second bedroom closet is next on the list for this treatment. The pantry got similar treatment to the bedroom closet the old shelves ripped out and new stronger deeper adjustable ones were put in. The closet projects were all undertaken at different times each took about one full weekend to complete though sometimes the actual timeline was longer due to taking breaks to go have fun, and for materials each cost under $250. Doing these as we had time and money made it less overwhelming for novices to undertake, plus liberal dosing of wine and whiskey. The closet remodel I like the best is the pantry that has made the biggest difference for me. Being able to see what we have in stock and easily access the ingredients has a big impact on our big cooking days.
We have a basement that is partially finished and is partial crawlspace. For most people, the crawlspace is just a nice spider collecting space. For us it is a clean usable storage space. My partner in crime and life found an amazing way to convert the space. He lined it with thick vinyl type material sealed the seams and then built a carpeted platform. So, we are able to store and organize all of our seasonal and seldom used items which frees up the rest of our basement space, garage space, and closet space which is so valuable to us. We still need to finish installing lights in the area to make accessing it even easier. Having our seasonal stuff easy to access yet out of the way makes the traditional decorating for the holidays more efficient and when we switch from our summer to winter sports it is an easy and efficient switch over.
The garage is a work in progress but has one of my favorite projects. My above-mentioned partner has a bike problem. He doesn’t think he has a bike problem but since we have a one car garage it is a space problem. He made this hanging bike rack that has allowed us to store ten bikes that are all different types in the width of a one car garage and in a manner that you do not have to remove one to get to another. The bike rack is all DIY and made from parts that we obtained at the local hardware store. A long track and several barn door hangers with homemade hooks for the bikes.
If you are thinking about attempting any projects that can improve your physical infrastructure the best piece of advice I can give is to go with good enough. If you are a novice it will be hard to get the cuts perfect and for a closet where no one will really see it I think it is better to have a cut that is a little wobbly and not waste the money on more materials as long as the build is solid.
If you have any questions about how we planned out these projects or where we got the ideas or plans please contact me. Also if you have any tips to share with me I would love to hear them comment below.