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That storage space you've been renting can be heavy on your wallet. In fact, a climate-controlled 10 x 20 foot storage space can cost you anywhere from $170 to $180 a month, according to CostHelper. Doing the math, that's over $2,100 a year, and the price can be higher in cities such as Los Angeles and New York.

To lower your expenses, here are some easy ways you can make the most of the storage spaces in your home.

Clear the Clutter

First, do a massive purge of what you own. While this does take time and energy, it'll save you money, make for a less-cluttered space, and spare you storage-related headaches.

Consider using the Marie Kondo method and declutter according to categories of items such as clothing, books, knickknacks, and documents. Only keep the things that add value to your life and spark joy — and get rid of the rest. To keep your purge manageable, divide spaces in your home by zones and work in 30-minute or 1-hour chunks.

You can donate unwanted items to the Goodwill or a local charity. Don't forget to see if the organization is registered as a charity with the IRS.

Make Use of Built-In Storage

Take inventory and maximize existing storage spaces such as storage nooks, closets, doors, and under-the-bed spaces. For instance, hang hooks on doors for your coats, purses, scarves, and umbrellas. For your closets or storage nooks, look into purchasing sturdy yet light boxes of different sizes to hold the belongings you don't use on a regular basis. Just be sure to place heavier items lower to the ground and stack lighter items on top.

To stay organized, group similar items together and designate specific spaces for them. For instance, store all of your holiday decor and festive items on a shelf in a closet, and shoes for special occasions can go under the bed.

Create a Hierarchy of Storage

In other words, things you use regularly should be in your line of sight and easy to reach. Items you rarely use? Those should be tucked away in harder-to-reach places such as the back of your closet or on a high shelf. Organizing your belongings makes for less of a hassle when you're in a hurry and need to find something.

Customize Storage Spaces

Add shelves to your home to display knickknacks, photos, and small mirrors and make the most of storage nooks. You can also get creative and store similar items in candy dishes and mason jars. For instance, you can put paper clips, hair pins, and matchbooks in different jars and store them in drawers or on side tables.

Go Vertical

Besides adding shelves around your home, use high places to stow items you rarely use like small boxes of holiday items or seasonal clothes in sturdy boxes. If you can spare some space on an empty wall, consider mounting your bike so that it doesn't take up precious floor space in your home.

Double Up on Furniture

Decorative baskets or hollow ottomans also make for great storage solutions. The beauty of them is that they're functional as well as decorative without taking up extra space. Before purchasing any furniture or large items, just make sure it fits into your current space and complements existing items in the room. An oversized or mismatched item could be a waste.

Maximizing the space in your home and getting creative can spare you from renting a costly storage unit. Plus, it'll help declutter your belongings, which makes for a happier, less stressful life for you and your family.


This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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