Hand-me-down furniture and boxes of items amassed over the years unfold into the landscape of a couple’s first house together. Once moved in, you buy the rest of the furnishings you need, along with things reflecting your personal flavor in décor, and maybe even welcome a pet to make your house a home. As holidays and birthdays come and go, the possessions in the home continue to grow. And once a baby is on the way, your possessions seem to double in a mere matter of months.
From nursery furniture to baby clothes, a baby seat, highchair, swing, and countless baby-entertaining contraptions, plus countless other baby items, the initial storage concerns are set in motion. Add another child or two to the mix, and needing to move to a new house—or at the very least, buy a new car—becomes a very real possibility for many families.
The good news is that some smart organization tips can help assuage storage concerns for a growing family. The sooner you tackle your family home storage projects, the sooner you’ll feel more comfortably at home in your own house. Here are eight family storage tips to get clutter under control for more organized living spaces.
- Make use of a toy box or a few attractive baskets. Store like toys in a basket for quick and easy cleanup. As one example, you can place all the baby toys in a canvas basket so they are always accessible for your little one, but also a snap to pick up when your son or daughter is ready for bedtime.
- Place baskets under end tables to store books. Keeping books in reach of little hands at all times can inspire kids to learn to love reading. Keeping a basket nested under an end table or other piece of furniture makes extra-smart use of the table’s footprint.
- Try the five-minute scramble. When you don’t have time to deep-clean your whole home, go from room to room and set a timer for five minutes. Quickly pick up, put away, straighten, and organize as much as you can before the timer goes off, and then move on to the next room. Have baskets and a toy box or two at the ready to make your cleanup process even quicker. Bonus points if you can get your kids to help you!
- Place attractive baskets on your steps for easier cleanup. Label the baskets, one for each person’s bedroom. As you clean the downstairs, fill the baskets with items that belong in those respective rooms. Then, once per day, take the baskets upstairs when you are already on your way up and put all the items away in the appropriate rooms. This technique works especially well when your family members don’t always pick up after themselves. You can easily train young kids to use the baskets on a daily basis with a little positive reinforcement.
- Look into organizer systems. Whether you plan to slide them under the bed, hang them in the closet, or place them in drawers, organizer units can make life a lot neater. Smarter storage options can often get to the root of clutter, preventing it from becoming a recurring problem.
- Give children responsibility from a young age. Even toddlers can learn to put their dirty clothes in a hamper or to help pick up their toys. Preschoolers can take on even more responsibilities, and the chore list grows as children get older. Teach your little ones what is expected of them and it can make your home less of a hassle to keep clean. Once everyone learns to put their own things away, any true storage concerns become easier to address.
- Take inventory of your possessions and find things to purge. Donate, give away, or sell those items that you don’t mind letting go. For things you want to keep but don’t need on a regular basis, put them away in your attic or look into self storage units for safe-keeping convenience. Storage units make it especially easy to clear up any home’s clutter problems without facing difficult decisions about what do to with your possessions.
- Move infant items to a storage unit in between babies. Pack up all of the baby necessities and box up all of the baby clothes with clear labels defining sizes or other key details. Save all of these nursery items, toys, and baby belongings for the next little one without stressing over where to put everything.
In some parts of the world, Family Day is September 26. Mark your calendar so you remember to spend some extra special time with your brood. In the meantime, try to tackle as many of your family home storage issues as possible so you can enjoy the day free of stress.