A Genius Storage Solution
This week I thought I’d talk storage. It seems for us that the beginning of the year is when we start thinking about what we want to do around the house, things we want to change and how we want to make our home work better for us. It's storage that seems to come up time and time again on our list and it's taken us a few years but we finally seem to be getting to the point where we feel like we almost have our storage solutions totally nailed!
Today I’m going to take you through my favourite DIY storage solution (oh yes, I actually have a favourite) the Coffee Beans toy storage. But if you don’t have children don’t stop reading, this is a storage solution that could work on so many different levels, home office, small bedroom, general living area and more so keep reading!
For us January is always another puzzle in the storage system because we have to figure out where to put all the new things we got for Christmas. We’ve all been there, a few days after Christmas you look at the pile of gifts and think ‘I better find a space for those.’ I find it doesn’t matter how big or small the pile is it seems to instill this feeling of ‘time for a clear out’. Christmas is placed amazingly well in the calendar considering it's followed so closely by spring cleaning time!
This year we looked at the pile of new toys (and the incredibly big boxes that tiny toys seem to come in) and we knew it was time for a sort out. The main issue for us this year was that the youngest is still only 3 and the eldest is 6 so they are very much starting to have some noticeable differences in wanting to play with different things. We had to be ruthless in the clear out and from experience we know that its also really hard to be ruthless clearing out toys whilst the children are still around! Thankfully our system also has a solution for this too!
Our storage consists of two units which many people will probably recognise as the good old IKEA Kallux. I think we may have come late to the party with this one, most of the people we spoke to said ‘Oh yes we have one of those’ and since buying it it's amazing how many times you’ll see one lurking in the background of house programs, like on Kirstie and Phil. We took the IKEA Kallux and created our own storage version because even still it wasn’t quite what we wanted. Thats the thing with storage it rarely fits your exact needs!
We needed storage where we could store small items and large boxes full of things like Duplo, dinosaurs and Lego. Large plastic storage boxes wouldn’t fit in the shelving spaces and we didn’t want to separate everything into multiple boxes. We also couldn’t put large boxes up high as they would be too heavy and therefore not accessible to the Coffee Beans so we came up with this solution.
We bought 2 Kallux units and fixed them in an inverted L shape. The thing with a Kallux is that it's designed to be used any way round you want you to use it. I can only assume a total genius designed this product and if IKEA ever stopped selling them I think it would be mourned and there would definitely be an instant Facebook campaign to bring them back!
IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING: IKEA doesn’t suggest this as a formation on their website and this is something that you chose to do at your own risk and with your own safety considerations and assessment. We take no responsibility for any safety aspects, it's up to you to ensure it’s stable and wont collapse.
We knew to make this work it would need lots of reinforcing so both units are actually screwed together at the back with flat metal joining plates. The top one is held up on the part that sticks out (this is very technical language here!) by 2 wall brackets to take the weight of the unit and the whole thing is then attached to the wall with metal ‘L’ shape joining plates. We are also careful that we only put light things in the boxes that are in the suspended part so that there’s not too much pressure on the unit.
We attached a normal bathroom towel rail to the underneath to give us hanging space for a storage hanger and dressing up clothes and then in the gap below we have our plastic storage boxes for bigger things and heavy things.
I’m also a fan of tupperwares for storage and we found some large boxes that fit perfectly into the shelving space and so these stack in them with smaller items in like K’nex and Bunchems.
Each of our Kallux boxes tends to have its own theme, we found this makes it easier for the boys to tidy up. We have one for vehicles, one for things that need batteries, one for music items and the other is for anything that doesn’t fit anywhere else. It’s like the Coffee Beans version of the kitchen ‘man drawer.’
In the higher up boxes we put things that we don’t want them to have total free rein of like paint and playdoh, it's a total relief to know that I won't walk in to 'freshly painted' walls and a playdoh decorated carpet! We try and rotate our toys around too to make sure that they are having some variety and so we use the top boxes to store toys they are not currently using. Best of all if there’s something we think they’ve probably grown out of then we put it up in the top boxes and if they don’t ask for it in the next couple of months it goes in the carboot box...if they don’t mention it they obviously don’t need it!
I love the fact that our configuration goes right up to the ceiling so we maximise on space and it keeps everything neatly tided away, which for me is a massive plus. Having everything in one place makes the room feel so much bigger and makes it work for us. With this system the Coffee Beans are able to access their things easily and this also means they tidy away. The truth is in fact that they do the majority of the tidying up and as you see it is how it generally looks on a daily basis. It's their space, they play with it, they own it, they can most certainly tidy it up too!!!
The Kallux is so versatile and although it's not always easy to find the extra pennies to purchase furniture I would say its been one of the best investments we've made. We needed something that was cheap, worked for us and would last and that’s exactly what we got. I also have Kallux units upstairs in our spare bedroom and in the little Coffee Beans bedroom too because I know I can rely on it!
If you’re looking for some storage solutions I’d highly recommend giving this a go. Like I said at the beginning this is our toy storage but I could see this same formation working in a variety of ways. In a small bedroom it would give storage and you could still have space for a dressing table or chest of drawers underneath it. Similarly you could do the same in a home office (or even the corner of a room as a home office) with a desk in the space underneath. It has so many possibilities it’s a real winner in the OMC house!
Please note I am not affiliated to IKEA this is just something we have found that works for us and that I wanted to share with you all.