Space mission: how to declutter
The best options for in-home and remote storage of valuables and possessions
Tiny Japanese powerhouse Marie Kondo has got everyone spring cleaning.
Her 'Kon Mari' method has taken Netflix by storm and people are wardrobe-organising, rolling socks, chucking out clothes and de-cluttering as if their lives depended on it.
Storage has become sexy.
So this week I'm looking at space solutions for those who seriously need to downsize their stuff due to a house move, or simply because they can't make the decision to get rid of things just yet. I'll also look at temporary storage facilities to rent.
Documents and Papers
Most us need to keep things like house deeds, insurance documents and wills somewhere safe. If there was a house fire for instance, it would be enormously challenging to collect everything together once again, so a safe deposit box or vault is the obvious option. Banks have stopped offering this service as it became too expensive, so private services like Merrion Vaults are now more common.
Spokesman Seamus Fahy says they offer 10 different box sizes. "Our most popular box is our standard one (2 x 5 x 24 in) and costs €199 a year. This box is typically used to store jewellery, family heirlooms, gold and silver bullion, title deeds, memory sticks, currency, etc. We offer €10,000 of complimentary insurance with every box rental", he adds.
One of the benefits of storing valuables is that you can then remove them from your home contents insurance's All Risks listing. The reduction in premium can often go some way toward paying for the box.
Storage Within the Home
Finding nooks and crannies to store and keep your belongings - from kids toys to unseasonal clothes - is always a challenge unless you live in a mansion. Utilising space which would otherwise be wasted, or badly organised is a good way to start.
Tony Quinn of cleverclosets.ie says building bespoke under-stairs or attic wardrobe storage to customers' measurements can help.
Pull-out drawers under the stairs mean everything from football boots to coats or toys can be kept out of the way but easy to find at the same time.
A three-drawer enclosed unit with a slide-out rack is around €950 while a full six-drawer would be around €1,150.
Other options are from Smart Storage in Limerick and Cork or Ingrained.ie based in Dublin.
Away from Home
Jude O'Meara, managing director of Tallaght-based Elephant Storage calls her business a hotel for your goods. "We mainly have domestic customers either renting until they find the right house, or who have moved back in with parents to save up for a deposit and need to store their furniture until they're ready to move out again," she says.
"Often someone getting an extension built will be advised to put their things in storage while it's being done - due to the dust. Lockers are very popular as well, and we have many customers who rent one all year round for things like Christmas decorations, summer clothes or baby equipment they want to keep but don't have space for in an apartment."
The company has 800 units ranging from a small locker (€10 per week) to a unit large enough to fit the contents of a four-bedroom house (€95 pw).
"Everything is temperature-controlled, clean and dry. We survived the snow and hurricane last year. Each owner gets their own key, lock and code. The premises are monitored by Netwatch," she adds.
UstoreIt in Cork (1800 786734) offers a similar service with units for 50 sq ft (holding around 115 boxes) to 200 sq ft (a large house contents) available on sites around the country.