By Stephanie Hyland, StorageUnit.com
One of the most exciting events during pregnancy is picking out all of the tiny clothes, toys, and other necessities a newborn will need when they make their big debut. However, not only are the parents of the baby excited about buying baby items, so is everyone who has attended the baby shower(s). Most people have been to at least one baby shower in their life and have seen first-hand how much loot a newborn will receive. Even though all of the gifts are greatly appreciated by the parents, the amount of items can become overwhelming.
The Campaign Against Clutter is dedicated to stopping the formation of clutter inside your home. Luckily, finding a self storage unit that fits the variety of items your baby has outgrown is an easy problem to solve. Understanding what type of storage unit you need can also help. Let’s get started!
Between the growth spurts and new interests forming, parents can feel like their once spacious home is too small for their growing family. Those cute newborn onesies and 0-6 months toys are just not part of your child’s daily routine anymore, so what do you do? You can’t bear the thought of throwing out or donating items that have sentimental value, and you may want those items again if you plan to have another child. But you are also tired of tripping over unused toys and trying to make additional closet space magically appear in your child’s closet.
Tara Vera, a mother of two and the publicist for Little Me and Delta Children, says trying to figure out what items to keep can be a struggle. “To keep or not to keep? That is always my question within. What is worth saving for memories and what should be given away,” says Vera.
Unless you can convince your child to stop growing up so quickly, parents need to think fast before their entire house turns into an obstacle course of play mats, bassinets, and Boppys.
The Solution: Invest in a Self Storage Unit
Even though it may feel like the only way to solve your storage space issue is to upgrade to more square footage, there is another, more affordable answer. Invest in a self storage unit. By renting a self storage unit, a family can store clothes, toys, and other newborn essentials without having to sacrifice sentimental items due to space constraints. Even the smallest unit can make a big difference.
The easiest way to get started is to round up all of the toys, outfits, and other items that you know your child has outgrown to get a better idea of how much stuff you are planning on storing in the unit. By having a clear picture of how many items will be stored, it makes it easier to find out how big of a storage unit you are looking to reserve and to ensure that you are not paying for more space than you need.
Unless you are storing large toys or baby furniture, most families can get away with reserving a locker size unit that is no bigger than a standard closet. But, if your child has outgrown their crib and is approaching a “big kid” bed, storing a crib and other large items would fit well in a 5×5 or 5×10 unit.
“Often families will use a crib for their first child and then save it to reuse for their second child,” says Vera. “As soon as the crib is disassembled, store it in a temperature-controlled environment. Storing a crib in the basement or garage may cause the wood to warp, buckle, or splinter, which would compromise safety.”
So how much stuff can you fit into one of those smaller units? To give you a better idea of how much you can store in a 5×5 or a 5×10 unit, a 5×5 unit is usually the size of a large hall closet and a 5×10 unit is roughly the size of a walk-in closet. Both can easily hold small furniture and several boxes.
Quick Tips: How to Properly Store Your Items
- If you are storing clothes, it is important to consider investing in a climate-controlled storage unit, a unit that stays between 55–85°F year-round. Since fabrics are environmentally sensitive, having a unit that monitors temperature and humidity levels can help avoid potential damage caused by mold and mildew.
- Investing in a climate-controlled unit can also come in handy for anyone storing wood or glass items. If exposed to fluctuating temperatures, wood can warp and glass can break.
- It is also encouraged to remove the batteries from any battery-operated toys you will be leaving in the storage unit. This is especially important to remember if you are not using a climate-controlled unit because if exposed to high temperatures, batteries can leak or explode.
Vera also urges parents to double-check the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety guidelines to ensure that the crib you are taking out of storage to use again is still up-to-date. “The standards were updated in 2011,” says Vera.
She added that when putting the crib back together, it is important to use the original hardware.
“The original screws and bolts should be used,” says Vera. “They were specifically designed for the crib. Replacing any with those found at a hardware store can compromise the crib safety.”
Vera knows a lot about crib safety, as Delta Children is the largest crib manufacturer in the world. Delta Children has eight safety test labs worldwide for determining crib safety and the brand worked closely with the CPSC to develop the newest crib standards.
By reserving a storage unit for unused baby items, parents won’t have to feel guilty about throwing out or donating baby items that have sentimental value just because extra storage space was limited inside the home. By properly storing these precious items, parents can ensure that they will be in usable condition in the event their family grows again.