Our IKEA Kallax unit in the kids bedroom.

Storage ideas and tips for a family home

Picture the scene….there are toys piled everywhere, random pieces of plastic scattered across the carpet, pens and paper all over the worktop, and don’t get me started on the glitter. That is a daily sight in our house, although my Instagram barely scratches the surface on the reality of what my home actually looks like once two small children have ripped through it. Crayon on the wall anyone? Yep that’s me. However at the end of the day it’s all packed away, sanity is resumed and I can think straight, but they’ll always be an entire toy box of toys hiding under the sofa.

What all of this means is that I have become a lover of storage in the home from cupboards to boxes to baskets, all of which are well and truly used to hide away the clutter and all the things that come with family life.

Since doing our house renovation we have added a lot of in-built bespoke storage into our home including built-in cupboards and understairs storage, which all came with having more of a blank canvas to work from and it being part of the overall project. I’m really conscious when writing this blog post not to entirely focus on bespoke storage as although practical, I know that it comes at a price and that there are so many more budget friendly storage options that you can choose from. So I’m going to include a range of ideas as well as showing what others have done as well.

Bespoke cupboards in our kitchen designed to hide away all the toys and games.

We opted for bespoke storage cupboards in the kitchen and living room, purely to tie-in with the room and the space available. In the living room our cupboards and shelving fit snugly either side of the chimney breast and these house all the internet/TV boxes, wires and family stuff. Then in the kitchen I choose a long run of cupboards in the living area of our kitchen extension, and these contain all of the kids toys and games. Both are super useful, and I choose to have these floating off the floor, which adds a sense of space in the room and doesn’t hide the flooring.

The bespoke cupboards in our kitchen house the kids toys and games.

Bespoke cupboards and alcove shelving in the living room sit snugly either side of the chimney breast.

Our understairs storage cupboard and drawers were created by Clever Closet who produce a range of different combinations depending on the size of your understairs area. We are really impressed with ours and it allows us to have our own drawer each for our shoes, and then a tall cupbaords for coats. The best thing about this is that it houses all the stuff that gets disgarded in a hallway. More of a practical point here, the gas and electric meters, and fuse box are all accessible behind the drawers and within the cupboard space.

Our understairs storage is a Clever Closet system which fits perfectly in the space and great for all the shoes, bags and coats that you don't want on show in a hallway.

If you’re like me and have younger kids you may be overrun with arts and crafts materials, colouring books, paint sets and play-doh (and glitter) etc, and it’s a nightmare to keep tidy. I’ve created a dedicated cupboard in the kitchen for anything arts and crafts related. It doesn’t stop it from all being pulled out at once, but it does keep it all behind a closed door in one place. This has been a bit of a game changer for us, and I would recommend a dedicate space for all of this type of stuff, so that it doesn’t end up scattered in random places around the house.

Our arts and crafts dedicated cupboard in the kitchen.

In terms of free-standing storage one of my favourite places to buy from is IKEA, and you can’t beat a Kallax unit. They are so useful and a good size. We have one in the kids bedroom and another in my office. I love the range of sizes, colours and drawer boxes that can be added, plus you can also have the open shelves too, which is great if you’re wanting shelf space for vases or a plant pot. In the kids bedroom these house the duplo, the sylvanian families, the wooden train set and the plastic train set, and there is a box for each.

Our IKEA Kallax unit in the kids bedroom.

A tall Kalla unit in my office

Next up is baskets, and more baskets. You can never have too many of these. I have them for the kids soft toys, the random bits that I never know what to do with in the kitchen (we all have those things), and the loo rolls in all bathrooms. The best things about baskets is that they come in so many styles from canvas, to rattan belly baskets, to metal to plastic. The list is endless and IKEA is one of my favourite places for baskets, along with H & M Home. Baskets can be on display, or used in cupboards to keep all the toy cars and plastic animals together.

Baskets are great for soft toys

Another tip of mine is to keep puzzle pieces from each puzzle in a freezer bag. This keeps them all together instead of being spread over the cupboard, and it means that your child can see the pieces through the bag for that puzzle. I’ve also started using it as a way to get my children to tidy up after themselves too, small wins.

Keep puzzle pieces seperate from the puzzle board in a clear freezer bag

There are literally hundreds of storage solutions for the home and this probably only scratches the surface. I asked a couple of home interior accounts on Instagram to share some of their home storage tips too…..

@hepscottsreno recommends using hidden storage using pouffes and chests to hide toys away in. You can choose so many of these to add accessories and to dress a room.

@228renovate says to tidy away at the end of the day, and I have to agree with that. It makes starting the next day feel so much better instead of being faced with a pile of toys from the day before.

@thejessetthome has an odd box (like me) so all the random bits of toy bits can be placed in here, and then put into the right boxes when there is time. They also have a beautiful bathroom too!

@byvickysmith who blogs at More Than A Mummy has gorgeous open shelves in her children’s bedroom adding style to the room, and this also means that your children can select for books for themselves that they want to look at.

@organisedbycharlotte has so many storage ideas on her Insta account, I love all of her food storage tips that just make breakfast with the kids sound so much more appealing.

So those are just a few storage ideas for you. I would love to know how you have added family storage into your home.

Claire x


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