Living with kids, you can sometimes (often?) feel as though you’ve given house room to a whirlwind. Toddlers may be small, but they have a never-ending talent for creating havoc throughout the house. Getting, and staying, organised, takes some determination, but isn’t as hard as you might imagine. Here are some top tips:
Banish the Dumping Grounds
We all have them. It might be the kitchen table where keys and bags get dumped when you come in, or it could be a table or shelf in the hallway where you throw the post each morning, junk mail and all.
A favourite dumping ground is the space under the stairs, where all manner of clutter that doesn’t have a proper home is stowed ‘just for now’.
Little things can make a huge difference:
• Use a key rack or hooks instead of throwing keys down on the nearest surface.
• Invest in a letter rack, so at least unread mail is all in one place.
• Install some shelves in awkward spaces like under the stairs so you can deposit items neatly and find them quickly.
• Install shoe racks in wardrobes so your bedroom floor isn’t an obstacle course.
Preventing small areas of clutter from building into massive jumbles can inspire you to make bigger changes.
Hidden Storage Areas
Furniture with built-in storage is a godsend in bedrooms and living rooms. Living rooms especially are prone to becoming bombsites without somewhere to hide away all the bits and bobs we collect. TV remotes, game controllers, chargers, and cables are just a few examples.
Storage furniture is great for kids’ rooms. Beds with storage (choose divans, ottoman beds or captain and cabin beds) are brilliant for hiding toys and games, sports equipment or anything that’s wanted but not in regular demand. Raised beds with desk or wardrobe space underneath are also excellent in smaller rooms where you want to persevere some floor space for play areas.
One way of extending your living area without either building an extension or getting rid of possessions is to explore self storage options. A small storage room doesn’t cost much and terms are short (mostly weekly), but you can use it for all kinds of things such as:
• Out of season clothes
• DIY equipment such as ladders, workbenches, pasting tables etc. that are expensive to replace but only occasionally needed.
• Larger items of furniture you only use occasionally, such as big dining tables or spare beds.
• In winter, store garden machines like the lawn mower instead of leaving them in damp sheds.
• Heirlooms that are not to your taste but have sentimental value.
• Big play items like Wendy houses, paddling pools, or climbing frames. Put these away for a few months and kids get excited to see them again.
There are all kinds of uses for self storage rooms, and if you just want to keep a few things safe, such as household documents or jewellery collections, some places also have lockers.
And finally, if you can, try to get the whole family involved, putting things in their new storage homes straight away instead of leaving them lying around. Tall order, maybe, but a bit of teamwork works wonders.
Disclosure: Collaborative post