Sunday, February 14, 2010

Storing the Kids When You Don't Have a Basement

A living room for kids and adults.
Photo Better Homes and Gardens

In a small home, finding a place for kids and all their stuff can drive you crazy! Last week I showed you my basement. It's where I store my kids, their friends and everything that goes along with raising children until they come off the family payroll. If you missed the photos click here.

But what if you don't have a basement? Then the kids and their stuff goes in the living room or family room. When my husband I had our first son, we lived in a one bedroom condo. All the kid's toys and gear was stored in the shared living room and eating area off the small kitchen. (We also slept in a futon every night in the living room so our little guy could sleep in a quiet place. But that is another story.) The key to making this work is having attractive closed storage in the room. Take a look these built-in storage solutions.

Built in cabinet storage makes this family/living room a good space for kids and adults. Use open storage for TV and books, closed storage for games, craft projects and even school work. Here are more room options with built-in storage solutions.

Photo Better Homes and Gardens

Media cabinets and armoires are another storage solution that makes the family room or living room a place for the kids.

Photo Better Homes and Gardens

I would not use this coffee table with young children because of the sharp edges. But hard wood floors are a great option for kids. And yes, white can work in a shared living space. Especially if cushions are slip covered and washed on a regular basis.

Photo Better Homes and Gardens

Coffee tables and cabinets are also good storage solutions for shared spaces.

Coffee tables with hidden storage.
Photo PotteryBarn

A cabinet with storage and a place to put the TV.
Photo PotteryBarn

Organizing a closet to store kids stuff also works. Take a peek at these great examples. And the closet does not have to be in the room where the kids play.

It's never too early to learn how to take out toys and gear, then put it away when finished!

And if you really don't want to look at your TV, here is a clever way to hide it.

Until next time!