Do you love living in an organized home, but have trouble finding storage for large, bulky or oddly shaped items? You’re not alone. In fact, nearly 84% of stressed homeowners worry that their home isn’t clean or organize enough. Thankfully, by following these five tips for storing extra-large items, you can clean up your home as well as your stress levels.

1. Manage Your Mirrors

Mirrors and large pieces of artwork can be incredibly difficult to store: both are subject to damage in extreme hot and cold temperatures and their delicate structure makes them difficult to protect and preserve. There is, however, a quick and easy solution to this challenge:

  • First, take a photo of the artwork or mirror before wrapping it up, as this will help you keep track of what pieces you have in storage without having to damage the wrapping.
  • Secondly, wrap each piece entirely in acid-free tissue paper and secure between two layers of foam board, cut slightly larger than the frame. Secure corners with packing tape and cover wrapping with Kraft paper.
  • Finally, make sure you DO NOT lay the protected piece flat. All artwork and mirrors should be stored vertically in an area with low humidity.

2. Organize Outdoor Gear

Volleyballs, cleats, bicycles, helmets, skis, basketballs, baseball bats, climbing gear, kayaks; if you’re like many adventurous Americans, chances are your garage, mud room, or shed is crowded with similar types of outdoor gear. And with various shapes, sizes, and categories, effectively organizing this equipment can be a nightmare. Follow these pointers for help:

  • Install wall hooks for hanging things like bikes, racquets, skis, hockey sticks, skateboards and other large, oddly shaped sporting gear.
  • Hang shelving units for things like rollerblades, ball bags, helmets, ice skates, frisbees, cleats, bike pumps etc.
  • Use magnet strips for easy-to-reach sporting good hardware like hammers, pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, and more.

Remember that the first step in achieving an organized garage is to keep things off the floor as much as possible. By hanging hooks, shelves and cabinets, you can protect your belongings from damage from mold, water, dirt, rodents, etc.

3. Stow Away Your Washer & Dryer

Having a personal washer and dryer is a luxury, but effectively storing them can be a pain. Thankfully, compact laundry storage is trending in the world of organization. Consider stacking the washer on top of the dryer for a European-style design that also economizes your space. Finish the space by adding a flat, slide-out shelf in between the two units to create a unique folding station.

If your laundry workstation is located in a public area like the kitchen or the main bathroom, install a floor-length matchstick shade that you can raise while in use and lower to seamlessly hide the space when guests are visiting.

4. Make Furniture Fade-Proof

Whether you’re holding on to antiques or saving a furniture collection for inheritance, adequate storage will ensure that your belongings last a lifetime. First, clean each item thoroughly with a dry, clean cloth. Apply appropriate cleaning material and wipe again. Ensure each piece is well-ventilated and dry before disassembling.

Once disassembled, use bubble wrap to protect things like framed pictures, mirrors, lamps, chairs, and table legs. Use drop cloths, covers, sheets or blankets to cover materials like wood and fabrics. Lastly, be sure to leave a little space between all items so that air can circulate. Avoid using plastic package materials as these can create condensation and foul smells.

5. Control Kitchen Clutter

Are you tired of kitchen appliances cluttering your counters? Install large cabinets to store items like toasters, blenders, mixers, and even your microwave. Best of all, by using made-to-order cabinetry you can install units that allow you to make use of electrical outlets. The key to storing kitchen appliances in cupboards is that you must make an effort to avoid dust build up and neglect. With this in mind, consider using pull-out shelves to allow for easy access and easy cleaning. Cabinets are also a good idea for storing odd garage items, cleaning supplies, laundry goods, etc.

Get inspired by Flow Wall for a number of different ways to store all of your larger, hard-to-hide items or for more ideas on creative storage methods.