Like many people, I make the majority of my storage decisions based on convenience. If it’s more convenient to keep something in the kitchen rather than in the hall closet, that’s probably where I’m going to put it! But there’s another important factor that’s worth considering when you’re deciding where to store things (and no, it has nothing to do with how attractive your storage bins are.)
It’s important to consider how the conditions of a particular storage location could affect our stuff, but many of us fail to do so. While occasionally storage mistakes can be obvious and easy to avoid—you know better than to store precious family heirlooms near your kids’ art supplies, for example—sometimes they’re easy to overlook.
So today I thought I would shed some light on the topic by sharing 7 of the most common storage mistakes people make. In addition to an explanation for why each mistake should be avoided, I also have a quick and easy fix for each one that will help you protect your stuff!
7 Costly Storage Mistakes And How To Fix Them
1. Storing Towels In The Bathroom
Of all the rooms in your house, the bathroom is one of the more problematic places to store things, mainly because it’s just so humid in there!
If you store your spare towels in your bathroom, they are constantly exposed to those humid conditions. That moisture can keep your towels semi-damp around the clock, which is sure to result in mildew issues eventually!
Instead, store your stock of clean towels somewhere outside of the bathroom, like in a linen closet. And after drying off, make sure to hang your bath towel over a towel bar or your shower curtain rod so it can dry properly between uses.
2. Storing Beauty Products On The Counter
Most skincare products and cosmetics last longer when they’re stored in a cool, dark, and dry location, so it’s no mystery why storing beauty products on a warm, brightly lit, and humid bathroom counter can create problems.
Here’s a quick rundown of how improper storage conditions can affect your beauty products:
- Sunscreens & Products With SPF – Heat can cause separation
- Pigmented Powders (Eyeshadow, Blush, Etc.) – Heat can cause pigments to fade
- Liquid Foundation – Heat can shorten its shelf-life
- Nail Polish – Heat can cause separation
- Fragrances – Exposure to sunlight can alter delicate scents
- Makeup Brushes – Exposed to moisture and bacteria when stored out in the open
Instead, keep your beauty products tucked away in a drawer or cabinet when you’re not actively using them.
3. Storing Pantry Items In The Box They Came In
The boxes and bags that pantry items come in aren’t doing much to keep your food fresh. They also allow easy entry and/or exit points for insects and pests that may be looking to feast on your food!
Instead, transfer pantry items to airtight food storage containers when you get home from the store. You’ll notice the difference in freshness right away, and you’ll be able to reuse the containers for years to come.
4. Storing Nonstick Pans In A Stack
The finish on your nonstick pans is pretty fragile, so if you stack your nonstick pans together, it won’t take long for that finish to get scratched up.
Luckily, there’s an easy fix for this one. Just insert a paper plate, paper towel, or sheet of tissue paper between each of your nonstick pans. Even a thin barrier will help protect the finish from scratches!
5. Storing Important Documents In A Filing Cabinet
If your important documents are filed away in a corner somewhere, they probably won’t be easily accessible in the event of an emergency. And a filing cabinet won’t do much to protect those documents from a fire, flood, or other disaster.
Instead, store your family’s most important documents, including birth certificates, passports, social security cards, and other crucial information, in a fireproof storage bag. Keep the bag somewhere where you could quickly grab it in an emergency situation.
6. Storing Photos In A Shoe Box
It can be hard to know what to do with old photos, so many people store them in an old shoe box. But cardboard isn’t actually great for photos, and it can even cause yellowing and fading over time.
7. Storing Medicines In The Medicine Cabinet
While it might sound strange, your medicine cabinet isn’t a great place to keep your medications. Like I mentioned earlier, the humid environment of your bathroom can cause things to deteriorate faster than they normally would.
Instead, store your medications in a storage box and keep the box somewhere cool and dry.
Have you ever learned about a storage mistake the hard way?