Since I have become a mother, I have experienced so many joys it’s unbelievable. However there is one aspect to having children that continuously causes an insane amount of stress. It brings me such frustration that I blame it on why I have such a large intake of wine each night. Well okay maybe not, but it’s certainly deserves a small part of the blame. What could this stress be you ask? It is dealing with the overwhelming amount of toys and junk that my kids have accumulated and left scattered everywhere.
Oh and I do mean everywhere. I find Lego’s in the toilet. I find naked Barbies in my bed. I step on so many toys that my daughter is no longer phased by my colorful language. It’s just nuts. I keep thinking, “What’s the point?”. Here’s the point, it’s just not fair. I love my kids and I have already given up so much to make them happy. I’ll no longer get to finish a meal because they’d rather eat my food then their own. I’ll never get to sleep as much I’d like to. I’ve no doubt gone partially deaf because of the early morning shriek fest. It’s only right that I get to have my house feel like it’s not totally been taken over by 2 small children.
So naturally I have given this a lot of thought. Why doesn’t practical storage solution work with these kids? Oh I know, because they’re kids. They don’t care that they things are everywhere. Clearly they prefer it this way. Well no more. I have done a lot of research and concluded the following.
Minimal Living is Possible
I’m sure you would agree that your kids have too many toys. I know mine do. They don’t even play with most of them. So I say get rid of as many of your kids toys as you possibly can. Just do it. Don’t over think it. Just do it and enjoy it. Because it’s gonna feel so good.
I mean do they need that many Lego’s? Do they need 459 books? Because I gotta say, no matter how many books we get, there are about 10 books that my kids love, and the rest are just not cutting it. One shelf is plenty. After that you go to the library and rotate out to eat some new books in.
By now you have learned what it is your children play with and what they just don’t care about. I know that when you grab toys to add to the goodwill pile, they’ll suddenly have a brand new love for these toys. Do not let them fool you. It’s only shiny and exciting for a few days and then they are just not that interested anymore. So go through as much as you can and decide which of your kids items spark joy (Marie Kondo’s teachings are true here too) and just get rid of the rest.
If just tossing out these toys is crazy to you, pack them up in storage somewhere. In a couple of months you can bring them back, cycle out what was left behind previously, and you’ve got a whole new set of toys for them to play with. It could be a new seasonal thing you do every Spring or Fall. You will love how little you have lying around.
Think About Storage Size
As with most things, kids toys come in all shapes and sizes. So your storage options should be the same. Get items that carry a whole mess of different types of toys. As your kids are young, they have larger toys that can fit in big bins. As they grow up their toys get smaller, but they do tend to get more of them. So it makes sense that you want a variety of bin sizes. Avoid having to get new bins every year because it’s just not realistic. So get pieces that you can use now, and maybe use 3 years from now as well. If you have multiple kids and you’re dealing with different ages, you want to be prepared for each kids needs.
Proper organization should be planned out. I mean really plan it out. Sit down and think about what you have, how much of it you have, and how you can store it in your space. This will help you have a succesful time keeping track of the toys and the clutter. Sounds nice doesn’t it?
Lids and Doors
Only use storage that has a lid or door. With so many toys in your home, you want to throw them all in a bin and keep them hidden away. I used to think that getting something open at the top was easier for the kids. Instead, they throw too much into each bin and nothing fits. So they either ignore the bins entirely, or their overflowing with brightly colored junk. Either way, it doesn’t look nice.
Sure you can have a few open containers that you can throw stuff in quickly, however it doesn’t look clean. So I say get yourself storage that can hide the mess. It will always look better. It will always make you feel better.
Get Creative with Your Storage
Sure, you can go to places like Land of Nod or Target and get something made for loading toys. I just don’t think there is anything special about them, and that is disappointing. Your place ends up looking like a toy storage room. So instead try to get some unique pieces that you may not ordinarily think about using as storage.
I love using ottomans or coffee tables to hide the toys away. It’s one of the best ways to keep it all hidden. Better yet, just make your storage something that you’d be proud to show off. Think about the style and color. Think about how it will be able to hold all of those games and toys. As you can see with the piece here, the furniture itself is beautiful. What you store away inside of it is totally up to you.
Now take a deep breath, and go out and make your space something you love again.
Written by Rhiannon Gillis. Rhiannon is a Los Angeles decorator and also writes for the blog Rhiannon’s Interiors.