Quick stor­age area up­grades

The Hamilton Spectator - - REAL ESTATE -

Skat­ing sea­son is well un­der­way, but the gear is buried some­where in the garage. And while the fore­cast con­tin­ues to call for freez­ing tem­per­a­tures, the ex­tra win­ter lay­ers are still hid­den in one of the bins in the closet.

It's time to take control and get or­ga­nized with help from de­sign ex­pert Kim­ber­ley Sel­don. Work­ing with the Elec­tri­cal Safety Author­ity, she of­fers these tips for cre­at­ing smart, func­tional and well­lit stor­age in the base­ment.

1. In the zone. Map out stor­age zones to en­sure items are where you would ex­pect them to be. From win­ter wear to camp­ing gear and books to toys, built-ins and stor­age benches work well to elim­i­nate vis­ual clut­ter with­out tak­ing up too much floor space. Con­sider adding shelves at dif­fer­ent heights for var­ied ac­ces­si­bil­ity and use nooks and cran­nies — think about the space un­der the stairs or build­ing stor­age units be­tween rooms.

2. Lighten up. Good light­ing is of­ten for­got­ten when stor­age spa­ces are planned. But see­ing is be­liev­ing! A licensed elec­tri­cal con­trac­tor can pro­vide ideas on au­to­mated op­tions for closet lights and sug­gest the best light­bulbs to use. Mo­tion sen­sors are an­other pop­u­lar choice. Just re­mem­ber that it's im­por­tant to know the rules around the safe dis­tance be­tween ceil­ing lights and stor­age items to pre­vent any­thing from catch­ing fire. For ex­am­ple, pot lights must be 150 mil­lime­tres away from any stored items or cabi­nets; while other ceil­ing lights must be 300 mil­lime­tres away.

3. Hid­den elec­tri­cal. Give de­vices, lap­tops and gad­gets a des­ig­nated space by adding charg­ing sta­tions and strate­gi­cally lo­cated out­lets. And while we would all like to tuck away the elec­tri­cal panel, keep in mind that it can't be lo­cated in a closet or bath­room and that the work­ing space in front of it can't be ob­structed.

A Licensed Elec­tri­cal Con­trac­tor and in­te­rior de­signer will help to de­sign an or­ga­nized and safe space for your fam­ily. Find more stor­age so­lu­tions on­line at pow­ery­our­reno.ca.

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