If you have young children, you know how much room baby and toddler “stuff” takes up. Bassinets, high chairs, booster seats, exersaucers, bouncy chairs, strollers, baby swings – how did our ancestors raise children without all these things? Not to mention baby clothes, maternity clothes, baby blankets …
It is not long before your house is so full of baby “accessories”, you can barely move. But getting rid of them is difficult, too. Not only do you get emotionally attached to some of these items (especially clothes and toys), but what if you want to have another child? You’ll just have to buy them all over again, right?
Well, here’s a solution you may not have thought of that just makes so much sense. If you are a young family, you probably live in a neighborhood with other young families. Or you may have siblings or cousins that are also raising young children. If you share the cost of a storage unit with a few other families, you can create a communal baby accessory co-op of sorts that will provide tremendous benefit to all involved, at minimal cost.
Just imagine, when your baby becomes a toddler and it’s time (finally!) to get the baby swing and bouncy chair out of the family room, you now have a place to store them without permanently parting with them. Then, when you hear that one of your friends who is in the co-op is pregnant, she will be so relieved knowing she can go “shopping” in the storage unit for some of the items she needs, and you will be glad to share those items with her, because when she is done with them, they go back in the storage unit for you or someone else to use.
The same can be true for baby clothes and maternity clothes, items that are frequently lightly used for a brief period of time. These items can be organized in clear plastics bins labelled with gender and age/size. What fun to see a friend or relative’s child wearing that cute teddy bear t-shirt your baby looked so adorable in, but has now outgrown!
You will need to establish a few ground rules, and everyone will have to be a bit flexible – some items will begin to show wear and tear after making the rounds – but how great it will be to really get full value out of these resources. It is important to note that if there are any items that are just too precious to share, you can designate an area of the storage unit for people to store clearly marked “off-limits” items.
This idea works for more than just babies, too. Once your children are old enough to start playing soccer and baseball (or cheer leading and gymnastics), the communal storage unit will be a great place for storing and sharing sports equipment, or even just regular clothing for school or special events.
If you live in the Southwest and want to get started on this idea right away, take a look at the Dollar Self Storage locations near you for more information on renting a storage unit.