Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Time Tidbits: Inspired Storage Tips For Busy Parents (Guest Post)

If keeping a tidy home feels like an impossible dream, take heart. There are ways and means to get, and stay, organised, and having put the foundations in place it’s easy enough to keep up the good work. Transform your home from disaster area to dream location with these simple storage tips.

Make Friends with Storage Furniture

Nothing makes a living area look cluttered faster than having bundles of charging cables and piles of remote controllers littering every surface. Add laptops, mobile phones, and tablets into the mix and you can end up hard-pressed for somewhere to sit. Storage furniture comes in many shapes and sizes, from side tables with built-in drawers to lift top coffee tables where you can also store magazines and TV guides.

In bedrooms, choose bedside cabinets over tables so you have some shelving or cupboard space for your smalls or night-time necessaries. Very often the space in wardrobes is wasted, for instance at the bottom. It’s a simple matter to install shelves, pop in a shoe rack, or even one of those inexpensive, plastic sets of stacking drawers. Ottoman style beds are another idea, providing plenty of storage beneath the lift up mattress for duvets or other linens.

Take Control in Kid’s Rooms

Children’s bedrooms easily turn into prime danger zones. In small rooms, multifunction furniture is a good idea especially captain style beds that have the sleeping area up top with a work or play area beneath.

Open shelving, built at child height, is another simple but inspired idea to help kids take control of their own areas. Housing collections of small objects in transparent plastic tubs keeps everything visible and easily accessible. These are especially useful for arts and crafts materials as kids are likely to be more creative when they can immediately get on with a project without having to hunt for the equipment they need.

Another inspired idea to help maximise storage at home is the notion of toy rotation. Every parent knows how quickly kids get tired of their toys, and large, expensive items can end up taking up space but not being played with. Introducing an element of rarity can work wonders to bring the magic back into familiar toys, and you do it by temporarily removing the item. A self storage unit or locker is the ideal location, as these are readily available in most towns and cities and relatively inexpensive when compared to constantly buying new toys. The strategy won’t work forever, of course, as toys are eventually outgrown. But you will get extra mileage from your investment and create more space at home at the same time.

Creating Space in the Kitchen

The kitchen is the hub of the modern home and as such, there never seems to be enough storage. Kitchens, though, are filled with hidden storage ideas. Remove kickboards beneath cabinets, install hinged flaps in their place and you have ready-made storage areas. Extend wall cabinets up towards the ceiling to create additional storage for little used items, or install open shelves in the same space to create display areas. 

Open shelving is actually an unsung storage hero as it’s infinitely customisable and can be fitted in just about any nook or cranny, including awkward under-stair spaces, up in the loft or out in the garage.

Personalising Your Space

Everyone has preferences, with some people liking shelves, others preferring the cupboard to hide things away in, and some wanting colour coordinated boxes that are pretty and practical at the same time. The best tip is not to be too hung up on an idea, but to mix and match so that the storage suits the room. For instance, transparent plastic boxes might look messy in a living room but be perfect for hobby equipment storage, such as small tools, colouring pencils and pens, or reels of cotton and ribbon.

 At the same time, sometimes you don’t have enough room at home to adequately store everything you want to keep. The rotation idea works for other possessions as well as toys. For instance, you don’t use gardening equipment during winter, so why not keep it clean, dry, and rust-free in self storage, along with the kids climbing frames and paddling pools? Or maybe you have inherited furniture you can’t bear to part with but don’t have room for at home. Instead of making that heart breaking decision to sell things on, you can safely stow them in self storage until you’re ready to make a decision about where you want them.

Keeping a tidy home needn’t feel like an ongoing marathon. You just need to organise your possessions with inspired storage that suits your personal lifestyle.

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