A growing family means growing storage needs to house all those toys, clothes and kids gear. But you probably can’t afford to keep buying expensive storage units each time a child’s taste in toys changes or they outgrow this season’s fashion.
Aside from the cost, you might not have the space for more bulky cabinets and shelving. Many householders in the UK are struggling to find the space to accommodate all their belongings.
The solution? Temporary systems that easily slot into what you already have and that can easily be updated or adjusted as your family needs change. Here are some top cost-effective and family-friendly storage solutions for you to try.
Cardboard boxes are amazingly versatile. Available in varying styles, plain or patterned and very economical. If they’re small they can be stacked two or three high, slotted under a bed to save space or stored on an unused shoe rack. Make sure you stack boxes safely, kids love to climb and a box tower is just asking for trouble!
If you’re a crafter or handy at DIY cover the boxes with fabric using fabric glue to make them sturdier and last longer. Raid your recycling box for cereal or tea boxes.
Cut up and cover with patterned paper to make drawer organisers or turn them into magazine boxes to store kids’ books.
Alternatively, if you have a bigger box, cover with pretty paper, attach a small rail and hang clothes or dressing up costumes.
When they become slightly worn or not needed, give the boxes to the kids to play with – which child turns down play with a cardboard box?
If cardboard isn’t your thing consider large baskets made of wicker or fabric. You could even grab a couple of small laundry baskets – Ikea do great slim-line ones made of sturdy fabric with flat lids.
Use to house soft toys, games or bulky plastic toys that don’t fit into smaller boxes.
Get your kids in the habit of chucking their toys in here before going to bed each day to clear the floor and help keep the house tidy.
A cost effective way to increase storage capacity to existing units and maximise space on walls or backs of doors is to add hooks.
Home small, lightweight items in a multi-pocket hanger. Need a little more space? Simply add ribbon ties to the tops of pillowcases and hang. Anything with a handle can be hung up and used to store stuff. Simple household items are invaluable– think small buckets, plastic jugs from the kitchen or kid’s sized tote bags.
If you don’t want to drill loads of holes in the walls, attach a simple pegboard and attach plastic baskets using cable ties.
Quirky ways to store small items
Save money and add to your existing storage systems by getting creative with unused household items. A CD rack on its side, or a dish rack, can be used to hold children’s books – as a bonus you could pop crayons or pens into the cutlery holder.
Rinse out jam jars and use to keep small toys that don’t have a home of their own. Sand down and paint an old spice rack, attach to the wall in the kids’ bedroom and use to store accessories, small soft toys or books.
Turn a magazine box file on its side and attach to a wall to make a small double shelf. This works well for awkward corners where a standard shelf won’t fit.
It goes to show there’s no need to splash out on expensive furniture each time you need a change. Often a bit of creativity is all it takes when looking for ways to reorganise your children’s belongings.