4 Tips for Storing Toys Stylishly
There are tons of ways to be creative in your organizing!
Photo credit: http://www.houzz.com/photos/5730007/Shapiro-House-transitional-spaces-seattle
The statement may inspire doubt or even eye rolling, but it's true—having young children at home doesn't mean your living room has to look like a Toys R' Us showroom.
It is possible to maintain a small, but tidy home with both grown-up style and kid-friendly play space without adding a wing to your home just for toys. Here are some tips to help you on your way:
1.) Remember that Change is Inevitable
Your kids' interest in toys naturally changes as they grow. That means the way you handle and store their toys should also evolve.
For babies, a single basket with a few toys works well, especially as they discover the joy of taking things out and putting them back. As kids grow older and toys become more diversified, you'll want to start separating the different types of toys. This is where bin or basket storage becomes a necessity.
2.) Take Inventory Before You Buy
Take a look around your house before you head out to buy fancy new bins and baskets. Chances are good that you have a few baskets, crates, storage bins, or clean trash cans laying around. Even sturdy shoe or gift boxes are fair game for toy storage, especially when dressed up with snazzy labels.
If you do need to buy, Storables, The Container Store, Target, and Fred Meyer have reasonably priced storage solutions.
3.) Keep it Out of Sight
Even if it's cute, the toy bin doesn't need to be front and center in the living room. Get creative with where to store toys when not in play.
Tucked under a coffee or end table, or a raised hearth, most toy bins can go unnoticed at the most stylish soirees. Here's an example of putting a living room credenza to good use—toys are hidden inside while pretty, grown-up furnishings stand proud on top.
Photo credit: Sara Eizen
Ikea's Kallax can be a toy storage hero. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes and can double as an end table, night stand, window bench, or desk.
Photo credit: http://www.nestseattle.com/f-is-for-flip-it/
4.) Hang It Up
Tired of tripping over Legos and Play Mobile pieces? One of the most successful space and sanity saving tips for all kinds of storage is to move it off the floor.
Stash parts and pieces in an over-the-door shoe organizer hung on the back of a door or inside of a closet. If you have kids of different ages (and heights), you can designate the upper two rows for older kids while keeping the lower rows for the younger ones. Tip: choose an organizer with clear, shallow pockets so your kiddos can easily find what they're after.
For a variation on this theme that also stores and travels really well, check out the SwoopBag designed by a Seattle mom.
Photo credit: http://swoopbags.com/
Although it may feel like an uphill, Lego-laden battle, toys can be tamed. With new, easy-to-maintain systems in place, we guarantee you will never look back.
As for taming the kids, that's another matter entirely!
Sara Eizen is a Seattle-based interior designer and home organizer with a passion for helping busy families reclaim style and space in their homes on any budget. In a bi-weekly column for Seattle's Child, Sara shares creative, fun, affordable tips and tricks for clearing clutter, sprucing up rooms with minimal effort, creating systems that simplify family life, and much more.