If your kids are anything like mine they will have gained way more toys in their short lifetimes than what you may have acquired in your own childhood. Our seven year old son has received more Lego sets in the last three years in comparison to the full tens years I had collecting that brick toy. In fact, I am fairly sure that his collection surpassed mine just over a year into getting into Lego. I might have had something to do with that.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s Lego or something else such as Star Wars figures, Barbie or Monster High dolls, children are often proud of their collections and want to have them on display rather than hidden away inside a toy box. And then there’s the countless books that they’ll receive as gifts or purchase from their school’s book club. They need to go somewhere too.
Traditional bookcases are okay, but standing at somewhere between 180cm or 6ft up to 210cm or 7ft, when you’re a 3ft-something child, those top shelves are way our of reach and will be for a long time. So what’s the solution?
For me, the best storage solution to arrive on the furniture scene in the last decade are those shelving units referred to as Cube Storage Systems.
The Cube Storage Systems can be found in small 2 x 1 and 2 x 2 units, up to the largest ones I’ve seen, the 6 x 6 cube shelving. They are available in cubic combinations in between as well as non-square units such as the 2 x 4 units which can be used vertically (standing up) or horizontally (laying down). The most popular size is the 4 x 4 units which I have used to base my comparison list on below.
Whether you are purchasing it from the world leading manufacturer and retailer IKEA or their local competitors such as Fantastic Furniture, Super Amart, or Poco, upmarket furniture outlets, big box hardware stores, online furniture retailers, office furniture suppliers or department stores, the Cube Storage Systems are often sold flat-packed ready to assemble DIY style at home. This makes them, just like other flat-packed furniture more cost effective to buy.
Although most retailers have the 4×4 white units as their flagship style and colour in their catalogues and overview page of this item of furniture on their websites, in addition to the various sizes I mentioned earlier, there are many finishes and colours available to suit the look and decor of your home.
I expect you are thinking that all of these units would be the same, right? Wrong. When I was looking for these units for my own kids I looked at many of the units that were available on the market. With prices for the 4×4 white units ranging from $119 up to $189 when I was looking, there was something that didn’t seem right, especially when those stores notorious for selling furniture on the cheaper end of the scale having units in the higher end of this market and vice versa, I had to do some further research before buying.
I ended up buying our boys their unit from one of the big box hardware outlets as their construction was very sturdy and put together well. At the time that I bought them IKEA had one of the most popular units on the market which they called EXPEDIT and not long after that when I first started planning this post the Internet went crazy with fans of that range from IKEA taking to social media expressing their disappointment with the Scandinavian furniture giant for replacing it with a similar shelf called the KALLAX. News outlets such as the Huffington Post even wrote articles about it.
IKEA discontinues beloved shelf, prompts Internet fury http://t.co/daHy1NE1Wg
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) February 22, 2014
The other thing to look out for is accessories that go with these units. Some of the them have drawers, doors, inserts, baskets, dividers, castors (wheels), legs, and, well, many and varied other accessories to turn these storage units into the best thing since the other best thing since sliced bread. Not all of them have these accessories so they aren’t as flexible as those that do. And if laminate is not you thing there are a few furniture retailers who sell stained and polished timber units, most of which are not flat-packed and are more expensive so they might not be the sort of thing you want to put in your child’s room.
And with that, I guess it’s time to offer up the list to compare the units available in Australia. All prices quoted were correct at time of publication and are based on the white 4×4 units. Delivery not included. Link to the websites for all suppliers are given under the pictures supplied.
1. Kallax from IKEA
Width: 147 cm x Depth: 39 cm x Height: 147 cm
2. Ovela 16 Cube Shelving Unit from Kogan
Width: 147.0cm x Depth: 39.0cm x Height: 146.6cm
3. Cube Storage Unit by Milan Direct
Width: 146.0cm x Depth: 39.0cm x Height: 146.0cm
Price: On sale $189.00, normally $199.00
4. Horsens 16 Cube Bookshelf from Officeworks
Width: 14.36cm x Depth: 39.0cm x Height: 14.36cm
5. Clever Cube Storage Unit from Bunnings
Width: 146.0cm x Depth: 39.0cm x Height: 146.0cm
6. Riley Cube from Super Amart
Width: 149.0cm x Depth: 39.0cm x Height: 149.0cm
7. Miley Cube from Super Amart
Width: 145.9cm x Depth: 39.0cm x Height: 145.9cm
8. Matrix Cube Shelf from Fantastic Furniture
Width: 144.0cm x Depth: 39.0cm x Height: 144.0cm
9. Infiniti Cube Shelf from Fantastic Furniture
Width: 160.0cm x Depth: 35.0cm x Height: 160.0cm
10. Boon Cube White from The Shelving Shop
Width: 145.2cm x Depth: (not given) x Height: 145.2cm
Despite what you might think, this is not a sponsored post although I wish I did have all of these companies sending me money to promote their products. This is just one of those posts that I promised I would write to give advice to parents who want their life as a parent to be easier. And if you think that your friends and family can benefit from reading this, don’t forget to share this on Facebook and Twitter.