Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Finding Storage Space

This time of year the topic of storage space becomes an important one. So, you are shopping ahead for the non-perishables and for items to use on Pesach. Where are you going to store all of these things? Come to think of it, where are you going to store all those Pesach items when yom tov is over?

If you have a house the problem is less critical. Either you will have an attic, a basement or a garage. Somewhere in one of those places you will have a space to store your items. But what if you live in an apartment? Where are these things going to go?

Suggestion #1: The space under beds is open, empty space. Any store that carries storage items--Home Depot for instance--will sell cardboard, under-bed storage chests that you pop open. A twin bed will accommodate two of these storage chests. True, high pots won't fit in here, but just about everything else will. And it's a good idea for regular storage during the year as well. A friend uses these chests to store out of season clothing in. Another friend puts all those rarely used but needed serving items from the kitchen in them. She freed an entire cabinet in her kitchen that she has made Pesachdik year round. Do you have four beds in the house? Imagine the storage space.

Suggestion #2: The space under a baby's crib is taller than under a bed and will accommodate larger items. It's a good place to put one of those industrial strength plastic lockers full of Pesach stuff.

Suggestion #3: Abbi made a good suggestion. If your cabinets in the kitchen don't go all the way to the ceiling, then use the tops of the cabinets for storage. Abbi isn't happy with the way the garbage bags used for storage look. A suggestion for that: get some empty heavy weight cardboard boxes and cut them apart to exactly the height from the top of the cabinet to the ceiling. Tape them together securely to make a solid wall across the top of the cabinet. For decor? Get some adhesive-backed shelf lining paper or other pretty adhesive backed material and cover the cardboard wall to match your kitchen. Inexpensive wallpaper can also be used and glued on to the cardboard.

Suggestion #4: I don't know of any house that doesn't own at least one suitcase. Somehow we find storage space for those suitcases. But they remain empty except for the few times that we go away somewhere. Usually we aren't going anywhere in the few weeks before Pesach. Use the empty suitcases for storage for Pesach.

Suggestion #5: Do you have a desk? The foot space under these desks is usually pretty deep. Use the back of the space to store a few boxes before Pesach.

Suggestion #6: A friend had some room in the area used as office space, just enough to fit two tall file cabinets. One cabinet is used for filing. The other holds a wealth of Pesach items stored year round.

Suggestion #7: Do you have a fairly wide hallway in the house? There are plastic shelving units that are easily collapsible (store them under the bed when you don't need to use them). Set up a unit or two in the hallway. So people will have to navigate a little more carefully? It's only for a few weeks.

Suggestion #8: Do you have any bookshelves in the house? For Pesach double up the books on some shelves leaving yourself a few empty shelves to use for storage for Pesach items.

Look at your apartment with an eye to where some storage could be accommodated for Pesach. Think outside of the box--or think about inside a box and where that box could go.


Anonymous said...

We have the kitchen cabinets that don't go up to the ceiling. What we did was to buy bulletin board material at Lowe's and they cut it to the size we needed. We use that to cover the space and store our Pesach stuff up there. We use the bulletin board to put up pictures that the kids have drawn. They love our private art gallery and no one knows what is behind it. A plus is that by being covered with the bulletin board the stuff stored does not get all dirty either.

Commenter Abbi said...

Wow, Tuvi's and profk's advice sounds really great. However, given that I can't even manage to keep the lower 9/10's of the house in semi-order, I don't even know when I'd have the luxury of pursuing such a project.

But they are really great ideas! Thanks

ProfK said...

Not to sound sexist, but this is where husbands get to lend a hand. Call it carpentry and assign it to the X chromosome in your house. Tiny children can't manage to cover the cardboard if that is what you are using, but older children can. Call it an arts and crafts project and let them help out.

Orthonomics said...

Problem we had in an apartment with the under the bed storage idea was that we had already used that space for baby and kid clothing not presently being used. Baruch Hashem we have a spacious house now and an extra closet for clothing that is not being used.

Anonymous said...

We solved the storage problem just alittle bit differently. Our apartment building in Florida has storage locker rooms available for rent. The price if only one family is renting the space is high, adding an extra $100 a month. But we split that room with four good friends and the cost is now reasonable. We keep all of our pesach things in the room and still have some room left over for suitcases and a few3 odds and ends. This might work for others who live in apartments. You just have to know and trust the people you are sharing with.

Anonymous said...

It's my first time making Pesach and an organization sent us some canned charoses. Is this stuff any good or should I count on making my own? Sorry for the comment here but I couldn't figure out where else to post it.

Bas~Melech said...

Apartment-dweller reporting here:
>Under the beds, I keep... beds. (Hi-risers). They are no longer needed for people full-time, but come in very handy for company or when the little birdies land back home.
>In the suitcase I keep... suitcases. (carry-ons inside the smallest suitcase)

Now, now -- your suggestions are great, and they don't need to be taken so literally: the point is, with a little creativity one can manage. But I just thought I'd share my thoughts on those two -- they struck me as somewhat humorous as I read.

I think one of the biggest problems is just having a lot of Stuff. I've been noticing that my parents don't have an awful lot of Stuff like I do. This helps them spend a lot less time on maintaining organization than I do. So why don't I get rid of my Stuff? Well, for the most part, it's pretty important to me -- what should I get rid of, my art stuff? hair stuff? computer stuff? It's not junk, it's Stuff I use. But the fact remains that my parents and grandparents get along fine without all that.

Commenter Abbi said...

ariella- i wouldn't touch that stuff with a ten foot pole. google charoses, charoseth, or some such variation and i'm sure you'll find plenty of easy recipes. The sephardi ones with dates are nice.

ProfK said...

Abbi is right. I've opened those cans and was underwhelmed by the contents. My aunt used to have the bird rule when it came to strange foods--if she put a food out in the backyard and the birds--and stray cats--wouldn't touch it, she wouldn't serve it to people either. I think those canned charoses fall under the bird rule.

Anonymous said...

We have the perfect solution to no storage space in our apartment. It's called our parents garages and basements. Something of a pain to have to keep shlepping boxes back and forth but it works.