Storage ideas for baby items you’ll need in the future
Babies and children tend to bring with them a vast amount of additional clutter that can soon swamp your home.
Some items become too sentimentally valuable to get rid of whilst others may be useful down the line for future children.
You may wish to store clothes, toys, baby equipment such as your pram, travel system, high chair and nursery furniture, especially if you are currently trying to make the most of space in a small home before carrying out plans to move to somewhere bigger or adding to your family.
Taking a little time over planning what to store and how to store it will ensure you can find it when you need it and that it remains in great condition.
Decluttering, sorting and storing items that aren’t in active use will help you feel less overwhelmed by things. It can also help you see and use what you have better, especially in the case of clothes where you’ll no longer have items that are too small clogging up the wardrobe.
How to store baby clothes
Before planning baby clothes storage it’s worth having a thorough sort out to decide what you’re realistically likely to use again.
There are likely to be one or two things you want to keep as mementoes but try not to hold on to everything. Choose a few favourite and meaningful items and set those aside to be packed in a separate memory box.
For the rest, discard anything that is soiled or stained. Anything that is damaged should either be mended or discarded too. It’s unlikely you’ll mend clothing at the point of getting it out of storage so do it now or accept you probably never will and get rid of it.
Then decide how much of what remains you really want to hold on to. If you’re not keen on an item, however much wear it has left in it or if you have numerous of similar things, it’s probably worth considering selling or donating them.
Once you have a pared-down pile of clothing that you want to keep for reuse, here’s how to store it effectively:
- Wash everything and ensure it is thoroughly dry before storing
- Sort and separate baby clothes into sizes
- See through plastic tubs are a great option to allow you to stack and store clothes
- Label boxes with detail of what’s inside – at least including the age range, but perhaps also extra description such as ‘pretty dresses.’ You will not remember what’s in there at a later date!
- Precious items can be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper to help protect them further
Nursery furniture storage
Being bulky and cumbersome, furniture can be tough to store unless you have a dedicated storage area.
Take time to ensure your storage area, such as a garage or shed, is watertight and free of damp – this can be tough to achieve.
You may also consider paying for more suitable storage. This is perhaps an especially practical option if your child has outgrown the nursery furniture and you want to upgrade their room before moving to a new house with space for a nursery and bedroom for your older child.
Here are a few things you can consider:
- Can you repurpose your nursery furniture or some of it to save having to put it in storage? Some changing units lend themselves to use as a sideboard with storage on top for toys or books, for example.
- Take photos of flatpack furniture before you disassemble it to make it easier to store. Put all fixings, screws, nuts, bolts and Allen keys and the assembly instructions in a clear bag and keep them with the furniture pieces.
- Remove cushions and upholstered items from things like feeding chairs and place them into clear plastic boxes to keep them clean and dry.
- Remove batteries from electrical items such as baby monitors and cot mobiles. Either store the electrical items with the associated instructions or have a file of all instructions for electrical items in your home and keep it in there.
Storing bulky baby gear
Other items you may consider storing include prams and travel systems, high chairs, baby walkers, bouncy chairs and baby baths.
Be careful to ensure baby baths are free of mould and completely dry before considering storing them. Remember that if they can be replaced cheaply, it may be better to sell or donate this one and buy again in the future.
It makes sense to strip off any removable material coverings from prams, high chairs and bouncy chairs, wash and dry them and store them in a separate plastic box to better protect them.
Clean high chairs and all items thoroughly and check for any damage. There’s little point in storing an item only to later discover it is cracked or unusable.
Baby car seats expire, usually between five and nine years after manufacture, so be aware of the manufacture date of yours before storing.
Storing baby toys
As with baby clothing, it’s worth sorting through and making decisions on which things really need to be kept and which can go.
Anything that is chewed or damaged ought to be thrown out unless it is of great sentimental value and you want to keep it for that reason. Set aside any bits that you’re keeping for memories rather than to use again and pack and label them appropriately.
Remove batteries from anything that uses them and keep any leads, chargers and instructions with the associated toys.
Some toys retain or even grow in value if kept pristine. If your child has been bought a Steiff bear or special edition Lego set, for example, you may decide to put it away as an heirloom for the future. Taking time to store these items safely will ensure their value, both sentimental and financial, is retained.
Go for it, it’s worth the effort!
Sorting and packing things can seem like a daunting task and one that we all have a tendency to put off or want to rush.
However, putting thought and a little planning into which baby and nursery items are worth keeping and storing and how to go about it, will be worth the effort when you begin the process of unpacking them again.