So we’re still working on finishing the basement, and progress has been slow but steady. I’ll post pictures when we’re ready for a more dramatic big reveal, but in the meantime, I’m soliciting advice on what to store where.
Our whole point in finishing the basement was to create some kid space downstairs – to stop using our dining room as a walk-in toy closet, and give the kids a more private (and contained) place to play with their friends. So for sure we’ll be putting all the LEGO, Playmobil, Hot Wheels, and Barbies downstairs.
(Even though I shudder at the thought of an ankle-deep layer of small sharp plastic objects coating the entire floor. Breathe, Lynn, breathe.)
Now we’re getting close to making the big move and there’s several other things that could or could maybe not go down there and I’m not sure what to do about them. Where do you keep the following items:
- Board Games. Our kids rarely bust out a board game on their own but we are avid gamers as a family. So should we store them all downstairs, and become downstairs game players? Or should we keep them upstairs so we can grab one and play on the (planned) dining room table after dinner? Should we put kiddie games like Snap and Snakes and Ladders downstairs, but keep the more grown up ones upstairs? Is there any chance of them all getting dumped out at once and adding every game piece ever to the ankle deep layer? SHUDDER.
Related: puzzles. I like a good puzzle and I have a couple of bigger ones that are actually mine. Keep upstairs? Or all downstairs?
- Craft Supplies. My original plan was to put all the girls’ craft stuff downstairs – things like coloring books, beads for stringing, stamps, scrap paper. But now I’m afraid of what kind of damage they might do downstairs with no supervision. On the other hand, the craft stuff takes up a HUGE amount of space in our office, and we have lots of fresh new shelf space downstairs, so…trust them? Maybe? And what about stuff they use all the time for school, like basic pencil crayons, rulers, and erasers? Maybe keep some upstairs and some downstairs?
- Craft and Science Kits. Unlike general art supplies, craft and science kits usually create serious mess. I don’t want them exploding a volcano or creating glitter glue mosaics or sculpting bake-your-own charms or doing airbrush tattoos in the basement. But we have a shelf full of these kits and I really don’t want to give them primo real estate in my office. I thought of putting them downstairs on the highest possible shelf – but that probably means they will languish there unused for several years until I finally throw them out when the kids go to university. Hm, come to think of it…I could live with that. Sold!
- Costumes. In the toy closet/dining room, we have hooks on the wall for the most frequently used costumes; the others used to hang on hangers on a rack in the basement. Not sure I want to devote so much space to costumes downstairs though – the kids don’t use them as much as they used to, and the thought of putting hooks on our brand new walls hurts. How do you store your costume stuff so that kids can access it easily? Do you have a tickle trunk? Hooks? Shelves?
- Photo Albums. This isn’t really a kid thing, but I have decades worth of carefully curated photo albums and they also take up a ton of space in my office where they are in a closed cabinet, and no one ever looks at them. We have some nice new open shelving built into the under-stairs area and I was thinking of putting all the photo albums down there, where they might get pulled out and looked at (and at least, would be easier to access). But I’m nervous about putting photos in the basement – is it an okay environment for storage? Is it too humid? What if we ever got a flood? What if the kids treat them like colouring books? Is it too dangerous to keep adult stuff in the kid space?
Where do you keep your stuff?