Popular posts: The Storage Dilemma

With space and budget always in short supply, it is every mom’s challenge to create a home where adults and kids can happily live, work, sleep and play together- with of course the dogs / gold fish / hamsters that accompany our young ones. Kids seem to have an incredible entourage that you only realize once you pack the car for the first time after having a baby. And while the sleeping and eating habits become much easier to handle as they get older, the entourage only seems to increase in complexity: soft toys, blankies and dummies become cars and blocks and scarily realistic dolls. The car seats get bigger, the cots make way for beds and the amount of stuff increase in both size and quantity. And bless the person who is responsible for losing one such treasured item – wars have been started for less. So in light of all these things that fill our lives and homes, here are some easy and very economic shelving solutions to help clear some of the clutter.

Recycling Revival: This has to be my all-time favourite find. The humble cardboard box gets a new lease on life with this wonderful installation. Be sure to use reinforced boxes (like the type they use to deliver apples to the supermarket) and simply clip together with u-clips. If the natural look does not appeal to you, you can easily paint or decoupage them. Or let the kids loose with brushes and crayons – you know they want to!

Crafty Crates: Crates have become a very popular storage solution in anything from boutique coffee shops to farmer’s markets. For a standard shelving unit, be sure to fasten them together with screws if the timber slats are thick enough, otherwise cable ties also does the trick. Otherwise, just screw-fix them directly to the wall. And if you’re not certain that they have been pre-treated for wood borer, be sure to dose them with an organic insecticide like CTX 108 (timberlife.co.za) otherwise you’ll have creepy crawlies eating away at your hard work.

And don’t stop just with shelving: add some wheels to one and you have storage and a go-cart!

An old wire shelf with some baskets in can have a wonderful effect in a child’s bed- or playroom.

Plastic crates are a very quick DIY solution and works in much the same way as the apple crates. And they don’t have to be boring – configuring them as an installation can be very exciting for the kids as well. They come in wonderful colours so let your imagination run wild.

I also found a few more images showing very clever ways to update an old piece of furniture – or create a new one altogether!

 Of course, simply having various boxes to keep their bits and bobs in already makes a huge difference. Plain boxes can easily get a a face-lift with some blackboard paint.

Something we all too often forget, is that most of our furniture actually has unused storage space underneath it. Your coffee table to house a couple of rattan baskets under it so that when your mother-in-law comes unexpectedly for tea, you can have the tornado in the living room cleaned up and the angels’ faces wiped clean before the doorbell rings. Same goes for beds, dressers and sofas. As long as you can comfortably get a basket in and out, you can keep things clean and tidy.

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