From The Blog

  • Using Shower Caddies Around The House

    When you hear the term “shower caddy,” you rightly assume it needs to go in the bathroom somewhere, right? I mean, it’s got “shower” right there in the name.

    And you would be right! Shower caddies are an awesome way to keep your shower supplies organized and close at hand, but they’re good for a lot more than that. If you have a shower caddy in your house you’re not currently using and want a better use for it than just “taking up space in the cabinet below the sink,” here’s a few of the more clever ideas we’ve seen to repurpose shower caddies for extra storage around the house:


    Produce hanger: Any shower caddy with baskets can become an easy and convenient way to store produce in the kitchen to make sure it doesn’t touch anything else and stays safely at room temperature. Keep your favorite fruits and vegetables away from prying eyes (and paws) while keeping them safe from bruising or collisions with the floor by hanging a shower caddy on some free wall space in your kitchen and stacking your fresh produce inside.


    Cabinet organizer: Similarly, any hanging shower caddy can become an easy substitute for over the door storage if you have the space. Take your unused shower caddies (cutting down the arms as needed, since you probably don’t need as much space in your cabinet as you would in a shower) and use them to hang onto extra canned goods, sugar, flour, or anything else that takes up space.


    Hat & glove storage: By taking a few hanging shower caddies and hanging them up in a space everyone will see them, like right by the front door, you can give everyone their own personalized storage space for hats and gloves. It’ll cut down on the amount of stray gloves around the house and might just get you out the door faster in the morning!


    Mail organizers: While we’re hanging shower caddies up in the front room, why not set an extra one aside for excess junk mail? Keep one near the door for bills, coupons, mailers, and everything else you know you don’t need but don’t want to sift through right then, and empty it out as often as needed.


    Hanging gardens: It might sound laughable at first, but most hanging shower caddies provide a great, open place to hang small plants and potted herbs. They let sunlight in, promote drainage of excess water, and keep them safely contained without fear of getting knocked over (not like you’ve ever accidentally tipped over a potted plant, right?) You’ll just have to make sure the cats don’t chew on this the same way you did your last herb garden.


    Laundry organization: Shower caddies are already the perfect place to keep soaps, so why not use them in other rooms where soap is kept? Most shower caddies are a good size to keep detergent, bleach, fabric softener, and other needed laundry supplies close at hand—and you can hang it right on your drying rack to make sure it’s always at arm’s reach!


    Got any other fun suggestions for using shower caddies? Leave a comment below, and keep checking The Shelving Store for more home organization tips!

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  • Teaching Your Kids Responsibility Through Household Chores

    As your kids start getting older and they’re more able to take care of themselves, you might start wondering how to teach them a little responsibility around the house.

    Nothing huge, of course, but even getting your kids to take care of their own toys or clean up around the house is a great way to start teaching them responsibility early on in life and help instill a sense of pride in their surroundings. Of course, as you’re probably well aware, getting your kids to do anything new can be something of a challenge, let alone something as lackluster as picking up their toys. We’ve found a few ways to help get your kids more interested in picking up after themselves while helping reduce your overall workload, even by a little bit, and we think they’ll help your kids stay focused on the job ahead:


    Start small

    Most kids don’t handle change well, especially when it’s time for them to do something they’re not particularly excited about doing—like cleaning up after themselves. To avoid overwhelming them, bring them into the world of household chores slowly, and with easy stuff at first so they get used to it. One day, ask them to pick up their room when they’re done playing. Once doing that for a few weeks, see if they want to help tidy the living room too. Introduce these tasks slowly over time so they don’t get overwhelmed and will be more interested helping in the long run.


    Let them choose what they do

    In a lot of cases, kids will feel more productive and be more willing to help if they think they have some say in what they’re doing. Does your kid hate getting their hands wet? Stick with having them pick up their toys and helping take out the trash. Is your child sensitive to a lot of sensory input, like bright lights or loud noises? Avoid teaching them how to vacuum and instead have them learn how to help sort and fold laundry. It might be a lot of trial-and-error at first, but learning what chores work best for your little ones will help everyone stay happier and more productive.


    Provide their own tools for cleaning

    Particularly in kids’ bedrooms, giving them supplies of their own, particularly kid-friendly versions, will help them feel like they have their own little ways to get organized. For toys, give them some small plastic storage bins to help them sort out their favorites—action figures in one, plush animals in another, etc. Depending on the age of the child, you may be able to give them their own bedroom dresser for holding clothes or even their own bedroom furniture to help them decorate their own bedroom. This may instill a bit more pride in keeping their books, clothes, and video games organized and put away. Even something like their own personal laundry hamper or a tiny trash can will give them a sense of ownership, and for a lot of kids that’s exactly what it takes.


    Make it feel like a partnership

    The one thing that will deter kids faster than most others is for them to feel like they’re all on their own. There’s a careful balance that needs to be struck here—you can’t do too much of it for them, but you also don’t want them to feel like they’re suddenly getting piled on. For bigger projects (like a whole room cleaning), make sure you’re always there helping them get things done and providing guidance where needed. For smaller projects, like the nightly toy pick-up, you don’t necessarily need to be in there helping out, but if they know you’re working on another cleaning project at the same time, it will keep them motivated and ready to finish their own chores. Don’t ever let them feel like they’re on their own, as it will easily discourage them and set your efforts back.


    Remember to reward thembut keep it subtle

    Too many parents fall into the trap of offering allowance money in exchange for chores, and while that works as your kids get older (and may get them ready to find a job in the long-term) if you try it too early on it may begin to affect your child’s motivation, and prevent them from doing anything unless they’re getting paid for it (which is a problem they’ll have plenty of time for later in life). Instead, try to find ways to reward them. Tell your kids that if they get X amount of room cleaning done by a certain time in the day, they can go out for bike rides later, or finally get to see that movie they’ve been clamoring for. You need to find limits to when and where you deploy this strategy, but you might find that over time your kids are willing to start helping without being asked due to the positive associations they’ve formed.


    Got any other tips for getting your kids to be more responsible around the house? Leave a comment below!

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