The Christmas Holidays Are a Memory, but Not So All the Toys the Kids Got. Here Are 9 Clutter-Busting Tips
Now that Christmas has come and gone and cold weather continues to keep kids playing inside more often, parents everywhere are asking themselves one important question: Where do we put all the toys?
Between the dolls, action figures, board games, stuffed animals, video games, and books, keeping track of it all can quickly turn into a major headache – especially if you don’t live in a home with ample home storage. Thankfully, we’ve got some clever home-organization solutions to help you transform your children’s room from total mess to playroom success in no time.
1. Look under the Bed
The space under the bed is hands down one of the most versatile storage areas in your child’s bedroom, and it’s also one of the most under-utilized. Instead of leaving it to dust bunnies, reclaim the space with the use of flat boxes and storage bins. This space is great for blocks, trucks, books, or any off-season toys that your kids don’t need all the time.
There are many home organization solutions specifically designed to fit under a bed, so look for ones that are long and wide, with a depth of less than a foot. If you really want to maximize the under-bed storage, you can even place your child’s bed on risers to give you up to a foot of additional space. Then you can fit bigger storage boxes or stack the thinner units on top of each other.
2. Bookcases – More Than Just for Books
If you think bookcases are a wonderful way to keep your books organized, then you’re only half right. They can easily be repurposed for storing virtually all of your children’s toys. Consider placing bigger, bulkier toys directly on the shelf as if they were on display. Smaller toys can also find a home through the use of bins and boxes. Just make sure you come up with a clear labeling system so that the bins don’t turn into “junk boxes” that actually make things less organized.
Bookcases are also great for storing video games and DVDs, either by placing the boxes right on the shelf or tossing the boxes altogether and using a binder to hold all the discs in a single spot. This solution is especially good to keep things organized if you have a home with an open floor plan. Clutter can easily get out of hand in a roomy living space, but having space where bins of toys and boxes of video games "live" – and where they go whenever playtime is over – can make a big difference.
3. The Cubby System
Daycares and kindergarten classrooms use cubbies for a reason – they’re a simple and open organization option that kids can actually use by themselves. How elaborate you want the cubbies to be is completely up to you, which means you can opt for a simple grid design that sits right on the floor or take things up a notch and create a custom system that’s tailored to your space.
Whatever type of cubby home storage system you go with, make sure you take the time show your children how to use it so that you can begin teaching them how to keep their own rooms clean. They’ll be the ones taking the toys out, so just be sure they know how to put them back correctly.
4. Repurpose Hanging Shoe Organizers
Hanging shoe organizers aren’t just amazing for keeping your sneakers in order, they’re also the perfect way to bring some order to your children’s doll or action figure collection. You’re going to be using the same concept – hanging the organizer on the back of a bedroom or closet door– but instead of lining it with footwear, each pouch will hold of your kid’s toys.
It’s a great way to give your child more visibility into the toys, as they can see all of them at a single glance. Plus, it’s a wonderful space-saving option for fighting home clutter in a smaller house that has limited closet or floor space.
5. The Power of Pegboards
One of the keys to creative storage solutions for children’s toys is looking at other home-organization tools from different parts of the house. Case in point: pegboards. You’ve probably seen more than a few DIY projects that focus on using pegboards to organize your kitchen, but you can also enlist pegboards to help decrease home clutter in your child’s bedroom.
They are incredibly customizable, both in terms of organization and appearance. You can easily paint the entire pegboard to match your child’s favorite color, or even get the children involved with painting it in a specific theme. Then you can add hooks, shelves, baskets, and more to store anything and everything. They’re also great for storing items above a desk for older kids.
6. Library-Style Book Displays
The children’s section of most libraries uses a very visual display system to organize books so that kids can easily see the covers all at once. If you live in a larger home with bigger rooms and more wall space, think about creating our own easy-access book storage display for your kid’s books.
This project definitely calls for a bit of DIY work, but the payoff is a unique and visually engaging book-storage system that can encourage your children to pick up a book more often than they pick up their other toys. You can use precut molding for a more elegant look, or create your own mini-shelves using lumber boards.
7. A Real Home for Stuffed Animals
Any parent with a little girl or boy will likely know the struggle of finding a reasonable place for all the different stuffed animals to live. They can easily take up all the space on your child’s bed, which has to be freed up come bedtime, and will often end up scattered on the floor or throughout the house. The best solution is to give them a permanent home that’s entirely their own, and clever ways to do that is by using shoe-storage trees or even a large wire hamper or wastepaper basket.
Clear storage bins also work – and allow you and your child to see the animals at all times. You can even designate specific bins for specific types of animals to make it easy for your child to find their favorite furry friend any time.
8. Stackable Solutions
Stackable home organization solutions are a real wonder anywhere in the home, and this is especially true when it comes to organizing children’s toys. Stackable bins with pullout drawers can quickly become the base for a play table, or they can slide right underneath an existing desk. The stackable nature means you can easily match the height of any surrounding items, such as a bed or bookcase, to keep an even level throughout the room. You can even mix and match to create an entire wall of storage bins to hold all the toys and games in one location.
9. Don’t Discount Adult Storage Options
Adult storage tools will work just as well, if not better in some cases, when you’re working with a child’s room, so don’t be afraid to look at all the solutions you have available. A closet organizer made to hold suits and shirts can easily transform into a dedicated space for storing dressup clothes. Desktop tools for collecting pens and office supplies can help keep crayons and paintbrushes in line. The trick is look at the adult home clutter problem the solution is fighting and then look for the children’s toy equivalent.