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home organization wire shelves cubesWith holiday festivities over and a new crop of kids’ toys, books and cherished treasures to sort out, now is the perfect time to add valuable storage space where it’s needed most – in the kids’ rooms!

If you have more than one child sharing a bedroom — or are just plain short on space (and who isn’t these days?) — here are a few easy, fast and inexpensive tips for keeping kid’s rooms organized.

Make Easy, Low-Cost Storage with Versatile Plastic Crates

Plastic or metal wire storage crates offer durable, versatile and easy-access storage options with a low price tag. Use crates to organize existing shelves, extend dresser-top display space upward, or expand under-bed or closet storage space. You can even stack 9-12 together as a “wall unit” — just snap the crates together or secure with plastic zip-ties, then attach the unit to the wall with a furniture strap to help prevent tipping. Since they’re washable, plastic crates are an especially practical choice for storing craft supplies for a budding artist. You’ll find functional, fun plastic storage crates at any discount store, home store, or online.

Wicker and Plastic Baskets are Functional and Decorative, Too.

Colorful baskets make wonderful storage containers for children, and these days you can find very durable, wicker-like baskets that are actually made of easy-care plastic.

Use large baskets on the bedroom floor to hold favorite books and magazines — look for large hamper styles with lids, or mid-size stacking sets for this purpose. Smaller baskets may be placed on bedside tables, dressers or countertops to house hair clips, jewelry/accessories and lightweight collectibles. Shop for basket bargains at unexpected places such as yard sales, flea markets, import stores, discount stores and gift stores, then customize with a few coats of spray paint. Once you master this easy craft project, you may discover that you are having such fun that you must paint a couple of baskets for the living room or your own bedroom.

Style tip! Try working with two colors, one sprayed over the other, then lightly sand through the top coat in spots to achieve a slightly distressed cottage basket look. Seal with a coat of clear in matte or gloss.

Find Great Spaces Below with Bunk and Loft-Style Beds

Bunk beds and loft-style beds offer vertical sleeping areas that are great space savers for older children. Loft beds generally are built high up and enclosed on three sides. The last side is open and features a ladder that is placed against the loft to provide access to the bed. Underneath, the loft bed provides ample storage space where bookcases, desks or chests-of-drawers may be built-in, stackable crates utilized, or seating added.

When shopping for bunk beds and loft style beds, quality counts! Search for the best quality, sturdiest frame that you can afford, built to current safety standards. Bring your child with you when you are shopping and allow them to “sample” the unit. Remember that the bed will be holding your most precious possession each and every day and night: your child!

Expand Hidden or Forgotten Spaces for Maximum Storage

Under the Bed:

Maximize the under-bed space of any style bed in your child’s room by utilizing low-clearance storage baskets made for this purpose. Also consider washable cloth storage bags to store out-of-season clothing in under-bed areas. Add more under-bed space and create a decorator look by lifting the bed frame using sturdy BedRizers – this idea is best applied in older children’s rooms because of the increased bed height. Also, a trundle-style daybed without the trundle mattress underneath offers loads of underbed space in a kid’s room.

In the Closet:

You can maximize a child’s closet space in a number of easy ways: try adding a low chest of drawers to walk-in closets; hanging a shelf organizer from the rod (we like the sturdy plastic style from Wal-Mart); stacking storage crates on the upper shelf to add vertical space; or hanging an adjustable shelf set on the back of the door for videos, toys, shoes or knick-knacks.

On the Walls:

Wall-mounted shelves are great display and storage additions to any kid’s room. Children from 4-5 years of age are generally old enough to safely access books, toys and videos displayed on lower, well-secured wall shelves, but be sure to mount shelves out of toddler reach to prevent pull-up or climbing accidents. Try adding shelves over windows to display fragile collectibles and hold storage boxes full of memories – all safely out of reach.