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Simple Storage Solution Hacks for your Setting
As we all know, finding storage can be a recurring nightmare for many early years’ settings. From classrooms and nurseries to childminder and pack-away settings, there is always the issue of where to store the never-ending supply of resources for little ones. In this blog, we will discuss a variety of creative storage solution hacks for both indoor and outdoor resources. This will include some repurposed and upcycled solutions designed to provide you with more functional space without breaking the bank.
Factors to Consider
It is important to consider a range of factors when looking for storage solutions:
- Accessibility: how accessible are the stored items?
- Independence: does the chosen storage allow for independent play and learning?
- Versatility: is it possible to use your storage pieces as something else?
- Safety: how sturdy are your chosen pieces for children to interact with?
- Space-saving: do your storage solutions provide you with more space?
- Visibility: are the stored items clear to see?
Large Item Storage Solution Hacks
1. Mobile Storage
Our first hack is finding mobile storage. Whilst this sounds simple, having a mobile unit to wheel around will save all the heavy lifting and hassle that comes with having to pack and unpack for each activity.
Our 3-tier mobile storage trolley features not only 3 tiers to store all your classroom essentials but a removable magnetic panel and hooks, detachable caddies, and clothes hooks.
Using the mobile storage trolley you can create dedicated zones in your setting. Store all your classroom art supplies for a creative zone or create a snack station for the little ones.
2. Tubs and Trays
Trays and Tubs are a great way to keep larger items separate and organised. Once removed from the cubbies, children can easily access the contents of the tubs and this will encourage independent tidying up.
Teacher Tip: Adding labels or using clear tubs is a great way to allow children to quickly identify exactly what they are looking for without having to pull open each drawer and empty its contents!
3. Adaptable Storage
Having multi-functional storage is key for a smaller setting trying to maximise space. One example is storage units that can also be used as seating. Tip: make sure to shop around when looking for furniture for your setting to see if you can find versatile alternatives.
The second example of adaptable storage is our tuff tray dark den cover. Added onto a tuff tray stand with a tuff tray on top, this cover takes up no additional space and can be used as either a dark den for sensory play or a way to store items under the tuff tray. The cover can be used as a sensory dark den or as a way to store bulky items that need to be accessed easily via the split in the material. The cover can also be neatly folded and packed away when no longer necessary. Once the cover has fulfilled your storage needs, it can be neatly folded and packed away.
Small Item Storage Solution Hacks
1. Loose Parts Storage
Storing loose parts can often turn into chaos. Our first solution is tinker trays. Tinker trays or Sorting trays with clear lids are the perfect answer for all your loose parts needs as they provide a visual and compartmentalised solution. They offer an advantage over traditional tubs as the contents are visible and easily accessible.
Teacher Tip: Use tinker trays as sorting trays to help encourage early maths concepts with your little ones.
2. Ribbon Baskets
Untangling lengths of ribbon or string for various activities can be the thing of nightmares. A simple and very effective solution to this is adding all your ribbons and string to a perforated basket. Next, simply feed a length of the ribbon through one of the holes in your basket. The result will be easily accessible and easily identified craft supplies!
3. Turntable Lazy Susan
The third tip for your craft cupboard is a turntable or lazy susan. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are searching for a particular item in your cupboard but cannot see it amongst the sea of other resources? Our top tip is to invest in a lazy Susan and add all your small pots of glitter, sprinkles, gemstones etc. This addition to your cupboard will save you valuable time searching and will free up more space for other items.
Upcycled and Repurposed Storage Hacks
1. Shoe Holders
Hanging shoe storage is a great home hack to free up valuable floor space and make use of unused door space. Why keep this handy idea for your home? Bring a hanging shoe rack into your setting and see what a difference it will make. Using the countless compartments you can store stationery and art supplies. Or even create a dedicated pocket for each child and all their classroom essentials.
Upcycled resources like Milk and H crates are a great way to organise your indoor or outdoor space. Why not try tying them to your outdoor fences at child height to offer accessible storage for books, toys and games equipment? Alternatively, stack them up to create open display storage.
When crates are no longer needed for storage, they can either be stacked and stored away or used for a multitude of different activities. See our “15 ways to use crates” blog to learn more.
In addition to crates, tyres are a second, versatile, upcycled resource which can be used for outdoor storage. Stack them up to your preferred height to store playground balls, rackets, poles, bean bags, and more!
Teacher Tip: Use singular crates to store smaller outdoor items. Pop a circular wooden lid or hard-backed cushion on top and create a comfy little outdoor seat!