When trying to live off the grid, you want to make use of everything you have—and that includes the space you have! Any household with kiddos is a home in need of space-saving and storage solutions. When it comes to toys, books, and sometimes even furniture, organization can be a challenge; finding extra space can seem next to impossible. Luckily, with a little ingenuity and creativity, we can make space work for us, not against us. One general consensus from interior designers and space-saving gurus is that the best method in conserving space is to build up, rather than out, and try to combine as much furniture as you can. So let’s dive into some fun ideas that you can incorporate into your own home!
Optimum Space-Saving Furniture
Furniture can be the culprit of major space consumption within a bedroom, especially a smaller bedroom or one that rooms multiple children. Beds with large frames, chunky dressers, or odd shapes and sizes can all contribute to clutter and an overall feeling of not having enough space.
Choosing the right bed can make a world of difference. In a single-child bedroom, a loft bed can open up much of the floor space that is normally covered by a traditional frame. Often times this new space is used for a desk or study area , but it can also be combined with a tent and used as a play area  or a storage space  with extra drawers, cabinets, and cubbyholes for baskets or tubs. These all use methods of combining different functions (bed and desk, bed and dresser, bed and play house) to open up additional floor space and eliminate the overpowering impression of multiple furniture pieces in a small space.
Beds, both individual and bunks, also come in models with trundles. These can include an extra bed , extra drawer space, or both ! There are some fantastic tutorials  online for fast, easy, and affordable DIY trundle plans. Add a mattress to the trundle for an extra bed, or use the trundle for extra clothing or even toy storage.
For bedrooms with multiple kiddos in residence, bunk beds are probably the quickest solution that comes to mind. Especially for a smaller room, the extra precious square feet gained by eliminating a bed from the floor space is huge. Plus, many models of bunk beds come complete with extra storage space, making organization even easier. One of the things I love the most about bunk beds is the variety! You can literally create them in any way to best fit your needs. From traditional bunks  to the more customized creations , there is something for every room and every child .
Of course, you can always make your own bunk beds to suit your family’s needs, as well. You can find a number of fantastic tutorials on doing so that include the simple  to the more complex , depending on the tools and resources that you have to work with. In some plans, the bunk bed plan allows for an incredible amount of added storage beneath, which is one of the best things about making your own set of bunks: you have the freedom to add what you need!
Getting The Most Out Of Closet Space
One of the greatest overlooked areas in a room is the closet. While that usual top shelf can be stuffed to the max with extra blankets, clothes, or costumes, a few short steps can make this space ultra organized, saving you space within the bedroom and on the floor. Best of all, it is an easy, do-it-yourself project that can be tackled in a long day or weekend! That’s my kind of solution.
While adding storage, space and organization, one thing that is fabulous about redoing your kids’ closets is that you can customize it for them, allowing for greater self-sufficiency and learning. Here are some things to keep in mind while you plan the reorganization:
- Keep important items within reach. By lowering the hanger pole from the top of the closet to the middle, kids can not only see what clothes are hanging, but they can reach also them, and depending on age, take an outfit off the hanger and dress themselves. Alternatively, you can keep the top pole and add a second  one closer to the middle. This optimizes space, especially if you’re adding shelves and limiting the hanger poles to only half of the closet.
- Use labels! For children who are at reading age (and even those who aren’t) labels are a fantastic way to teach kids where their items go and how to put them away properly to ensure a clean and organized room. This works especially well if you utilize cubbyholes and baskets.
- Plan a space for everything. From clothes and shoes to books and toys, plan first what will be stored in the closet. Make sure that everything has a space and that everything will fit in its assigned spot without looking messy or cluttered.
After you determine what you want from closet storage, you can get started. To optimize space, you may want to consider halving the closet space. In the center, add shelves and/or drawers  for folded clothing, socks, etc. This will eliminate the need for an additional dresser within the room’s floor space. You can also add a little hamper at the bottom, concealed and inconspicuous! Alternatively, you can keep it to shelves only  and make great use of baskets or tubs, while still having empty shelf space for books, toys and other trinkets.
Splitting the closet in half is also a perfect method for rooms with multiple children. Each can have their own space with their own shelving and drawers, while still keeping clothing (as well as books and toys, if desired) neatly in the closet space. This saves double the room, potentially replacing two dressers, two bookcases, and possibly two toy boxes. It’s a perfect solution to gain back some of that space!
Shelves, Cubbyholes, And Baskets
We’ve touched on all of these briefly, and while they’re great additions to closets and beds, each can also be instituted into the room separately while still maximizing storage and organization space. There are cubbyholes with drawers , even those that can be incorporated into a design theme, that are perfect for storing toys, books, puzzles and more. Alternatively, simple and inexpensive cubbyholes  can be purchased with canvas baskets (or without ) to create a perfect storage solution for your kids’ room.
Bookshelves  aren’t just for books anymore! Combine books with baskets of toys or puzzles, merging storage areas into one easily accessible place. The key for organizing in this method is to ensure that every toy, book, and miscellaneous trinket has a home, because without that, things can very quickly become a hodge-podge of messiness!
Whatever your storage and space-saving needs, there are solutions for everyone. You can do it yourself with simple and efficient plans or purchase your condensed furniture pieces to create a room with enough space for the kiddos to play, while gifting you your sanity in the form of a clean and organized space for toys, books, and clothing. It’s also an excellent way to teach your children early about the importance of using every bit of resource they are given!
©2012 Off the Grid News