Dear Storage Seeker:
My partner and I had our first baby in March, and we feel as if the walls are closing in on us! Besides being sleep deprived, we are utilizing every square inch of space. It’s as if the baby has taken over! Unfortunately, we live in San Francisco, and with the price of housing so high, moving is not an option for us. Any tips?
Thanks for writing in! First and foremost, congratulations are in order! A new baby is both exciting and life-changing – we couldn’t be happier for you! Secondly, take a deep breath. With more and more Americans opting to live small due to an increased cost of living, you and your partner are not alone in your struggle.
While we can’t help you get that little booger to sleep better (and have it on good authority that exhaustion is guaranteed to ensue for the next 7 years, at least), we CAN provide you with some tips and tricks to get your home organized.
Here are 5 simple storage solutions for your growing family:
1.) Don’t delay. Sort through clothing in real-time.
We recommend hanging up clothes in size order and clearly marking bins placed below. Babies grow FAST. As your child outgrows an item, immediately toss it into the corresponding bin in real-time. Bins can be stored within a local self-storage unit for future use if you plan on having more children, maximizing closet space for items you need on a daily basis. Best of all, storage facilities are located in almost every neighborhood, providing affordable monthly rates and deals for new renters. A far cheaper option than getting a new apartment!
2.) As your baby grows, keep activities fresh. Rotate toys, books, and games every two to three weeks.
When a child has too many toys to play with, they become overwhelmed, and in turn, decide they will not play with anything at all. Instead of having all of your toys, books, games, and activities out and available to play with at once, rotate them from your home to a self storage unit and back every 2-3 weeks. This will not only keep toys fresh for your little one, but it will help minimize the number of items being stored within your home.
3.) Determine the gear needed based on your child’s age and stage, storing larger items off-site until your baby is ready.
Most of your baby gear can be broken down and folded into smaller, more manageable pieces, then easily placed within self-storage for safe keeping. Before packing items away, it is important to clean and wrap pieces thoroughly, keeping screws, accessories and instructions attached so that you can reassemble everything when needed.
4.) Spend 10-15 minutes a day targeting a specific area of your home, donating, selling, and discarding items you no longer need or want.
Instead of tackling your entire apartment at once, pick one section – such as a closet, dresser, or high-traffic area, and spend a short period of time sorting through the items within it. If you no longer have a need for an item, donate it to a local non-profit, or even sell it to a second hand children’s store. And, if you have no use for an item and are certain no one else will, get rid of it and don’t look back!
5.) Baskets and bins are the perfect storage option for toys.
Baskets and bins allow you to toss toys away quickly, making it a breeze to clean up and have your child help (as they get older). Once toys are neatly put away, you and your partner will feel as if you have time to enjoy the space as adults, which is super important. Remember, you cannot provide that sweet baby with the best of care if you do not take the time to care for yourself as well.
As you move forward with your parenting journey, remember to squish every roll, savor every giggle, and have time for FUN. And, as a wise, unknown source once said, “Great parenting lies somewhere between ‘don’t do that!’ and ‘ah, what the hell!’
Wishing you all the best!