Top Tips for Organizing Kids Toys
– without compromising on your Home Styling!
As any parent of young children knows, keeping your kids’ toys stored neatly is a continuous battle. Whether it’s constantly stepping on toy cars or Lego bricks, or never being able to find that activewear outfit for Barbie, the need for toy organization is present in every household. Never more so than following a birthday celebration or the festive period when the volume of toys will sure to have increased! However, achieving this is easier said than done. Younger children’s toys are often large plastic bulky items, whereas slightly older children have toys have lots of small pieces which are equally difficult to store. Using plastic storage bins is one simple solution but does not necessarily look great in your living room. At Bloomhale, we love rustic, farmhouse and boho decor, so avoid the ‘plastic fantastic’ look and check out our top tips on the storage of ‘kids’ stuff’ without compromising on your home styling.
The first step is to identify where your storage areas are going to be. Are the bulk of the children’s toys going to be kept in their rooms with just a few in the living room or do you have a playroom where you can store all their items? Knowing what space you have to work with will help identify which type of storage is going to work best for you. Can you utilize wall or floor space? Are there existing shelves or cupboards that can be used?
The next step is to have a good clear out. Throwing out toys is very much like throwing out clothing from our closets – he does not play with it now, but he might in the spring! In much the same as adults have their ‘go to clothes’ that they will wear 80% of the time, children will have their favorite toys that they will seek out to play with over others. Just because it was bought by their great aunt does not mean a child will play with it. If it has been accessible to play with for 6 months, is age appropriate and they have not used it then they probably will not play with it in the coming months unless actively encourage to do so. So, having a good clear out helps to remove the unused toys which in turn will make your organization much easier! Of course, we are not suggesting that you simply put them in the trash, but try donating them to a kindergarten or school, or take them to a thrift store so that they can continue to be used by other kids!
Prioritize & Rotate
Even with a good clear out, there often remains a large amount of kids’ stuff that needs to be organized and stored. From jigsaws to arts and craft materials, car or doll sets to garden toys, it all needs a home! This is where prioritization is key and where the children can help out. Rather than have 8 different jigsaws ask them to choose 3 to keep in accessible storage and the rest on higher shelving areas or in the attic where more effort is required to reach them. If this is applied to every type of toy your children have, the volume is cut by at least half and the organization becomes much easier. This is not to say that the unprioritized toys are never to be used again – rotate! Every couple of months rotate the accessible toys to keep your children’s interest and play ideas fresh!
Rustic & Boho Storage Ideas for Kids’ Bedrooms & Playrooms
At the heart of rustic, shabby chic and boho home styling is the use of natural materials and colors. Large plastic storage bins or containers do not really fit with these styles! Classic rustic and boho materials include wood, woven materials, unpolished metals and faux furs. Colors often include browns, caramels, whites and stone. Using storage ideas with these themes in mind will helps to continue your styling throughout the home no matter which room the toys are stored in.
Multipurpose Storage – this is a great idea if you want accessible toys but do not want them to be visible when not in use. Bench seats or stools make great storage areas, have a secondary function whilst seamlessly complimenting your home styling.
Shelves – Shelving makes good use of wall storage. This may be purpose built to fit the available space or store bought. If purpose built, then using unpolished and unfinished wood brings a warm cosy calmness to this functional space. As an alternative to straight shelves, creating them in shapes can add natural features to the room. For example, using hexagon shaped shelving evokes the feeling of bringing a bit of nature inside as they look similar to honeycomb, whilst still offering storage both in and on top of the hexagon.
Toy Chests – Storage chests are a firm favorite for toy storage in many a playroom. These can be purpose built or a reuse of an old chest. Perfect for storing larger or irregular shaped items they can also be a source of mystery for little ones to explore. Once emptied they can also be used for imaginary play! The older the chest the more rustic the feel. If using a purpose-built toy box then similar to the shelving, use unpolished wood and tarnished metal or rope handles.
Wooden Crates – Crates are perfect for storage and can be a real feature of the room. They can be used conventionally and stacked or put on to shelving so that the contents cannot be seen. Or they can be placed on end to create a feature out of the toys stored within them. They are perfect for rustic, farmhouse, boho and shabby chic styles, the more imperfect they are the better!
Under Bed Storage – an often-used storage space for kids’ stuff, but usually with plastic or cardboard storage boxes. Made to measure wooden boxes can easily be created with old pieces of wood which can incorporate children’s name plaques for personalization or wheels for convenience of access.
Macrame – this compliments the boho and shabby chic styles perfectly. The chunky white string brings natural calmness to a room. Re-purpose macrame hanging planters or hammocks as cuddly toy stores so that they are contained and organized but are also a great feature to the room.
Woven Baskets – There are many different materials, size and shape of basket available on the market so you are sure to be able to find some that fit the color and size that you need. Wicker baskets are great for hiding away items on shelves whereas seagrass or jute round baskets make a great replacement for floor style storage tubs. The natural materials used add great texture to a room which would otherwise be filled with plastic!
Metal buckets – Buckets are ideal for storing smaller items, like building blocks, Lego and cars. Using the unpolished metal type works really well with the rustic or farmhouse look that you want to create. Adding blackboard style stickers also aids with organization without compromising on your style.
Remember, you are not striving for perfection! Rustic or Boho styling is about unpredictability and natural lines rather than perfect regimented organization. However, you can still achieve the storage of all your kids stuff whilst maintaining the overall style of décor that you want for your home. Remember to choose items of storage that fits with you, rather than you having to live in a sea of plastic!