Does your house feel more like a toyshop than a home? If toys seem to clutter every surface, it’s time to reevaluate the space you have given over to storing all of them. With a little thought and not too much money, it should be possible for your children to take over the house during the day and have it to return to a serene, grown-up space as soon as bathtime is done and dusted.
1. Have a Hidden Place For Toys In Every Room
If you find toys scattered around the whole house, chances are, they are played with all over the place. You can spend the next few years screaming at the toys’ owners, demanding that they only play with them in their bedrooms or the playroom, or you could just create a storage space for all these toys wherever they are found. It will be much easier for the kids to put these things away if they don’t have to carry them all back to their rooms each night.
2. Boost Your Built-In Toy Storage
To create toy storage in every room, think about whether you could give over some of your built-in storage to toys or whether it’s worth adding to what you have. Sacrifice a kitchen cupboard, for example, for arts and crafts materials; and, move all of your old CDs onto your MP3 player, so that the unit that they’re stored in in the lounge can be given over to boardgames.
3. Become a Basket Case
Instead of traditional toy boxes, opt for lidded baskets instead, they will make your home look much more stylish. Nobody outside your immediate family need know that these beautiful woven storage holders are actually filled with brightly coloured plastic toys - this is why the lid is so important. Use smaller lidded stacking baskets and boxes for those irritating tiny toys, such as trading cards and bouncy balls.
4. Work Your Doors
You can use the insides of bedroom and wardrobe doors to hold pocket storage, which is also useful for storing tiny toys, such as magic tricks, model aeroplanes and dolls’ clothes.
5. Look For Storage Opportunities in Everything
If you’re about to buy a new sofa, a bed for the kids’ room or a new coffee table, see if you can find one with additional hidden storage. Instead of concealing a bed, many sofas now open up to reveal a void underneath where you can hide away quite large toys. And you can buy beds that come with integral storage drawers so that the kids can throw everything in there at the end of the day.
6. Make Use of Your Outdoor Space
If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden, install a shed or trunk out there that can hold the tennis rackets, footballs and scooters that litter your hallway. If you don’t have a garden and only want these items used in the park, make a permanent home for them in your car’s boot.
7. Turn Toys Into Works of Art
This is camouflaged toy storage, rather than hidden, but with the right toys it can be very effective. If your kids have some attractive, perhaps retro-style or vintage toys, let them hang out on the book shelves. Hang the kite on the hall wall and use mini floating shelves to support cute little matchbox cars on their bedroom walls.