This week’s focus at 4 Moms, 35 Kids is Storage Solutions. What fun…in our house with so many various ages and needs at any given time, I am always seeking to maximize our home’s space.
The best storage solution is NOT to have more than you need so that you limit the NEED for storing. Now, with that said, we also must be wise and good stewards of we have…so the answer isn’t to give everything away either. For those of us still in child bearing years, keeping items we know we would use with subsequent children is a good idea…or regarding schooling, keeping items we know we will use with children up and coming in various grades is also a good idea.
How do we utilize storage tools? I have done a couple posts in the past about organizing which may provide you a better understanding of how our use of labeling and baskets, bins, and totes are great tools we use. Maybe, seeing how we improved our school closet or pantry will provide you a few more ideas on maximizing closet space to its fullest potential.
Our most recent project is remodeling one of the girls’ closets to accommodate a drawer system in order for “Little Bit” to have some dresser space. The local home improvement store carries this line of closet systems we have used in all our bedroom closets to fit our needs. Fairly economical and they have held up in all the rooms so far…so…
|Closet emptied and new unit being installed with 3 separate closet rods...|
In the bedrooms, I have combined the different closet systems with bins, baskets, hooks and storage boxes to help keep our things orderly. Labels are added on the containers to help everyone know where to put things. Hangers are color assigned to each person to help with putting laundry away and to keep closets looking uniform (see another picture at the bottom of this post).
All out of season clothing or clothing that is outgrown is stored in the large Rubbermaid totes in our attic. I also utilize these totes for storing seasonal decorations, toys that are brought down for rotation purposes, baby/infant items and homeschool portfolios (not kept in the attic). I use our Print Shop program to print picture/word labels for the fronts of the totes so they can be easily located when needed.
In the living areas, baskets are one of the methods to increase storage. Books are typically kept in them to allow easy access and easy clean up. Now, we have a lot of books, but for the little ones I like to keep most of their books in a basket. We all have books on bookshelves and night stands, as well. Homeschooling has a tendency to cause book collections to GROW. An ottoman doubles as storage for baby toys (see picture at the bottom of this post).
|Children's books are easily accessed for reading time and quickly put away using the basket storage method (surplus books are kept in the book cabinet or book cases).|
My husband (last year) added windows, vinyl flooring, shelving and paneling to our screen room to allow added living space that could be used daily no matter what the season/weather. I moved all the toys (after purging took place) to the now Florida room and put them in clear plastic bins, baskets and plastic dish pans with colored labels that include a picture of the contents and the content name. This has helped greatly to keep bedrooms clean and orderly, as well as keeping messes confined. Clean up is something even little ones
|Our well used and enjoyed Florida room...adjustable shelves mounted to the wall to hold all the toy bins and plastic baskets.|
|An example of the Print Shop label I made to help identify each bins' contents...this picture/word label works great for helping little ones with clean up time.|
Other baskets have been incorporated throughout the house for storing scrapbooking items on my floating shelves above my desk area or a hanging basket above my husband’s stand to hold charger cords for cell phones (see end of post).
|I love using these floating shelves to hold books, scrapbooking tools, and display some special keepsakes.|
Finally, not so long ago my husband added sliding wire racks inside our kitchen cabinets which I love (not an agape kind of love…just the practicality of them)! They have saved on bending and lifting of a lot of my HEAVY cookware…cast iron pieces and stoneware pieces (see another picture at the end of this post). Not only have they saved my wrists from lifting out of awkward places inside the cabinets BUT these sliding racks have allowed my cookware/bakeware to be better organized so that I can easily access all of them…which means they can be used….which means happy tummies. I’d say that’s a win win situation.
|Sliding wire racks mounted in our cabinets to make accessing heavy cast iron cookware easy!|
So in summary…my preferred storage tools are:
- Plastic bins and totes
- Shelving and drawer systems
Always seeking to maximize space with storage solutions for our ever growing family ~
|And another section with one single sliding wire rack and one double tiered sliding wire rack to hold stones and glass bakeware AND our KitchenAid...all quite HEAVY!|
|Hooks are another method to utilize wall space for storage...a hanging basket for phone chargers, keys and ceramic plaques to remind us of God's goodness.|
|Our ottomon serves as a storage area for baby toys...|
|Baskets to hold cloth diapers/burp cloths, travel crib bedding, etc.; girls are assigned "pink" hangers so all their hanging clothes are neat.|