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Tips for storing kids’ toys in self storage units

Choosing the right size storage unit is the first and perhaps most crucial step in storing your kids’ toys safely and efficiently. Think about Goldilocks—you don’t want a unit that’s too small and crammed, nor do you want one that’s too large and wastes space (and money!). A unit that’s just right will have enough room for all the toys you need to store, plus a bit of wiggle room for easy access and organisation. Many facilities offer a range of sizes, from small lockers to large units that can hold the contents of an entire room.

This is a collaborative post.

Helen Neale is providing advice on how to store children's toys in self-storage units.

To get an idea of what you’ll need, gather all the toys you plan to store and measure their collective dimensions. Or better yet, box them up temporarily and see how much space they occupy. Then, add a bit more space for future additions and ease of movement within the unit. Remember, the key here is to be both space-efficient and cost-effective.

Climate-controlled units are key

Ah, climate control—the unsung hero of long-term storage. You might think toys are tough cookies, but truth be told, they can be as sensitive as a temperamental houseplant. Whether it’s the cuddly teddy bears, delicate dolls, or electronic train sets, extreme temperatures and humidity can wreak havoc on them. Imagine opening your unit to find your child’s beloved art supplies all melted, or that cute wooden puzzle cracked and warped. Heartbreaking, right?

That’s why climate-controlled units, like those at StorAmerica Self Security Storage, are crucial. These units maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level, ensuring your toys remain in the same condition as the day you stored them. You won’t have to worry about materials degrading, colors fading, or electronics malfunctioning. It’s like giving your toys a comfortable, year-round home away from home. 

Investing in a climate-controlled unit is like wrapping your precious keepsakes in a protective bubble of care. It may cost a little more, but the peace of mind it brings is absolutely priceless. So, for the sake of your kids’ giggles and smiles, climate control is non-negotiable.

A blue circle with the words "HEAT SET TO 63" prominently on the KiddyCharts website.

Use clear storage bins

Alright, let’s talk bins. Not just any bins, but clear storage bins. Using clear storage bins is like having a superpower—x-ray vision into your storage unit’s contents. No more guesswork or having to open each box to find that one specific toy your child absolutely needs right now. Everything is visible, easily accessible, and the whole process is, well, clear as day!

Here’s why clear storage bins are the bee’s knees:

  • Visibility: You can see what’s inside without opening them.
  • Durability: They’re usually made of strong, long-lasting plastic.
  • Stackability: Their uniform sizes make them perfect for stacking.
  • Weather Resistance: Most are designed to withstand changes in temperature.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: Clear bins allow for a visually organized space.

According to Consumer Reports, using transparent containers is one of the best ways to keep items safe and accessible in storage units. So, if you’re taking their advice to heart as much as I do, you know clear bins are a win-win.

And let’s face it, if you’re going through the trouble to safely and neatly store your children’s toys, you might as well make your life easier in the process. Investing in clear bins is like giving yourself the gift of sanity. With these transparent lifesavers, you can look forward to a clutter-free home and a more organized storage unit. Ah, the beauty of simplicity!

A teddy bear and a stuffed toy sit atop a shelf of books and other items in a cozy room filled with furniture and shelving.

Label and inventory items

Oh, the joy of labeling! It’s like your high school chemistry class all over again, but without the stress of exams. Trust me, your future self will thank you for this step. Labeling boxes or bins may seem like an extra chore, but when you’re on the hunt for that one specific toy, you’ll be high-fiving yourself for the forethought.

When it comes to labeling, you can go as simple or as detailed as you like. Maybe you’ll jot down “Building Blocks” on a sticky note, or perhaps you’ll go all out with a color-coded system. Whatever tickles your fancy! But, let’s not stop at labels. Creating a quick inventory list on your phone can be a lifesaver. Just a simple list that says what’s in each box. That way, when your kiddo decides they absolutely must play with their old superhero action figures, you’ll know exactly where to look.

The double whammy of labelling and keeping an inventory is like having a GPS for your storage unit. So go ahead, take those extra minutes to label and make that list. It’s not just adulting; it’s levelling up in the game of organised living.

A LEGO figure is assisting a child in navigating the Kiddypd Kiddy& Charts website.

Maximise space with shelves

Have you ever played Tetris? Well, organizing a storage unit is a lot like playing a real-life game of Tetris, only this time you’re not racing against a falling block timer. One secret weapon to winning this game is—drum roll, please—shelves! Adding shelves can transform your storage unit from a jumbled mess into an organized haven.

Here’s how you can organize shelves in your storage unit for maximum efficiency:

  1. Sort by Size: Put heavier and larger items on the bottom shelf, lighter ones up top.
  2. Frequency of Use: Place items you’ll use often on the middle shelves for easy access.
  3. Type of Toy: Designate different shelves for different categories like stuffed animals, board games, and crafting supplies.

According to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, utilizing vertical space effectively can significantly increase your storage capacity. I couldn’t agree more. So, when you’re aiming to put as many toys in as organized a manner as possible, don’t just think horizontally, think vertically! Shelves are your ticket to turning that storage unit into a well-oiled machine of toy-keeping greatness. A well-shelved storage unit isn’t just practical; it’s downright satisfying.

The yellow toy car moves.

Prioritise accessibility

Now that you’ve chosen your unit, filled it with climate-loving care, stacked bins to the ceiling, and labeled everything within an inch of its life, let’s talk about how to arrange these items for easy access. Prioritizing accessibility is like planning a good party; you want the essentials within arm’s reach.

Start by putting toys that will be in rotation soon near the front. You know, the ones your kids will ask for as soon as the weather changes or when they suddenly get into a new activity. For example, if your child has recently discovered the joys of creating art for kids, make sure their art supplies are at the front. So when inspiration strikes, you won’t have to rummage through boxes looking for paints and brushes.

The situation is the same with seasonal items. During the summer, keep winter toys closer to the back wall. This may seem like common sense, but in the heat of moving, you forget about these things. With a little smart planning, your pantry can become an extension of your home, easy to use and ready for your family’s new adventures.

A young child is happily pointing to the colorful pictures on the indoor kiddy charts.

Wrapping it up

That’s it, friends, the ABCs of storing children’s toys. It may seem like a lot, but, every effort to put things in order now will pay off tenfold later. Not only will your home become less cluttered, but your pantry will also become clutter free. The goal is to create a functional space for toys that make your kids’ eyes light up. Happy storage!

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This image provides tips for organizing and storing children's toys in a home with limited space.

Note: The image with the clear storage shelving and bear is generated with AI.

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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