|Mann House 2008 (Photo credit: CedarBendDrive)|
However a physical place for keeping our memories or things we think we should keep is not quite the final solution. Just throwing stuff into a room or some enclosed space is not practical from the standpoint of cleanliness, organization, or preservation. It's best to have some sort of means of containment so that stored items can be kept safely within and then the containers can be easily moved and organized when it is time to place everything into their long-term storing space.
In times past a common solution for unitized storage was the trunk, chest, or wooden crate. Steamer trunks filled with old clothes and other items were stowed away in attics and basements. Now we can often find steamer trunks used as coffee tables or for other furnishing purposes. In my garage I have a nice trunk that I used to use for a dual purpose of coffee table and storage chest. I was single then. My wife prefers more conventional furniture.
For many years cardboard boxes have been a standard answer to keeping things organized in storage areas. When I was still living with my parents we usually got ours from the supermarket or from products bought. Christmas saw many new boxes as large gift items were put into use and the boxes those items came in were put to work for storage. Cardboard boxes designed especially for storage purposes can also be purchased from places like office supply stores or large discount stores. I have a number of these labeled and stacked in closets in my home.
Plastic storage boxes have become the most common storage solution in the past few decades. They come in many forms--tubs, bins, drawers, modular plastic units, barrels and many more. Like the character Ben in The Graduate is advised by his parents' friend, the future is in plastics. We know now that this was very true when it was said back in 1967. Plastic containers are everywhere and come in every size and shape.
We have plastic containers and drawer units throughout our home. They are often stackable, durable, and don't look too bad for the most part. Some are clear so that you can see the contents inside. Some come in colors. Convenience is the key here and the plastic containers keep things safe from dust, moisture, and other damaging elements.
I guess if we didn't have the plastic containers we might be more tempted to get rid of stuff. The plastic may be as much of a curse as it is a blessing of convenience.
What types of containment devices to you use for your storage solutions? Do you use any storage items in a dual role of furnishings? Where do you usually get cardboard boxes if you need them? Have plastic containers been a storage salvation for you?