4 Moms share the secrets of storage

edited to add Mr. Linky at the bottom, which I referred to in the post but forgot to add.

Well, maybe that was promising too much, but we’ll share what we know and then you can set us straight with your tips and methods because I know some of you are much better at this than I am.

For that matter, I’ll bet the other 3 Moms are much better at storage than I am.  Go see – but promise to come back!

Back already?  OK, then.  I’ll start with the obvious.

My first and best tip for storage: just don’t. By that I mean don’t keep anything you don’t need now or soon.  If in doubt, pitch it.  I try, but this is more easily said than done for me.  I want to second-guess myself before I get rid of clothes that don’t fit, a heat rock, or an unidentifiable piece of kitchen equipment.

How do I know I won’t need it next month or next year?  Maybe I’ll change my mind.  Maybe I’ll lose 15 lbs, get a pet iguana, or decide to try my hand at exotic new cookery.  Maybe not.  Somebody needs to tell me to quit being a packrat and ditch the goods.

My storage triumph: the kitchen.  Shelves are labelled, and it works. I won’t try to convince you that everything stays neat and perfectly organized, but it is much easier to keep them neat or to straighten them when they get into a mess.  Any child can put things away properly or restore order, and the small ones are thrilled to do it for a dollar or even just for fun.

We have labels for the canned goods:

…er…maybe I won’t show you that particular cabinet.  Moving on:

Labels for the pantry:

Labels for spices, etc:

And my latest triumph, labels for the glass/plastics cupboard!

That’s what is working for us.

Now I want to hear what’s really working for you because I know we’ve got room for improvement.  That may be the only place I’ve got room.   So where is your great idea helping you?  Closets?  Linens?  Toys?

Join the linky this week to share your storage triumphs, or any other post on the topic of storage.  Remember the 2 rules: link to a single post about storage, and link back to one of the 4 Moms in your post.

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Upcoming topics:

  • September 23: Questions for the Four Moms, in which we answer questions from our mailbag.
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  1. It’s funny, my kitchens and bathrooms are quite organized, and I’m definitely a minimalist *like your rule #one* but my basement? Gah, it’s full of stuff that’s soon to be yard saled. Mostly kid’s clothes and my husband’s junk. Can’t seem to come up with the energy and or time with a new baby to actually sell it. 🙂

  2. Well, the conversation seems to be over but here’s MY secrets for storing stuff, KIm: We have limited space so every thing has a spot. When the things that go there overflow then it is time for two things to happen: The child who has been assigned as overseer of that spot needs to straighten and we need to probably pass some of it on. Games are a good example. When the games overflow than they need straightening and the ones we never play need to be passed on.

    This system works for everything. It’s a fact of life that when the linens overflow their alloted space we probably have too many or they need straightening. Toys, clothes, books (this is really a difficult one: do we ever have too many? Especially with libraries getting rid of all the good ones and classics. It’s just time to make another shelf!).

    Every furniture piece must multitask. The dining table can’t just be beautiful. It must look and be beautiful and allow bread to be rolled out on it’s surface. The coffee table must hold coffee and also store other things. Painting things that line the walls the color of the walls helps it to “disappear”. Sometimes the house looks cluttered and a critical eye says, “No, it’s not cluttered but there is a lot of people in a small space”. Oh well! : )

  3. P.S. and by forever, I do mean an incredibly long time. I am 25 and still enjoy a good rousing afternoon of lego play!

  4. My Boaz’s Ruth, I don’t have children yet but I remember when I was a young child having a lot of toys that I only played with when they were new, and a lot of toys that I played with forever. Since you only have one child (it sounds like) it will be much easier to figure out which toys have staying power and which toys are only novelties. Throw out the novelties little by little when he doesn’t notice (because even if he rarely plays with them he’ll notice if a bunch of them go missing all at once, lol!)

  5. One of my best organizing tips is for kitchen storage of plastic containers that have lids. I was forever losing the lids or everything would fall out on the floor. Now I keep two large plastic (square) containers that hold the “bowls” (some are square) and two containers to hold the lids. These slide into the cupboard. Makes finding matching items easily as I pull out the containers/baskets to seek matching items. Nice and neat!
    I’m rather anal about organzing things, shoot, I even put boxes in boxes lol.

  6. No way… is that ALL the food in your house?

    • Kim,
      You didn’t see the inside of our refrigerator or freezer. We buy a lot of fresh produce so the fridge is nearly always packed to the gills.
      We bake nearly everything from scratch so we also have 6 gallon buckets to hold flour, sugar, brown sugar, rice, and wheat – those stay in the laundry room, just off the kitchen. I would like to add a bucket for oats since we use a lot of those. And our chickens keep us well supplied with eggs, which make up a fair portion of our diet as well.

  7. Don’t you just love when labeling shelves/bins helps keep things in their places…and the family follows the system. 🙂 It sure does make the initial time invested rewarding in the end.

    Nice kitchen cabinet organization – looks great!

    Blessings ~

  8. Labels. are. genius.

    Barring God’s grace, I swear they are the only reason we have survived this one – and I only have 4 children.

    I have e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. labeled – including the shelves in the fridge and freezer. I never hear “but I don’t know where it goes.” {{aaah bliss}}

  9. Love the labels. Great idea for little ones learning to put away dishes.

  10. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    Storage! Help!

    We finally have a house with enough storage… and sure enough, we are filling it up. I KNOW we have too much stuff. Just getting rid of stuff is HARD!

    How do I decide which toys to get rid of? Someone spent good money on those toys (often me!) And my son goes back and forth between toys. Maybe he’ll play with it again?


  1. […] I’ve been looking at some other excellent moms’ websites here, here, here, here, and here.  It’s fun to see how others organize their homes & to get some ideas for storage and […]

  2. […] forget  to check out what the other Mom’s have to share here and […]

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