Storage for this Minimalist

Frank Lloyd Wright supposedly said that if a person needed a basement they had too much stuff. We’ve gone far beyond the need of basements for storage we now have an entire industry just to hold the things we can’t part with.

Now, I’m not saying one shouldn’t have a basement or use it for storage. Keeping off-season clothes, holiday decorations, and even a workspace complete with tools saves replacing those items when needed.

I don’t like basements, they creep me out.  This feeling goes back to a time when my childhood home had been broken in through a basement window and every time I’ve been in a basement since I have this irrational fear someone might be down there.

Being uncomfortable in basements it’s been easy to avoid using this space for storage that doesn’t mean that I don’t have need of storage space.

I’ve pared my belongings down to the least I’ve owned since I became a mother but as a homeowner and human being I still have items I store.

Let me give you a peek into my storage.  I have one closet on the first floor, in the main bedroom, this is where I chose to create my storage.

Let me break this down for you. On the shelf from the top down. Top two shelves are spare parts for a wheelchair and the back to my shower chair that I may need to use at one point.  I normally don’t hold on to things I may need one day, but with adaptive appliances for my disability these items are made specifically for the item they go to and are not easily replaced.

Next shelf, tools and items to be installed in the house.  In addition to the basic tools such as screwdrivers and twine I also have new register vents that will be installed shortly, some sample paints, paint supplies, sander and heat gun on this shelf.

Next shelf, games for the grandchildren.  Scrabble, Memory, and Battleship are stacked there at the moment.

On the floor under the shelves is a partial bag of salt my son dropped off for winter ice and a laundry container the children are making into a birdhouse.

Other items: Leaning up in the back are side rails for a bed that will go upstairs, The blue sack is my Christmas tree in a pillow case there is also an assortment of small cuts from sheetrock I was given to patch walls, saved buying new.  In front of the shelf is a box which contains yarns and a bag (you can’t see) sitting on top of that box of a crochet project I am working on.

On this side is another set of shelves, the closet was built around the chimney.  The cardboard box at the top is all the holiday decorations I use and a few gifts I’ve put aside for different occasions.

Next two shelves hold sheets and one winter sweater. And finally, at the bottom my fabric for sewing projects.

Finally, on the back of the door I hang my two all season coats. The barn coat (on the left) is so worn I’ve begun to replace parts of it with material on hand. The collar you see is new. You might recognize the fabric, it’s the same that I used to line my flower baskets.

The dragonfly hooks I’ve had for years and were made by a local artisan. These hooks are an example of how I treat bringing items into my home. When I saw these I fell in love, but I didn’t know where I would use them. The friend that was with me encouraged me to purchase them anyway and that one day I’d find a use.  I didn’t buy them that day. One afternoon I realized it would be really convenient to have hooks to hold towels and instantly thought of these hooks. It was only then I went back and bought them.

You might ask where my clothes are.  Everything not in the closet is stored in one dresser that is easier for me to access.

There is one other item that is normally stored in this space, a miter saw.  At the moment it is in my basement where my son was using it.  Even my basement gets use from time to time.





    • Same here, Elaine. Just think of the lovely parks, playgrounds, or community gardens that could be in those acres that currently hold ugly storage units.


  1. Sadly it would take half a day to show you what we have stored. After combining households, sorting my parents house, taking into account artists hoardings and partners penchant for collectibles…. well, it’s a work in progress whittling it down, so I’m always impressed by people like you Lois, who can be so compact.


    • Anne, I feel your pain! My ex was a hoarder of everything and liked it all out where he could see it. Drove me nuts. I’m sure you don’t have all your family belongings on display….at least I hope you don’t. 🙂

      I do hope you sort it all out in a way that makes you both content.


  2. While you made storage work in your old apartment, do you like having one place to store everything out of sight? For me I like this better. Everything seems more easily accessible.


    • Yes and no. The closet here is easier to access than the one I had in the studio but the solutions in the apartment I had were pretty accessible so it didn’t bother me much. Of course if I had needed the extra tools to remodel the apartment then there is no way I would have been able to store them in a way that would be easy to access.


  3. Only the real older houses in certain areas have basements here in the UK.. We have our storage spaces mainly in the loft.. and of course the garages, which now no longer seem to house cars, but junk instead.. LOL.. ( and I have given up with my hubby and his lol.. )
    And those who buy units such as the top photo for storage, I can see only as temp’ solution such as if you were moving home etc and had to get out of yours before the other was ready.. But other wise.. What is the point of having all of those possessions to have them locked away..

    Lovely posts Lois and hope you and yours are all well my friend xx


    • And here I thought your hubby had finally emptied the garage. 🙂

      It depends on what part of the country you live in here as to whether or not you will find basements. Typically in the colder regions are where you will find the most basements, maybe to have more control and access to pipes to prevent freezing, or repair of them if they do? I know none of the houses in the southwest I lived in or visited had them which are really warm or desert areas.

      I believe we are so conditioned here to believe that our possessions show others we are successful, so the more we have or the bigger the house the more successful we look to others. Unfortunately, we have a lot of hoarders too who store a lot of junk in those units.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I had one of those rented spaces when I left the husband to store my books, fabric and crafting materials as well as bed and kitchen items till I found my own place. Now everything is here, stuffed into every nook and cranny and waiting for the next yard sale. (June 9-11) 🙂 The kid will be here for it and get the rest of his stuff out of the way. He bought a shipping container to store his furniture until he figures out what is next but they have been selling stuff off every few weekends as well. Once it’s empty of stuff, it will be a workshop. I like how you have everything where you can reach it. There is always stuff we don’t need daily but occasionally. We traveled military style for years with almost no storage available so we kept nothing extra. I guess I’m having sentimental issues these days Harder to let go but I’m approaching the end of life so it’s time to clear things out so my kids don’t have to deal with it.


    • I get the idea of renting storage when you need to store items in between homes like you did but that’s not what all those units across the country are being used for. Here in the Pittsburgh area there aren’t enough storage units so now people and landlords are renting garages for storage. I would hate to rent a house and have strangers pulling in my drive to access their stuff from the garage.

      Liked by 1 person

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