It's happening. The mornings are becoming crisps and the evenings bring a chill. It's just about time to put away the summer clothes, beach towels, light blankets and floaty toys until next summer. And each year, as my kid grows and so does the size of her gear, I feel that I'm constantly faced with new storage and organization dilemmas. So I've searched around, determined to find the solution that will make my life easiest and my clean-up job quickest, too, without breaking the bank. And the super storage solution I've found to be is.... Clear plastic bins.
They are wonderful for many reasons. They come in oodles of sizes, from shoe-box-size to basically enormous, and even sizes that roll right under a bed so they don't take up any extra room, and make use of unused, unseen spaces. (I use these for toys, by the way, and they work great!) I also love clear plastic bins because they are so sturdy, and can hold a lot of weight, and can be stacked in a closet, too. And the best thing about them, to me, is that you can see the contents inside really easily, so you don't need to waste time making labels or notes for what's in them. It's clear. Last but not least, they seal air-tight and keep out odors, moisture, mold, bugs and moths which can be harmful to your stuff too. The Container Store, Bed Bath and Beyond, Kmart and Target are a few of my favorite stores to buy storage bins at.
A smart way to organize your bins when you put them away is to try to stack them or store them by need. So things you probably won't need the longest, like beach toys, might go on the bottom, but place your Spring items closer to the top, making them more accessible because you'll want to unpack those sooner. Another tip is to separate your stuff by theme: For instance, I have a clear bin for Christmas decorations, another for fall and Halloween items, and one for Easter stuff. Having separate bins dedicated to specific things makes you more likely to hold onto things you can reuse, (like plastic Easter eggs to fill with candy, or paper decorations, garlands or lights), so you also save money because you're not re-purchasing items, however small and cheap, when you could be saving and reusing them, and finding them easily when you want them.
What are your favorite storage solutions