Family storage solutions
It is amazing how babies, toddlers and small children can generate so much extra equipment! From prams to toys and sporting goods, the list of extra things is endless. Finding solutions to store your family’s items can become a real problem, especially when your space is limited. However, there are lots of creative and relatively inexpensive solutions to your family storage issues.
As your little one grows you will usually find the storage problems and solutions change. With babies it tends to be a few large items taking up lots of space. As toddlers it tends to be multiple small items, and for slightly older children the issue is often with storing sporting items. Regardless of the items, there is usually a practical family storage solution available to you.
Storage for bub
- Your bub’s nappy bag is an essential yet bulky piece of equipment. It is an item that will frequently be on the move with you as well. It’s a good idea to install a hook on the back of your front door and store the nappy bag there when not in use. That way you won’t forget it and it is also not taking up valuable bench or shelf space.
- Your bub’s pram or stroller can be a tricky one to store. In order to prevent it bringing mud or leaves into the house allocate a space with some industrial carpet or an old blanket to leave it on. This will help reduce dirt being trekked through your home.
- While you may find yourself bringing bub’s carseat inside the house on a frequent basis it is a good habit to get into placing it back in the car when not in use. The car seat can be an item that takes up lots of space in your home. Storing it in the car is a quick and easy way to maximise space in your home.
Storage for toddlers
- Toddlers tend to create lots of toy storage problems. Because they are usually on the move they will usually trail a series of items behind them. This is a good time to invest in some large, clear plastic tubs. That way you can store like-minded toys together. Encourage your little one to help put their toys away at the end of each play-time. This is a good habit to get into from early on. You can easily make a game of it rather than making it a chore.
- Allocate a craft box for artwork or any creative play. You can use clear containers to store pens and pencils in. This is a box that you can store up out of reach until you want to use it with your toddler. This reduces the risk of any unwanted artwork occurring round the house.
- You may also like to store grown up items as well during the toddler stage. It’s a good idea to store delicate or valuable items well out of reach of their little hands. Once they are pulling themselves up to a standing position it can be a nasty shock to see just how far they can reach. If possible, install some free floating shelves at adult height where you can store display items without the danger of them being broken.
- Your toddler will usually be wearing shoes at this stage. Install a low rack in your hallway or if this isn’t practical, allocate a space for them to leave them neatly when they are not wearing them. This will help to prevent any trips and falls over shoes being left lying round the house.
Storage for older children
- This is a stage where your little one will often start to participate in team sports such as soccer or netball. In order to prevent sport equipment being strewn around the house you need to allocate storage for it. Apart from the expense, this equipment can be bulky and tricky to store. Encourage your child to get into the habit from an early stage to take responsibility for putting their equipment away. You can purchase large clear plastic tubs very cheaply.
- Leave a small hand towel in the box and get them to wipe down their equipment when they place it in there. This will help to maintain it better. Make sure to wash the cloth on a regular basis though as it may get particularly dirty during the wet and rainy winter months.
- If your child attends day care or school they will have a bag that accompanies them. Create an allocated space for them to store it when they aren’t using it. The alternative is to pop a hook at their height on the back of their bedroom door and get them to put it there in the afternoons. That way they will be able to access it easily and quickly and make the morning rush a bit less stressful as well.
- When it comes to clothes and wardrobe items this is a good time to label their drawers and cupboards. Label spaces with words like ‘socks’ and if possible have an accompanying picture so that early readers can start associating words and pictures together. You can support your child by getting them to help put their own laundry away and learning from early on about storing their clothes properly.