Storage Solutions for Growing Families

Family and friends are on their way over to your home for a birthday party. Unfortunately, while you were focused on baking the cake and preparing refreshments, the kids decided it was the perfect time to make a fort in the living room, scattering toys, books and action figures everywhere. Just shove everything under the couch and into the closets, right?

That might work. But the path of least resistance usually isn’t the most attractive — or conducive to finding the things when you need them.

Instead, consider a minimal investment of time and money to create some long-term solutions for stowing away those books and toys, as well as clothing and seasonal decorations. A thoughtfully-designed closet, a little shelving and a few baskets can get parents well on their way to corralling all those little things that seem to accumulate with each blink.

Controlling Shoes, Clothing and Toys

Kids clothing and shoes seem to scatter immediately. But, if you make stowing away these everyday items convenient, you’ll be more likely to minimize the mess.

Typically, a mix of shelving and hanging rods can go a long way in organization. One homeowner on Pinterest showed off a fantastic nursery closet that features baskets on the bottom and top to store toys, shoes, clothing and other, less frequently used supplies up top in plastic containers. Notice that the homeowner also put a clothing basket right next to the closet for easy tossing.

As kids get older and want some autonomy, you can equip them with ample places to pile their toys out of sight — and away from foot traffic. Of course, that requires a little cooperation from junior, as well. This design, featured on Pinterest, shows how steps can be built to incorporate drawers for toys and a small closet or play space fits nicely below the bed.

Books for Babies and Kids

While adults may love the look of a traditional library filled with nicely organized books, the kiddos often want to see the covers instead of the bindings.

That’s why many nurseries now feature book shelving designed to lean the books up with the cover facing outward. That gives children a chance to be more active in choosing books and encourages them to read more by making literature an easily visible option in the room. Here’s a nice example of such shelving.

As kids get older and want a more mature look, a bookcase is appropriate. Take that a step beyond by painting shelves in colorful tones and consider letting your child pick out a few features, whether it’s a special arrangement of a series of books, paint colors or a few favorite stickers to personalize the appearance.