Having kids is expensive, so most parents are always on the lookout to reduce expenses. If you plan to have more children and want to store baby gear for the next little one, you can get a jump-start on cost reduction.
To help you make the most of hand-me-down goods and keep them in great condition, here are a few tips for storing your child’s belongings for their little sibling.
1. Assess Condition
Determine whether things are in good enough condition that your next child can wear or use them. If your other kids outgrew clothing, toys, and baby accessories quickly, they may be almost like new. If they were tough on things, though, you may not want to waste your time and space saving or moving them. Check to make sure things have all their parts, that they are still safe for children to use, and that they have no stains or significant wear.
2. Clean and Disinfect
With whatever you keep, you should clean and dry before storing. Clothing is easy enough to wash properly, dry, and fold neatly before storage. Use an unscented, sensitive skin detergent to help prevent attracting pets or letting chemicals sit on your baby’s clothes.
As you sort through items, look for other things you can wash, such as plastic seats or cushions on toys, vinyl materials, swings and chairs, and even storage containers. Wipe down wood, plastic, or metal toys using a disinfectant and allow them to dry completely.
3. Sort by Size
Once you have everything ready to put away, start by sorting clothing and toys by sizes or age ranges. This way, you’ll avoid hauling out everything when you plan to start using some of the gear as your next child ages. You may also want to label items by gender, school levels, or skill levels. Separate clothing in each size or level, and then place it in vacuum-sealed plastic bags to save space and keep things neat.
4. Group by Category
Most baby and toddler gear comes in parts, pieces, and multiples of the same thing. As you sort items, group some things together for easy storage and retrieval. You could place all Lego pieces in a single box, put action figures together, or group swimming gear all in the same storage bin. The more pieces you can place all in the same location — or, better yet, in the same bag — the easier you can find and make effective use of them in the future.
5. Secure Items
Securely close and tape up toys with moving parts so they don’t break or come apart during packing and storing. Remove batteries and bulbs if possible. If you want to save space by disassembling things like carriers, high chairs, or cribs, put all miscellaneous parts in a bag and tape it to the largest piece for safety. Use shrink-wrap to both protect furniture and keep it from opening unexpectedly when moved.
6. Label Well
Finally, label all the boxes, bins, and bags well as you pack them. The more information you include that’s easily visible and legible, the better you’ll be able to sort through things when time is of the essence as your child grows. Write a mini inventory on large containers in which you list some of the major items or categories of things stored inside. In addition, label containers on two or three sides to ensure you can read them.
By properly prepping your baby and kid stuff, you can store it confidently, knowing that it will be ready for the next user whenever it’s needed. For more packing and storage tips for your specific items, visit the storage pros at Fairfax Transfer & Storage today.