New additions to the family don’t often arrive at the ‘perfect’ time… when parents are comfortably installed in their ‘dream’ home with plenty of space. As many parents know, there never is a ‘perfect time’ – you just try and deal as best you can with what you have!
For many young families – money is tight. With increased living costs and the economy the way it is, the reality is that many young couples just aren’t yet in a financial position to buy that new big ‘dream home’. They aspire for extra rooms and lots of open space – but sometimes, it just can’t happen right away.
Couples often come to me looking for ways that they can streamline all the clutter that comes with modern parenthood. There’s mountains of toys, special furniture, clothes, and all the extra things that littlies need – and having it all strewn around the house can create additional stress for parents of young kids.
When I work with these parents – the objective is to be inventive in how you stylise your rooms – and with a focus on the storage of your items. The good news is that this can be a great do-it-yourself job, which is always a huge relief to new parents!
But that dream of a home with plenty of space doesn’t need to only exist in the imagination of parents. It really is amazing how much you can transform a rather modest apartment, flat or home into a spacious environment with the use of clever storage tactics.
Here are some of my top tips for making the most of your space with DIY storage solutions:
Many of us have vintage trinkets and knickknacks that have been handed down to us by loved ones. These of course carry a sentimental value, but often take up a considerable amount of room… and do not serve a huge purpose.
And if you’re living in a tiny apartment where space is limited – parents often feel pressured to get rid of antiques and family air looms to make way for modern functional items. But you can actually repurpose these treasured items to your advantage!
Many people I know have a collection of antique mason jars or even apothecary jars. If you’re fortunate enough to have these jars and their lids in your possession, don’t throw them out! They can serve so many purposes apart from food storage! They can be used for all manner of baby’s needs – containers for booties, bibs, changing materials, etc. Jars can be tastefully placed upon hanging shelves or even little shadow boxes. These convenient cubbies can be cheaply bought or built by yourselves, and they can be hung anywhere in the house on any wall.
Walls – The Secret Space For Storing Things Big and Small
L-brackets are delightful at hanging an array of heavier items – I’ve seen many people use these to hang old bicycles or surfboards. For lighter items, hooks can be extremely handy. Personally, I love the look of baskets – like French market baskets hanging on walls. They’re great for keeping items off of the floor; in fact, they make great-looking laundry hampers.
Once you begin to utilize your walls, you’ll have gotten a taste for eliminating dead space! Picture ledges are amazing for this. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and are in no way obtrusive to the overall balance of the room. They’re wonderful for displaying books and other lightweight trinkets. These tiny shelves are also the perfect place to showcase your children’s artwork!
Traditional Travel Storage – Re-imagined
Instead of spending lots of money on fancy boxes from contemporary stores – you can use old suitcases for storage. From a design perspective, vintage pieces of luggage can look absolutely splendid! I’ve even people stack these suitcases together to form decorative pieces of furniture – coffee tables, footstools, all sorts of creative designs.
What’s great about these pieces is that they serve the dual purpose of storage and being a feature piece of room styling. These tasteful containers can include cane trunks, ottomans with hinge lids, and even chests. If you don’t have any of these items, they can easily be found thrift stores… go on, grab a bargain!
Essentially, the overall goal is to minimise the cluttered look by either redistributing your stowed-away belongings into aesthetically pleasing storage vessels – or by spending a small amount of money in doing so. This way, everyone can enjoy a little more walking room – and love that doing so won’t break the bank!
But don’t forget the creative inspiration!
Keep it creative,