Why you need a transitional storage space

Transitional storage

Look around your cluttered bench tops and surfaces, and I’ll bet there are things which can’t be put away OR put in the bin. Candidates for a transitional storage space.

These orphans don’t belong … anywhere in your house. They are in limbo and need to be returned or removed.

What is transitional storage space?

It’s a halfway-house for stuff. A space in your home assigned for everything on it’s way out. Items destined for someone or somewhere else.

For example:

Borrowed items which need to be returned

  • Library books
  • The magazine your friend lent you
  • A pair of shoes you borrowed for an event

Items left behind

If you ever have people at your house you will know the familiar sight of items left behind, discovered during cleanup.

  • Plates which guests brought food on
  • Jackets
  • Toys
  • More alarmingly, phones and wallets. Those might require more immediate action.


Small tasks for spare moments and little excursions

  • Unfinished craft
  • Items requiring a dab of glue
  • Darning and sewing
  • Dry cleaning, returns

At this stage I might direct you to my mantra, if it can be done pretty quickly, just do it now – but that’s for another post.


  • Items you bought with someone in mind
  • Trinkets you bought for times you need to bring a gift. (although honestly I have moved away from this kind of purchasing)

Decluttered items

Items which warrant a cooling-off period before you totally march them off the premises. Because sometimes a good declutter results in a maybe pile. And that’s ok.


Things which require an op-shop drop. Or more targeted rehousing like bedding to a pet shelter or cosmetics to a women’s charity program.

Occasional recycling

  • Batteries
  • E-waste
  • Polystyrene
  • Soft plastic

All of the above could be swiftly dealt with by one visit to the local tip. But to avoid that, some councils run E-waste collections a few times a year. Also you might keep your batteries for when you go to Aldi in winter for the skiwear sale. Whatever works for you.

Transitional storage space

is ideal right near the door. If you have a go zone, the two can be integrated. Having the items on display can be a good reminder – but only for a while and then it just becomes visual noise.

My transitional storage has cupboard doors. Not quite as obvious as a shelf or a box on the floor, but much more pleasing to the eye.

A transitional storage space helps to keep clutter off your bench tops and coffee table. You soon learn to check it every time you leave the house or someone pops in. (Pro tip: keep your car keys with it to prompt you to check)

Give it a go. And as always feel free to reach out to help organise some systems and strategies.

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