The Shelving Store Blog
The humble sweater: whether for fashion, business wear, comfort, or just plain warmth, the sweater is one of the most versatile garments around today.
This, of course, probably means you own more than a few and need somewhere to store them, especially this time of year when spring is trying its hardest to creep around the corner. Sweaters stand out among cold-weather clothes simply by being a little harder to put away than normal items—too bulky for many drawers and too heavy to hang up, they can turn into a pain before you know it.
When it comes time to put your sweaters away, avoid that yearly ritual of folding, stacking, and cramming sweaters into your already-overtaxed drawers with a few of our helpful Sweater Storage Strategies:
Tips for Drawers:
- Try rolling sweaters instead of folding them: fold the arms to the back, roll up from the bottom edge to the collar, and place the rolled edge up in the drawer (lined up single file) so you can tell each sweater apart. (Be careful not to let V-neck collars get snagged on anything!)
- Sort your rolled sweaters by whatever system works best for you: type, color, style, even when you wear them (winter sweaters vs lighter stuff) to keep them easier to access when the cold weather comes back around—or for those freak days we have every May where it drops back down to 50° again.
Tips for Closets
- One thing to avoid when storing sweaters in the closet is using hangers; these can lead to a horrible condition many experts refer to as “hanger burn” that leads to wrinkles, puckers, creases, and worst of all ruined collars. Don’t fall for hangers that try to claim they’re designed for knits.
- Instead, we suggest using a flatter storage system to avoid running the risk of damage. Take some sweater storage bins or garment bags and line the floor of your closet with them to provide an easy, flat storage solution for sweaters (that can be used to store other knicknacks when sweaters come back into season)
- Not enough space on the floor? Get some closet shelves lined against the back or side walls of your closet. This provides flat space to safely lay all of your sweaters where they can be easily accessed whenever needed.
Tips for Everywhere Else
- Already out of closet space? (We get it.) As long as your home is temperature controlled and pest-free, anywhere can be converted into a space for sweaters. Set some rust-proof wire shelves up in the attic to keep them nicely out of the way, or down in the basement so long as it doesn’t get too musty. (Some of those moisture traps would be perfect here.)
- Space under the stairs? Perfect place for some storage bins. Drawers in the stairs? Even better, just remember what we told you earlier about arranging them in that area.
Got any other out-of-the-ordinary tips for sweater storage? Drop a comment below!
The, er, younger among you reading this might be surprised to learn it, but people do still read magazines sometimes.
You remember magazines, right? Bigger and more colorful than a newspaper, shorter than a book, usually with some movie star or U.S. senator on the cover. See, back in our day we used to stash all of them in magazine racks throughout the living room. This kept them up and out of the way until they got old, piling up in the closet until we got rid of them at a garage sale.
And while there are some magazines still out there, they’re not as popular as they used to be, and that means you might have some extra magazine racks or holders around the house that aren’t being used. Don’t throw them out just yet though! There’s plenty of ways to repurpose magazine racks around the house that can help you get more organized than ever—all you need is a little time and imagination. Here’s a few of our favorites:
Pantry organization: Depending on their shape, extra magazine racks can easily serve as pantry organizers for items like canned goods and pasta boxes. Line up all your canned vegetables and chili ingredients in your magazine rack and never worry about something rolling out of the pantry again!
Long box storage: Think about all the kitchen items in those long boxes that are impossible to store—aluminum foil, Saran Wrap, and so on. Magazine racks are a great way to stack those up and keep them easy to reach while keeping them out of the way of the rest of your kitchen supplies. Set one up on your counter or in a cluttered cabinet and take some of the stress out of putting your leftovers away.
Craft room organization: If you’re the crafty type, magazine racks are often the perfect size and shape to store excess fabric. Fold it all nice and neat (on cardboard or plastic spacers if you can) and tuck them into each slot of your magazine rack until your craft space is suddenly a lot easier to use.
Hand towels: There are few things worse than washing your hands in the bathroom or kitchen and suddenly having no idea where the towel is, leaving you flailing about with wet hands. Magazine racks can hold folded, backup towels under the sink, near the toilet, or wherever else you have the space to stash them in case of a dry-hands emergency.
Dish racks: Speaking of drying things off, magazine racks are typically a good shape and size to hang onto dishes right after washing. Line them up and let them air-dry, or use them to display your favorite plates until the perfect occasion comes along!
Got any other tips for your old magazine racks? Leave a comment below!
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!
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:
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 them—but 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!
Some of you parents may have recently had A Talk with their kids about either their grades, their messy rooms, or both, and are probably experiencing a little anxiety at the very idea of combining them.
But before you start reaching for that parenting handbook, hear us out! There’s actually a lot of evidence that links a nice, clean, decluttered space to better performance in school (and a better quality of life overall), and it may be just the thing your kids need to better focus on their studies.
A recent study by Princeton University has shown that having too much visual stimulation (from clutter, a TV on in the background, etc) can cause all the different sources of stimulation to ‘compete’ for space in the brain, and make it much harder to concentrate on things.
Makes sense, right? How many times have you been trying to work at your desk or get something done at home and gotten distracted by some little knick knack on your desk, or noticed a pile of magazines on the table you’ve been meaning to throw out? It stands to reason that if you’re affected by this issue your kids may be too, and it can start to affect their ability to get studying done at home.
Have you noticed your kids beginning to have difficulty getting their homework done, or getting a lot of wrong answers on the assignments they finish? A cluttered room could very well be a contributing factor. And luckily, the solution isn’t as difficult as you may think!
The next time your kid sits down to do homework, take a look at the space they use. Are they at the kitchen table where they’re surrounded by distractions and clutter? Do they have a desk of their own, trapped behind the usual mess of child’s room? Take a look and see if there’s anything you can do to help clean up the mess and provide more focus.
If they do their work at the kitchen table, get some kitchen organizers to reduce some of the clutter on the table and help them focus on the task at hand. Bedroom cleaning will probably be a bigger adventure, but it’s nothing you can’t handle with some extra shelves and some plastic bins for all the toys.
Make sure to focus on the area they do their studying—if they do have their own desk, make sure they don’t keep any toys or any other potential distractions on it. Get some desk organizers so they always have things like paper and pencil right where they need it, and don’t let them keep the TV or the computer on while they’re working unless they absolutely have to—and even then, keep a close eye on what they’re doing so their eye doesn’t wander towards cartoons or Minecraft.
A clean room and quiet study space should help your kids stay productive (and might even help them sleep better), building good study habits for the future. You might not be able to make sure they keep their rooms clean in college, but you can help them get there!