Visitors come with the territory when you live on the water. And with so much activity, it pays to have a sensible storage system, one that helps locate and rotate your seasonal gear and other goods.
In autumn, once cool weather arrives, consider storing summer essentials like beach towels in attractive compactor storage boxes, suggests Carrie Haselmire, organization expert at The Container Store in Novi (containerstore.com). She says they are “easy to display in a guest room, guest house or boat house and can be used to store extra blankets and pillows.”
For beach toys, outdoor games and sports equipment, Haselmire recommends airtight and weathertight containers that protect against insects and mold. She suggests clear stackable bins with compartments and wheels. They are easier to move and carry. You can also see what’s inside.
When stylish storage is part of the décor, consider colorful Bisley cabinets. They can serve as a craft station for kids or store entertainment staples like table linens. “The pop of color adds personality as an accent piece,” Haselmire said. “And you can store contents that change with the seasons, like photos, tools and school supplies.
“Easy-to-carry baskets and totes are ideal for rolled-up towels and beach toys,” she adds. “They’re fun and multifunctional.”
Handmade, recycled and vintage items also make unique storage pieces, according to Linda Fuzi, owner of Lake Michigan Organizing & Concierge LLC, in Hudsonville (lakemichiganorgcon.com). The professional organizer turns her kids’ mismatched handmade pottery into pencil holders. She favors fair trade baskets for giving back and locally made wares that have a story attached.
People don’t realize how many useful items they may have in their home, Fuzi said. Things like glass containers for travel-size toiletries in a guest room. Pegboards are perfect for a home office or hobby room where each can hold a tin pail for necessities along a wall. “I usually ask my clients what they need to access quickly and daily and use open storage for that,” says Fuzi who suggests labeled containers with lids for items that can be tucked away.
Antiques add practicality and character. Fuzi’s own piece boasts a storage bench, mirror and hooks. Hats and gloves are stored there in the winter, while library books and returns are stored there in summer.
Fuzi, who grew up on Lake Michigan, sorts through summer gear and toys each fall, cleaning and drying the keepers and tossing broken items. For seasonal clothing, she suggests breathable garment bags and a rolling rack for those who lack closet space.
Fall, she adds, is the perfect time of year to re-examine belongings to see what should stay and what can be donated.
When the air turns crisp and the leaves reveal their autumn colors, home and cottage owners can readily bring the season indoors with a few colorful touches. Here are some simple ways to bring fall into the home:
- Incorporate organic elements: tall branches in a substantial vessel or a wicker basket filled with colorful fruit. Hit the farmers market or grocery store for seasonal produce like pumpkins and gourds. Veggies with texture, from asparagus to artichokes, add a layered effect to floral arrangements.
- A metallic garland can enhance a family room mantel, making a seasonal statement above the fireplace. Only a hint of fall harvest is needed in small spaces like powder rooms. Fill a slim vase with a single stem or a glass container with some acorns or scented pinecones.
- Fall foliage brings warmth to any surrounding. Check local shops and retailers like Pier 1 Imports and Pottery Barn for seasonal décor. Recent trends include streamlined styles with unique features like wood curl wreaths and hand-painted faux pumpkins.