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Museum Space Planning Made Easy

Designing storage solutions from the inside out.

March 21st, 2022 - 2 min read

Spacesaver has a nationwide network of local museum storage planning experts, who work with you to design the most efficient and effective storage solutions for your collection. Our space planning services, along with our long-term maintenance programs, are unmatched.

As you begin the planning process, our consultants will gain thorough knowledge of your space to help you “design from the inside out.” Exactly what does that mean? We’ll want to learn about the following from you:

museum collection graphic

The Collections

Because the needs of your collections come first, we start by asking what you need to store. Some institutions need to store standard items; for instance, they are using Cornell-style entomology drawers and simply need to acquire more cabinets as their collections grow. Other institutions — particularly smaller museums — might need to store a variety of items in one cabinet and are looking for a solution that has drawers with boxes for smaller items and adjustable shelves for larger items. We’ll also ask about how items should be stored and whether you need space for conservation materials.

museum facility graphic

The Facility’s Physical Constraints

Once we get a handle on what you need to store, we carefully assess not only the square footage of your storage area, but also every last physical feature that might impact your choice of storage solutions. For instance:

  • Some larger cabinets will not fit through standard door frames
  • The size and placement of sprinkler systems might affect the height of compactor systems
  • Load-bearing columns can alter the location of cabinets and shelving systems
museum process graphic

Typical Processes & Procedures

To better understand how your institution functions, we ask you to describe the activities of a typical day, week, or year.

  • Does your facility frequently host visiting researchers or loan items out?
  • Do the items in your collection need to be reorganized due to recent gifts or acquisitions?
  • Do you have a separate space allocated for study and conservation work, or does the storage area need to also provide space for these activities?

By understanding how you and your staff use the space, we’ll be able to help design a storage solution that functions efficiently.

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