The kids have finally flown the nest but they've still left behind all their childhood souvenirs.

There are those old toys they couldn't bear to part with, that pair of roller skates they thought they'd hang onto (just in case), along with boxes of CDs, books and goodness knows what else!

You don't want to throw away their beloved items but you're ready to downsize your home. So how do you make space? Here are some storage solutions that can help keep your new home tidy and make the most of your living space:

Use a storage company: For a simple option you could try a storage company such as AlligatorSelfStorage (http://www.alligatorstorage.co.uk/), which offers affordable storage units from the size of a phone box to a tennis court. Alligator also offers round the clock security so you will also have peace of mind that both your own and your offspring's beloved items will be safe and protected.

Make use of shelving: Shelving is brilliant for storage and is so versatile. It's not just for books – DVDs, photo frames, ornaments, stereos, even TVs can all be displayed on shelving. I've seen some great examples of where people have used all sorts of ideas to create shelves – from old wooden pallets to converting step-ladders. Have a look at pinterest.com for more ideas.

Boxes and cart (PD)Put it away: Ottoman chests are great for storing items and many come with padded lids so can double up as attractive seats that fit well under windows or in alcoves. I found a great range of colours and styles on ebay.co.uk.

Under the bed: Many beds are available that now come with plenty of storage underneath – whether they are ottoman or divan style beds. Some have drawers built-in beneath the bedframe while others have bases that you can lift up to access concealed storage compartments, keeping everything neat and tidy.

Vacuum pack: If you've got lots of clothes, cushions or bedding but no space to store it – have a look at vacuum packing. Wilko.com sells some great specially designed bags for vacuum packing that cost just a few pounds. With the large bags, you can quickly reduce a pile of clothes into a quarter of the size by popping them into the bag, then using the nozzle on your vacuum cleaner to suck out the air. Then seal the bag and you're done.

Under stair storage: Most of us have got a space under our stairs that could easily be converted to store items. Consider putting up shelving in the space, or some smart storage boxes. The space could even be converted into a cupboard for putting things neatly away.

Hang it up: If you've got a garage, loft or shed that you use for storage but it's filled to the brim, have a look at attaching hooks to the walls which can be used to mount items such as bikes in the garage or shed, bags, tools, ladders, etc, and make more floor space. Shelving also works well in the shed or garage to store your bits and pieces and it also makes it easier to find things.

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