As the holiday hype is put to rest and the long cold months of winter loom ahead, now is the ideal time to take advantage of the days spent indoors by giving your household storage system an overhaul to maximize space and accommodate the changing needs of your growing family. And if you’re considering a move in the near future, reorganizing your living quarters will improve your home’s appearance for potential purchasers. It will also give you the chance to streamline the moving process ahead of time.If your house is bursting with wonderful new gifts that your kids received over the holidays, consider donating previously loved and now unused toys in good condition to local women’s shelters, hospitals, community centers or charity organizations. Not only will your generosity brighten up the lives of many little children, it will also help to create more space in your home. Incorporate a “tidy” system for storing new toys by installing a large “toy library” in the play area. Use large baskets or containers with light lids that don’t snap shut automatically so that little fingers won’t be hurt when storing play items.
Next, begin organizing the rest of your home by rounding up the family to pitch in, assigning each member a specific area of the home, such as the bedroom or basement, and giving everyone a large garbage bag and two boxes labeled “Storage” and “Give Away”. Begin sorting and delegating items into the appropriate boxes. Be honest! Anything that hasn’t been used in years, such as clothing, appliances (like the juicer you never took out of the box), or unwanted knick-knacks should go in “Give Away” boxes. Donate clean, unbroken items to a local charity to give others in your community the opportunity to enjoy belongings your family no longer uses.
For “Storage” items, be sure to use stackable boxes with secure handles. If your family decides to move in the future, you will be one step ahead of the packing game thanks to your easy-to-carry boxes that will only need a strip of clear packing tape to secure the lids before transporting. Remember to label all boxes clearly, keeping items categorized and colour-coded so they are easy to find months later.
Once you have organized storage items, take advantage of a few simple tricks to further maximize living space and help keep rooms tidy, particularly in children’s bedrooms. For younger children, removing closet doors for easy access to storage containers marked with simple picture labels makes it easy for kids to clean up. If your children share a room, consider investing in bunk beds to free up more space for shelves, desks, and of course, toys.
As your kids get older, their bedrooms will need to grow with them to keep up with their changing personalities and lifestyles. Why not make room for a computer and work area by replacing a bed with a daybed? Other space-saving tips include using under-bed containers to store new clothes your fashion-conscious teenager acquires, adding corner shelves for schoolbooks or CDs, affixing wall hooks for everyday jackets and hats, and posting a bulletin board to corral photos, after-school schedules and homework schedules.
If after an extensive de-cluttering, you still find your home lacks sufficient space for your family’s requirements; perhaps it is time to reevaluate your housing needs and consider relocating to a larger home. Fortunately, you have already completed a thorough home reorganization, which can help add value to your home during the home selling process. However, if you decide to stay put, you have created a more efficient home with enhanced living space for your family to enjoy.
Nevin Van Nest . Realtor . Royal LePage Foothills
Your Calgary Real Estate Expert