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What You Need to Know About Shelf Systems
Everybody seems to have more possessions than they used to. People are collectors of a wide variety of things, including miscellaneous articles that are soon forgotten and end up in the garage or shed. Even if those objects are used regularly, they have to be stored somewhere in between uses.
Most living spaces are not growing as fast as the amount of “stuff” they need to store is. That is why self-storage places are popping up everywhere. They help us make sense of this stuff.
Before considering drastic measures such as buying a bigger house or renting a storage unit, think about how efficient you are in utilizing the storage areas you already have. Not everyone has a natural eye for organizing spaces, so it takes a little practice and getting to know the types of storage assistance products that are on the market so you can decide which ones work best for you.
The most important areas to maximize are your closets. By simply closing the door, any items on the other side are out of view. For that reason they can also be space wasters. Items get thrown on top of items, the door gets closed and all is forgotten – that is, until the next time you are looking for something and the search begins anew.
Plastic closet systems are a popular solution. These systems come at a fraction of the price of other options and can easily be customized to any space. You order the number of joiners, shelves, supports, mounts and plugs in small amounts, so with a little bit of planning, you can minimize excess parts.
That is a problem with many one-size-fits-all systems. They do not take into consideration the space you are working with, so you end up with unneeded parts or you have to make another trip to the hardware store to pick up additional material should you run short.
Before ordering your closet materials, clean out the space so you can get a clear view of the entire area. Next, consider the types of materials you will be storing in there. That will help you determine the height needed between shelf rows and whether certain rows need to be shorter than others in order to accommodate clothing or other long items that can drop down to lower levels.
The weight of the items you wish to store are another consideration. Many units have a total row capacity of 300 pounds across the entire span, so if you are wishing to store items in bulk or heavier objects that will collectively approach that weight you should consider storing those items on the floor, or making sure you have strong anchors that are inserted directly into the studs.
The absence of the need to insert anchors directly into the studs is an important consideration that makes many modern storage systems easier to install than they were in the past. The combination of different shelf length requirements, the need to locate studs, and the non-uniform separation of those studs in some homes previously made installation trickier. The newer systems use drywall plugs and spread pins so you can secure the shelf supports in the best possible spots within the space you are working with.
Installation simplicity also means the units are easier to dismantle should you move or need to change the purpose of the room. When additional children are born or as they leave the home, bedrooms or studies may need to be repurposed, mandating the addition or removal of the shelving. They can easily be reconfigured to other rooms which saves the expense of buying new shelving.
New shelf systems are easier to clean and maintain than older styles often are. Many are made with strong ABS plastic, so they do not stain easily nor do they fade. You can simply wipe them clean. Another common issue with shelving as it ages is warping. ABS plastic shelves do not warp. They also come in a variety of colors so there is no need to paint them. Standard units are either 5/8 inch or 3/4 inch by 16 inches deep and easily conceal screws and drill holes.
Of course closets are not the only places where plastic shelving can help cure your “stuff” problem. Garages, pantries, workshops and storage sheds are other areas that need to have their utility maximized. Shelving keeps materials safe from precipitation leaking into the area. They also allow for safe storage of toxic materials away from children and pets.
Spring will soon be here and with it, the need to rotate seasonal items into and out of storage. This transfer provides the perfect opportunity to assess your storage needs and to organize your space so when you go to put those items away in the fall, you will have a much easier time.
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