I was a bit astonished to get an email from The Sally of Tots 100 Fame asking if I would like to be an inaugural member of the newly-formed Tots 100 Home Club. Then I was astonished to discover that the super people at Homebase would give me £100 with which to perform some home-related wizardry. DH was a bit excited about that too, if I’m honest- I suspect he has even greater hopes for my efforts than Homebase.
Storage is always an issue, unless you are a minimalist-type (and perhaps even then….I always assumed that minimalism was just about being better at putting things away than the rest of us.) And I happen to live with a) a man who cannot abide ‘stuff’, especially if the aforementioned-stuff is out-of-place and b) two Girls who have lots of stuff and a reluctance to put it in the right place. Or rather a lack of designated space in which to put the stuff. So it seemed an obvious choice to focus on toy storage for this month’s challenge.
Thus I give you The Before Shot of their shared bedroom:
I have a Tots 100 Home pin-board on Pinterest where I’ve been pinning images to inspire me and perusing the Homebase website with monotonous regularity.
As it happens I do have plans for The Girls’ room. When Dimples resisted the transformed Cot-Bed in her nursery, we moved her into the Bunk Beds in LBG’s room. Surprisingly, she was more content there than on her own. The beds were separated out, which necessitated the removal of some furniture to the now-empty nursery. So there are now two beds, which form an L shape up against two of the walls, a large Ikea wardrobe, and a built-in bookcase, two large windows (and the door). With two children in one room, there is a lot more ‘stuff’ than there once was, less floor space and, I suspect, a soft-toy breeding programme under the bed. I definitely don’t remember buying all of those animals.
I also promised LBG, to smooth the transition into sharing a room, that I would redecorate. She has chosen a theme, and is patiently waiting for the change from blue to purple. Unfortunately we need to replace the windows, which is timetabled for the end of the year, and until that happens there is no point in redecorating as we will only have to do it all again after the windows and frames have been changed. In the meantime, the new theme is something to bear in mind with the Storage Challenge: anything added to the Girls’ Room will have to co-ordinate.
Thus my plan of attack, in theory at least, will be:
1. Declutter. There are too many soft toys, or things they no longer play with. There will undoubtedly be broken bits, damaged things and an unholy amount of teeny-tiny toys from front-of-magazines, Kinder Eggs and Happy Meals. All of these things should be sorted out.
2. Categorise. If I want The Girls to tidy things themselves, they need to know where they should go. Categorising will help with labelling, which will help them learn that everything has a plce.
3. Store. The main areas that need attention are
- under the beds- their bedlinen is tucked here but apart from that, it’s wasted space. Floor level is a great height for small children to access easily so I could store stuff under the bed.
- Bookcase- this holds a lot of books, which the children need access to, but extends beyond their height so I can only store so much on the shelves that they can get down independently when they want to.
- Other storage unit? This would be a solution to the issue of access.
So that’s it. If you have any suggestions or great storage ideas, do let me know. And if you happen to be in the Bromley area, feel free to lend a hand .