church-design-storage-suggestionsIn our previous post, we discussed incorporating appropriate storage spaces in your church building. Rather than having one overflowing “junk room,” we believe that planning specific, thoughtful storage spaces into your church design will make things easy to find, and use. And while we strongly suggest thinking about this at the beginning of your new church building or renovation project, we also have some ideas about inexpensive storage solutions, and ways to handle the overflow once a church project is completed.

Specific Church Design Storage Suggestions

First, here are some of our specific suggestions for building storage space into your church design from the very beginning.

Don’t ignore the spaces created by the very church design itself. For example, your worship platform is an excellent storage space, especially for long, flat things. If you just use the space for worship, outdoor sports or lawn equipment can easily hide away in there. If you are planning a multi-ministry space, tables, basketballs and volleyball equipment can be stowed under the platform for easy access when transforming the room. If you have a multi-purpose room in your church design, make sure to create a nearby storage space that’s big enough for all your chairs, so they are safely out of the way during basketball games or receptions.

Another storage need, related to worship, is for your choir and musicians. You will need storage for robes, music, instruments, music stands, as well as all the cords and wires that go along with those instruments. And speaking of electronics, bigger churches are actually creating their own, specially air-conditioned IT rooms so all the AVL equipment doesn’t overheat.

We talked last time about the janitor’s closet and storage in children’s classrooms. You will also need weather-related storage near your main entrances to the church building complex, for snow shovels and ice melt (if appropriate for your location), usher’s umbrellas, floor mats, and cautionary “Wet Floor” signs, along with whatever else will assist your church leaders in making members feel welcome and safe as they walk in your doors. And if your church has ministries to the community, take the time now to think through their needs. You might want to add to your church design separate storage for the food pantry or other community groups that use your facilities.

Finally, don’t forget the seasonal storage. Every church has items that are just used at Christmas or Easter, including decorations and stage sets. All this has to be stored somewhere, but you don’t want to sacrifice specially designed or easily accessible storage for something that only gets used once a year.

Where to Pinch Pennies with Church Building Storage

This leads us to another piece of this storage puzzle. If your church building budget is especially tight, there might be pressure from the design committee for minimal storage in the church building itself. If you find you need to give a little on the storage issue, here are our suggestions.

For those things that you will just use once a year, build a storage shed in an out-of-the-way corner of your church property. You can also store extra paper towels and toilet paper in a shed like that, as well as the shovels and ice melt (especially if you remember to ask the janitor to move them to the foyer the night before a blizzard is scheduled to arrive!). Some churches even obtain storage containers or semi-trailers as a substitute for a shed. It’s also a good way to address extra storage needs if a new church building or renovation is still off in the future.

Another idea that might save you a bit of money is with children’s classrooms. Rather than constructing storage closets in each classroom, construct one closet for the entire area and just fill it with industrial shelving, or buy storage cabinets for each room (although you’ll lose some space in each classroom that way).

We hope that these two articles will help you think more clearly about your church building storage needs. Sign up today for our free i3 webinars for more ideas to incorporate into your new church design or renovation.