Cupboards bursting at the seams? Craft projects and piles of unopened post taking over every surface? If so, it sounds like clutter is gaining the upper hand, and it’s time to fight back with some new and improved storage systems.
We’re all more likely to flourish in a home that’s calm and reasonably ordered, and a well-organised storage system is the first step. So make time to clear out those things you no longer use, work out exactly what you need to store, and put some practical home storage systems into place.
There are three main types of home storage, and most family homes require a mix of all three:
1. Built-in Storage
Cupboards and shelves built into the architecture of your home are super practical as they take up every available millimeter of space. Go right from floor to ceiling, and attach doors to hide a multitude of sins.
Think bookshelves, cabinets and chests of drawers. Avoid kiddie-sized pieces with hefty price tags that are quickly outgrown, and opt for generous and sturdy pieces that will last for years. Anything freestanding should be firmly attached to the wall.
3. Small Storage
Containers, boxes and baskets are perfect for smaller toys and accessories as they’re easy to move around and often stackable. Also, think outside the square and recycle. Huggies jumbo boxes are really sturdy and have beautiful Winnie the Pooh images on them so once you take the nappies out they make great toy storage boxes. Huggies Baby Wipes tubs are perfect storage boxes for all the kids art and craft bits. In fact we have a huge list of ideas for what you can use our wipes tubs for when they are empty right here.
These should be easy for everyone to use. For toys, consider labeled or colour coded storage boxes. For children’s wardrobes, make sure drawers and rails are easy to reach, and put a shoe rack in the hall to keep footwear in order.
Clearing the floor of clutter will instantly make your home feel cleaner and more spacious. Allocate time every day for the kids to tidy away toys.
Going through outgrown toys, clothes and sports equipment at the end of each season is a sure-fire way of preventing clutter from building up, and helps you keep of track of what you still need to store and what can be recycled.
Hard to store items that come into your home regularly, such as craft models and mountains of kindy artwork can quickly turn into a clutter nightmare. Put some practical systems into place, such as starting a scrapbook filled with digital photos of craft models or use kids’ paintings for wrapping paper.
Items used almost every day such as school notes, kindy bags and the family calendar should be kept in a safe, accessible spot. File away important paperwork such as birth certificates and passports, and keep the first aid kit somewhere easy to find but out of reach of little hands.
With preschoolers, most of their play is floor based and it’s easy for toys to take over. If necessary, consider reallocating rooms; could the children share a bedroom, freeing a second one for play and toy storage? Or could a rarely used dining room be turned into a playroom?
Kids usually require a mix of bedroom storage types – shelves, containers, and a display area for collectibles. Also consider hanging baskets, tiered storage, or dual purpose pieces such as a toybox cum box seat.
Rooms that have more than one function, such as a home office cum spare room, need special care to stay ordered. Look for flexible storage that allows you to transform the room’s function in an instant, such as built-ins with sliding doors, and furniture with integrated storage such as a sofa with underseat storage or a coffee table with shelves.