With children come immeasurable piles of (this time, figurative) crap. And while baby toys are generally the most bulky and awkward, there are challenges at every stage. As your kids grow, their stuff becomes smaller, but there’s more of it. Think of the thousands of Legos, the fleet of American Girl dolls and accessories, and the closet full of board games. But no matter your child’s age or interests, there are solutions for these universal storage headaches.
Think outside the box. And the house.
When your kids are at a certain age, they will generate a ton of artwork and not allow any of it to be thrown away. You may have a few designated spots throughout the house for displaying their drawings and paintings, but what about the hundreds that are left? Consider putting them up on the walls of the garage. You can showcase everything they create and it stops taking up space in kitchen drawers and closets. Displaying in the garage also keeps the glitter out of your house. I think we can all get behind that.
Reinvent their closets.
Most closets can do the job you want, if organized properly. Add a tension rod to the closet to create another row of hanging space. Kids’ clothes are short and the room below is otherwise wasted. Hanging shoe organizers are also great for small baby items such as creams and lotions, onesies, socks, nail clippers, and Q-tips. They fit easily on the inside of the door and are out of the reach of little hands.
Rise above it.
Finding room to store everything in a kid’s bedroom can be a serious challenge. An option for a small bedroom with little storage is to put your child’s bed on risers. These inexpensive plastic cups open up a new realm of hidden storage space. Now storage tubs of off-season clothes, books, and dress-ups can be out of the way but easily accessed.
Test the waters of donation.
This is a time when it would be great to rent yourself a small storage unit, or clear out a little space in the one you already have. Pack up several boxes of toys, clothes, and other items you suspect the kids no longer care about, and move them into storage. If no one has asked for them in six months, you’re safe to donate.
Once you have a good system of storage and organization in place, the most important thing is to stick with it. Show your kids where things go and make them responsible for their own things. They will ultimately care more about their belongings, and it will help you keep your sanity-saving system in place!