A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thinking Inside the Box

Mann House 2008
Mann House 2008 (Photo credit: CedarBendDrive)
       Space for storage can be found in many places around the house and when home does not suffice we may look to outside storage solutions.  When we've got a surplus of stuff that we feel compelled to keep then we need to find someplace to put it all.  And after all, for the memoirist or personal archivist or however we want to term those who retain material goods for some purpose related to posterity, things have value that can bring a tangibility of times past.

         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?

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CWMartin said...

Well, for my beer cap collection I bought an old Old Crown beer case. It's a bit full, though...

JoJo said...

Plastic totes and cardboard boxes here....we have a 3 bedroom house and one is packed full of storage items.

D.G. Hudson said...

We have one of those old trunks, hubs bought it at a farm sale nearby a few decades ago. Friends are always noticing it. It was hand made and still is used for storage antique items and as a divider between the entrance and the living room. I love eclectic pieces with a story behind them.
It fits with our style.

Enjoying the discussion on storage, Lee, from a former and recovering packrat.

Kelly Robinson said...

The trunks reminded me: I watched an old movie last night in which people were getting off a boat, and porters were hauling everyone's giant steamer trunks. I thought it interesting that, in this day of excess, when we want everything bigger and better, we all travel a lot lighter than we used to.

shelly said...

I use plastic containers to store stuff. Good post!

Hugs and chocolate,

Arlee Bird said...

CW-- You don't have them mounted and on display?

JoJo -- Most of our boxes are in the garage but there are many throughout the house as well.

DG -- The old trunks can make nice decorating pieces that serve a dual use of storage.

Kelly -- Yes, I've seen that in movies too. Those trunks and wardrobes were huge.

Shelly -- Plastic containers may be one of the greatest inventions of modern times. Or perhaps the bane of the future.


CWMartin said...

Nope, small apartment, ease of travel, etc., etc.