There is a friend of mine who has a ton of kids. When I say she has a ton of kids, I really mean it. I’m not even going to tell you how many, but I will say that it’s in the double digits. And less than forty. I know for myself, with two children, that our need for storage did not simply double, since the number of people in our home doubled, it quadrupled and then doubled that. Somehow a couple boxes from the glory days became a lot easier to go through.
Throwing out CDs we hadn’t listened to in over a decade was actually a grateful task. With each box that we went through it was a grumble and a groan over what kind of garbage we were going to stumble across. So the tote of CDs was a no-brainer: trash! In the place of all of those boxes of paraphernalia and meaningless momentos went “baby stuff”. And then “more baby stuff”, and then “baby stuff for girls” next to “baby stuff for boys”. Suddenly, we found ourselves having to organize by months, and then years, and then stuff they couldn’t fit into anymore and stuff that they wouldn’t be able to wear for a while still.
The need for a highly organized system became crucial. This is where my friend with the buttload of kids comes in. She uses cardboard storage boxes for all of her storage needs, which is obviously much more intense than my own. Notice that I said “cardboard storage boxes” and not plastic totes or bins. There are a couple reasons for this. For one, she doesn’t like anything clear so that the kids can see what is going on in there and want to investigate. For another, the cardboard storage boxes are a lot easier to deal with.
They are a uniform size, easy to stack tightly. With the plastic ones- there is a lot of space in between and behind that doesn’t get used. One of the most hidden but probably most important benefits of going the “paper” route is that you are sticking to manageable sizes and that means they won’t get too heavy.
Those plastic bins come in some ginormous sizes, and you wind up needing upwards of three people to move them sometimes. When you go with cardboard storage boxes you find yourself doing a job that you can handle on your own. Oh, one last tip: write the contents of the box on an index card, and put it in an envelope taped to the front.