Friday, February 24, 2012

Keeping things locked up

Note: This is not a paid post or anything like that. I just think this product is perfect for those of us in foster care and I want to let others know.

It seems my organization tip yesterday went over well. I figured I'd share my other little gem. This time it's about storage.

When you're a foster parent it can seem like you have to lock up just about everything. Of course different agencies and areas of the country have different rules. Sometimes things have to be out of reach. Sometimes they have to be under lock and key.

We have a big house. As big as it is, I still don't have a single closet I'm willing to lock down completely so that no one but the adults can get in it. Besides, it isn't our goal to live in this house (or part of the country) long-term. We don't want to put locks all over the place. I know some people use locking filing cabinets. But they are usually pretty big and often rather expensive.

So what's a foster mom to do? I've got cleaning supplies that are supposed to be kept under lock and key. Where do I put them?

I swear by these locked storage boxes!

Not only do they lock, but it ISN'T with a key. I don't have to hide some stupid key and then try to remember where I put it. These lock with a combination. And yes...the combination at my house is 0000. But that's only because I think it's perfectly ridiculous to have to lock up my cleaning supplies!! bwwaahahahahah

Where I live the standard my agency holds for medications is a "double lock". However, I can't get a definitive answer from anyone about what that HAS to look like. Some say it much be a locked box inside another locked box or closet. Because I've had licensing in my home a couple different times, and no one has said anything negative, I also store my medications in one of these lock boxes. There are two combination locks that function independently from each other. Therefore, the meds are double locked!

I found these at Office Depot but I'm sure other office supply stores carry similar products.

Oh yeah, if you're wondering why I have two spray bottles that look like they contain cleaning products NOT in the box – it's because they are filled with a solution of vinegar and water. Not only is vinegar cheaper than traditional cleaning products, but it is better for the environment AND I'm not required to lock up vinegar. That way any of my kids can get a basic household cleaner out to clean up after themselves and I can't get in trouble for it.


Tammy (aka. "Mimi") said...

You have to LOCK UP cleaning supplies?!? That's nuts! I just had a Licensing inspection (State comes out every couple of years to make sure everything is "Minimum Standard-friendly"), and all they looked for was to make sure medications and food were properly stored, fire extinguishers, cleaning supplies out of reach, well-balanced foods available, hot water, outlet covers & cabinet locks, waterproof matress pads, current paperwork, etc. For the most part, they were looking for things that any good parent would already do. Nothing crazy... HaviNG to LOCK UP cleaning supplies would drive me batty!

CherubMamma said...

There are some issues where I'm at with what the "official" standards are. My licensing agency is REALLY strict. I've been told that things are supposed to be under lock and key. I've also been told that cleaning supplies are to be out of reach. It's a communication mess really! So, to appease them...just in case, I have these lock boxes.

I'll be honest though, I don't keep them locked. I figure, if anyone is checking, they do keep all of my cleaning supplies out of reach. None of my foster cherubs could get in them. And, if necessary, I could say I just forgot to lock them if I had a surprise inspection.

I don't even keep all my cleaning supplies in the boxes though. I'm quite tall and there is a high self in my laundry closet above the washer & dryer. I refuse to put my laundry detergent anywhere difficult to get in to.

However -- these boxes also manage to hold tequila and vodka in them quite nicely. And those ARE supposed to be locked up. :)

Mie said...

I totally do vinegar too because, well, I don't have to lock it up :)

Our Journey said...

I am so glad you posted this!! We just recently moved into our new house and are totally out of compliance right now because of the same closet issue. Thanks for posting!!!

Jo said...

There is a great locking medication container at

The lock box works great for holding several different medication vials.