We’re into the second week of September and the kids have been back in school a little over a week. If you’ve got younger children, the new uniform, if they wear one, was bought and a little bit of space found in the wardrobe to house it. That’s all there was to it!
Having said that, you’ve probably still got all their summer clothes and toys to rehome. Chances are they seem to have more things now than they did at the start of summer – it doesn’t all fit back into where it came from! You need to give the storage some serious thought.
If you’ve got older children who are heading off to senior school, the challenges of storage space are a little harder. It’s not just uniform to find a space for in the wardrobe. There’s sports kit (and that includes boots, shin pads and more), text books, files and folders. Maybe even new additions of the musical variety. Suddenly, your child’s room seems way too small!
Here are some storage tips that may help.
Be brutal about what goes back into the wardrobe after summer
Are the clothes really likely to fit next summer? If not, hand them down, sell them or donate them to a charity shop. It may seem obvious when you see it written down, but many people don’t give it a second thought when putting away the summer clothes. They wash, fold and put away for next summer without thinking about whether it will fit.
Have a place for everything
Whether its jewellery, CDs, books or clothes, have a place for it. Use boxes, baskets and shelves. If it doesn’t have a place, chances are it’ll end up on the floor of a cupboard or in a pile in the corner of the room. Get your child to help you decide the best place for keeping things that is practical for them. There are some great ideas in this article.
Make it organised and accessible
Once you’ve decided on a place for everything make sure it’s organised and accessible. School books and files will need to be accessed everyday whereas additional throws and blankets may only come out from time to time.
Make it multi functional
If possible, use multi functional furniture. Beds with built in drawers and bedside cabinets with storage are great for keeping things out of sight but close at hand. Shelves or cupboards with hanging rails or hooks underneath work well too.
Utilise every bit of space
If you’ve got space under the bed, use plastic tubs or baskets to store things. If you use the ones with small wheels, it makes it easier to get them in and out. Space above and below windows and doors makes for some useful display areas. In addition, consider going higher than one or 2 shelves. I did think about saying go to ceiling level but there may be some issues in getting things up and down. If you do decide to go higher, make sure any shelves or cabinets are properly secured.
Make sure you involve your children in organising their rooms. If they’re involved in the decisions and end result, it’s more likely they’ll put things back where they came from, rather than them ending up all over the house.
If you’ve re-organised, decluttered and got rid of everything you don’t want, but still don’t have space in their room for everything, it may be time for more drastic action. Can you go through the same process in other rooms to free up some space there? If there’s no way you can make space anywhere else in the house then you have some serious thinking to do about the options available. Extend, buy a new shed, move house or move the more seasonal items in and out of self storage as and when needed. There’s an option to suit all budgets – you just need to work out which one is for you.
If you’ve got any innovative ideas for making use of every bit of space in a room, we’d love to hear them.