How to Store and Organize to Keep Your House Clean - dummies

How to Store and Organize to Keep Your House Clean

By Gill Chilton

A key aspect of keeping a clean home is learning how to store well. It doesn’t take long before the average child has more personal possessions than the parents. We’re talking a mini mountain of plastic, soft fabric, and paper. And, unless you provide sufficient shelving and boxing, the floor is the only home these toys have.

Fortunately, effective storage doesn’t have to be expensive. Here’s what you need.

  • A basic shelving system: Untreated wood is cheapest, but metal is stronger. It makes sense to go from floor to ceiling (whilst they are small, there’s the bonus that you can store stuff out of reach). You can find simple, self-assembly units at DIY (hardware) stores.

    For safety’s sake, always screw shelving units to the wall. Drill through the shelving near the top and near the bottom on each side and fix with extra-long screws. You don’t want a shelf filled with toys to topple onto your child.

  • Boxes and crates to stand on the shelves: Look for rigid-plastic boxes with detachable lids. Big may seem best, given the colossal toy volume. But if you want to encourage your child to put toys away, buy small boxes, so that your child can lift them up onto the shelves.

    If you’re on a budget, shoeboxes make for great storage. Check with a local shoe store; the staff are likely to be delighted when you ask for spare boxes as it saves them the bother of dismantling them.

  • Hooks: Use these to hold onto painting aprons, playtime shopping bags, sports racquets, and dress-up clothes and hats. With very young children, instead of traditional metal hooks, choose rounded wooden pegs.

  • Large plastic storage bucket with rope handles: There are always occasions when you need to do an emergency tidy-up – unexpected visitors, for example. Choose a container large enough to handle everything that may be on the floor. You can toss everything into this temporary container without spending an age putting plastic blocks into their box or tidying track into the railway crate, and so on.

  • A lidded desk or a table with built-in drawers: Built-in storage provides a natural place to store pencils and crayons as well as paper and other art supplies.