Develop a numbering system for all of your storage compartments and make an inventory of each item stowed there. Label each individual storage area and keep your spreadsheet handy to locate items as needed.
Always return an item to the storage area it came from.
Make sure volatile or highly flammable items such as gasoline, acetone, paint thinner, etc., are not stored in an unventilated locker, and never in areas where fumes could reach the bilge.
Gather a small collection of regularly used tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, tape measure, etc., and keep in a handy drawer or bin so you don't need to pull out the big toolbox for every little job.
Find plastic boxes and/or baskets that fit each storage area for holding like items as units that are easier to remove than numerous small items individually. Use clear boxes or label them well.
In stowing fishing rods, commit to storing them in the rod holders at the stern rail or suspend them horizontally from a cabin top inside the boat. There are plastic receptacles that will handle this or simple Velcro straps work well, too.
Installing plastic-coated wire storage racks (available at hardware stores) inside cabinet doors can increase storage and make access easy.
If a storage area is not already ventilated well (louvered or caned doors are), you may want to add some additional ventilation yourself. On Safari we improved the ventilation of the locker areas below berths and seats by cutting out holes in the doors and covering them with attractive chrome ventilation plates. This greatly reduced the chance of mold and mildew developing.
Corrugated cardboard boxes and brown paper bags should not stay on the boat, as they are said to be carriers of cockroaches.
To keep clothes fresher and electrical appliances drier, place them in two-gallon, Ziplock freezer bags first before storing them away. (Make sure you buy the freezer-grade bags as the plastic is thicker and will last longer.)
Install a dispenser unit for soap, shampoo, lotion, etc., (available at hardware stores) in the head compartment to make showering and everyday living a breeze.
G a l l e y
Save plastic jars and bottles of every imaginable size and shape. We have found that these are great for transfers of foodstuffs from boxes and bags and are also easy to identify, while also keeping the food fresh.
Ziplock freezer bags, particularly two-gallon size, are handy for keeping everything fresh. Crackers, cookies, chips, pretzels, etc., get stale quickly if you don't store them in bags.
Take everything out of space-eating big boxes (like cereal) and stow in plastic bags, canisters, or jars, etc. You'll be amazed at the huge pile of packaging that'll mount up in your cockpit for disposal before you leave on the cruise.
Identify cans on the top with a paint pen. There are two benefits from this. One, if the label were to come off due to moisture, you could still identify the contents; and two, you can see what's in the can without having to lift each out to read the label. Store cans in a cool spot close to the waterline for longer life.