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I read the thread on living without storage with great interest. In my opinion, lots of closet space in a house only encourages clutter and wastes space that could be used for living. (The walk-in closet is a huge waste of space, IMO.) We're a family of six, with two dogs, and for seven years, we've lived in a 1500 square foot house with one clothes closet and one small coat closet. (The house is now 1600 sq feet, since we put an addition on last year, but specifically chose not to add any more storage space.)

We've adapted by owning fewer clothes, and buying a few under-the-bed bins. There's no linen closet, so sheets are stored on a shelf in the clothes closet. Towels are kept on a shelf in the bathroom. We don't have a garage either, and since our basement can only be accessed through a door on the outside of the house, we limit to store things we need infrequently, like sleds, or the Christmas tree stand.

Do you think having lots of built in storage encourages clutter, or does it force you to keep your possessions within manageable limits?
 

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I do think extra storage space creates more clutter. I used to think our house was very limited in storage space and it was one of the things on my list of things if we did buy a larger house that would be essential - but when I did our recent declutter I cleared up HEAPS of space and really half of it was stuff that didn't need to be there and if I didn't have the space in the first place it wouldn't have been.

We have a wardrobe in our room which we custom built when we bought it, it has lots of high shelving where I store Christmas decorations, spare bedding and travel bags and misc things.

We have a wardrobe in one other bedroom that just stores the kids clothes that are too small (and awaiting a new home) and those that we have been given that are yet to fit them.

A small linen cupboard.

Where I have created extra storage is...

I have a large scotch chest in my hallway that stores craft things, sewing things, stationery, telephone books and other useful things that we use every week.

We have added in extra shelving that looks nice in places to make good use of empty wall space.

I store my clothing drying racks when not in use (no dryer) behind the long curtains where it pulls back into the corner in my lounge.
 

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A very small apartment with almost no storage space is exactly what turned me from a pack rat to a declutterer in the first place. Now that we've moved into a larger house, I've been trying very hard to remain virtuous, but it's difficult.

We still haven't put anything in the storage shed, though, so I keep on patting myself on the back for that!
 

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I believe that our daily habits are more likely to dictate the amount of clutter we end up with in our space.

If you think of it as "extra" storage space, you will probably end up with "extra" stuff there.

If the storage space is well located, well organized, and designated for specific items, it could help discourage clutter. I hope.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by slacker_mom View Post
I believe that our daily habits are more likely to dictate the amount of clutter we end up with in our space.

If you think of it as "extra" storage space, you will probably end up with "extra" stuff there.

If the storage space is well located, well organized, and designated for specific items, it could help discourage clutter. I hope.

I could see that.

we don't have walk-in closets but we do have closets in every bedroom and some under-the-eaves storage.

When everything is decluttered, the storage will come in handy for off-season stuff and stuff we don't use everyday. The trick is too not fill the storage space with junk.

We don't have lot of room for extra furniture so the closet space does come in handy.
 

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I have 5 closets in my apartment. Believe me, I use them all. They are fairly small closets. Two are used for clothes, 1 for coats, 1 is more of a storage closet with our water heater and freezer. The last one has shelves with long term storage items like Christmas decorations.

I think that there does come a point where closets can be too much. It's so tempting to just throw things somewhere and close the door on them.
 

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We have four closets: two clothes closets and two storage closets.

We could probably get by with fewer closets. One of the closets is where we keep clothes, the second clothes closet is where I keep my craft supplies. One of the storage closets--where the water heater is--we use a pantry since we have little kitchen storage and prefer to buy things in bulk and the big storage closet is a HUGE MESS. Maintaining that closet is DH's deal, and I usually avoid it because it gives me a massive headache. We should store seasonal recreation items in there (skis, snowboards, poles, snowshoes during winter and gardening gear during summer) but it ends up being a catch-all with loads of junk.
 

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hummmm... we just built a house with lots of built in storage. But, it is only about 1,300 sq.feet. The walk in closet in our bedroom is for linens, kids clothes, bedding, and other stuff like the ironing board, dust buster. The bedroom has only a bed in it. In the near future we will have a crib in there and probably a nightstand to put a lamp on. I am hoping that having a place to store things will help keep the place less cluttered. But, I lived in a smaller apt. about 550 sq. feet and was bursting at the seams. We live in Japan and the closets are deep, designed to hold a futon folded in thirds. great for futons but waaaayyy to deep for anything else. stuff just got lost back there. closets New closets are not as deep, will be for storing clothes and toys and not a holding place for junk. My plan is to limit the amount of stuff I keep. a place for everything and everything in its place sort of idea.
interesting idea.
Kathryn
 

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"Do you think having lots of built in storage encourages clutter, or does it force you to keep your possessions within manageable limits?"

i think that for some people having alot of storage space encourages them to clutter up thier world and this is why i am not too fond of built in wardrobes in every nook and cranny. i do believe however, that a certain amount of organized storage space can actually help you to keep the clutter to a minimum.
 

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I agree - more space can definitely promote pack-ratting. But having some storage space (vs. none) helps me to organize what I already have and feel I need.

daylily, and others - I'm so envious of what you don't collect. You'd probaby vomit if you saw how much stuff we hoard!

I remember reading a kitchen remodeling book/magazine, interviewing a chef in his home kitchen. He had taken out all of the cabinets and gone to open shelving - he felt cabinets just ended up being spaces to shove things you never use.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ATD_Mom View Post
I remember reading a kitchen remodeling book/magazine, interviewing a chef in his home kitchen. He had taken out all of the cabinets and gone to open shelving - he felt cabinets just ended up being spaces to shove things you never use.

The only problem with open shelvingis that you have to clean them more often. dust, grease and other kitchen dirt collects on them. Doors cut back on the cleaning you need to do.

If you are a packrat I can see that having more storage will make you have more crap. I live in a house with lots of closets, large pantry, storage room in the basement, storage in the garage, a crawl space etc. Everything in neat organized, labeled and tidy. I do have lots of extra room if I need it. I think it saves me lots of TIME because everything is right where I use it. I don't have to run into the basement for extra pantry items, etc.

I don't think that lots of storage makes you collect clutter. Your personality does.
 
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