Let’s face it; no matter how many nooks and crannies have been built into your church building, there never seems to be enough storage. Whether it’s the Christmas decorations, the children’s theater props, or simply the janitor’s mop and bucket, it always seems like there’s more stuff than there are places to store it. That’s why it’s important to consider where everything goes when planning your church design. You’d be surprised at how much needs to be put away and how a little pre-planning can really make a difference.
Thinking Beyond the General Storage Room
Every church building has what we like to call a “general storage” room. This is the space that collects everything—as if the walls were magnetized. In fact, if you were to pull everything out of that room, you could probably find enough stuff your church doesn’t use to have a successful rummage sale.
While a general storage area is useful, and sometimes necessary, the tendency to collect every variety of storable item in one place can lead to over-crowding, and even damage. Plus, it takes time to sort through everything you don’t need, looking for what you do when the time comes to pull something out of storage. And finally, dedicating a large space to storage is often inefficient from a cost of building stand point.
Different Types of Church Building Storage
Instead, every church needs to incorporate a variety of well-placed, appropriately sized storage spaces into their design for a new church building or renovation project. For example, you don’t want to store those Christmas decorations in the closet of a children’s classroom. Chances are, you’ll come back at the end of the year and find that the decorations were picked apart for art projects—because they were stored in the children’s classroom.
In the same way, you don’t want to store the janitor’s mop and bucket in the kitchen pantry. Even if it would be convenient when someone drops a large pot of soup on the kitchen floor, it’s obviously not a good solution from a health code standpoint! Instead, the mop and bucket belong in a closet with a convenient workroom sink (so the kitchen sink stays sanitary) and some shelves to hold the paper towels, toilet paper, and other cleaning supplies. Now, that closet should be convenient to the kitchen, the restrooms, and the children’s classrooms—but it should also be tucked away, out of sight, where the average church member won’t even notice it’s there.
On the other hand, the storage closet or cabinet in a children’s classroom needs to be very visible, so it’s easy for teachers to find what they need on a Sunday morning or Wednesday night. And if you have a school using the same classrooms during the week, you will want separate, clearly labeled, closets for church and for school, so there’s no question about what belongs to which organization. In fact, you might well want to make sure those closets or cabinets lock, to prevent “borrowing” by kids or adults, as well as genuine mistakes.
Getting Specific with Your New Church Design or Renovation Project
So far, we’ve really only scratched the surface with this storage space issue. Next time, we’re going to get more specific, as well as giving you some possible solutions if you just can’t manage to squeeze storage space into your budget. So stay tuned, and meanwhile sign up for our free i3 webinar series, to learn more about creating the perfect church design.