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“I’ve got plenty of storage thank you, I don’t need any more.”
If that is you, please let me in on the secret because generally a growing family has an ever-growing need for more storage. Have twins and things get a whole lot worse. So many things need to be doubled up.
Without pushing the walls out by a couple of feet in all directions, getting extra storage space can be an issue. But there are ways of getting a bit clever with what space is available. Partly, it’s organising things differently, and partly it’s thinking outside the conventional box.
Restrict Access to Things Not Currently in Use
Kids tend to go through phases of what they like and what they don’t. And those phases can go in circles, with toys falling into and out of favour on a rotating basis. One way of dealing with this is to move out-of-favour toys out of the house for the time being by putting them into a self storage unit.
There are two benefits:
They’re not taking up valuable space you can use to store other things that get used more frequently.
Out of sight is often out of mind. Stored toys will seem fresh when you bring them back after a few weeks or months. You can swap them for the latest cast-off items.
Given the expense of toys, it makes more sense than constantly replacing stuff. It’s also a way of dealing with bulkier, out of season toys such as garden play things in the winter or winter sports kit during summer.
Think beyond toys too – a self storage unit works just as well for items the adults aren’t currently using, from garden furniture to seasonal sports kit and everyday clothes.
Squeezing Extra Space at Home
How are you using the cubbyhole under the stairs or the vertical areas in all the rooms? If you’ve got your walls and awkward spots cracked, great, but if not, you’re missing out on lots of storage.
The little space under the stairs can become a walk-in cloakroom for kids to hang coats and stow wellies, but if that’s not suitable there are other ways to use the area. It might be awkward to put some shelves up in there, but once done it’s a great hiding place for a multitude of items that would otherwise clutter up drawers or cupboards.
Cleaning materials, spare plant pots or vases, rarely used kitchen gadgets or hobby stuff can all be neatly stored in such small places. Fit a battery operated light if necessary.
Get creative with storage
Get creative with shelving on walls. A few ideas include:
One low shelf running along the wall behind and over a sofa. You won’t bang your head on it, but it’s a great place for mood or hobby/reading lights, books or ornaments and collectibles or plants.
A single floating shelf circling the room at picture rail height. Or just fit shelves on a couple of walls if every wall seems too much – it depends on the size of the room. If you like books, or want to keep precious objects out of kids’ reach, this is an ideal solution offering acres of storage. You can take the same approach in the bathroom for spare towels or beauty products.
Cube or modular shelving looks great with contemporary decor. This is also useful for children’s bedrooms, especially if you buy or paint in bright, primary colours.
Household and personal documents you rarely need to consult can also take up valuable space. You can rent locker-sized self storage for old academic work, insurance documents, certificates, or even photo albums you treasure but don’t often look at.
Storage furniture is a blessing when you have lots of small items cluttering up the living room. Lift-top coffee tables or those with shelves underneath hold everything from phone chargers to games controllers. Likewise, end tables with drawers really help to keep surfaces uncluttered.
In bedrooms, divans or ottoman beds provide some extra storage space under the mattress. Older children might enjoy cabin or captain beds with desks, wardrobes, or play areas built in. Multi-use furnishings like these can replace several stand-alone pieces of furniture, making rooms feel larger and brighter.
Are you fighting the storage battle and dealing with an overwhelm of clutter? Hopefully one or two of these solutions will help to spark some ideas of your own.
How did I do?
Did you enjoy this post? You might like some of my others, so how about you some of my early posts, such as this one about finding out we were having twins We’re Going To Need A Bigger Car, or Will I Ever Nip Anywhere Again?
If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.
And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you.