There is no easy solution here. I wish there was, but there is not. All you can do is try to manage some of the chaos. Embrace it, don’t fight it, and you may have a chance. Here I have 4 ways to keep your space nice, and avoid your kids toys taking over the living room.
Great Storage Solutions
Your best friends throughout this battle, are amazing storage solutions. I mean lets face it your kids, no matter the age, will always have an insane amount of toys. These toys will be dumped all over the floor, on top of the furniture, underneath the furniture, and anywhere else they can shove these little tiny things. So get yourself storage to make it work.
Book shelves and shelving units are a great start. You want to have a beautiful piece that you can contain the majority of the pieces. If you choose a unit that you love, it makes for a great start to hiding them in your communal space.
Get some really cool storage bins or baskets. The bigger the better. I mean if they’re too small, everything inside of them is guaranteed to be spilling out of the tops. Get something that holds a significant amount, because it makes it easier for the kids, and probably you, to clean up.
Make a Space for Everyone
It’s no longer a gorgeous and tidy living room for you and your adult friends and family to enjoy. It is now a play room for the kids, and the place you will spend most of your time doing a whole number of things. Make sure you all have a space to enjoy. Don’t let them take over, and don’t let your need to be in control prohibit them from having some space.
Give them a corner, or a wall, or some kind of space that they can store their goodies and draw or read. If they have a little table and or chairs, they can actually do activities in this space. No it wont keep them off of your favorite chair, but it will help.
That being said, make sure you have a seating arrangement that is family friendly for everyone. Allow some space for you to hang out together, but also to have adult time alone, or with friends when they come for a visit. Think about what you enjoy doing and make it real. If you want to sit in a corner and read, provide this space for yourself. If you enjoy watching movies on the TV, make for a friendly environment to do so. Just give yourself something to have fun with too.
It’s true. Really. If you have less in this space, it’s less likely to be broken, stained, lost, or choked on. If your kids have less in this space, it’s less for them to choose to play with, and less for them to make a mess with.
You are always battling the cleanup routine, so having less within this space will change your life. If minimal living isn’t your thing, I say make it your thing. nothing will change your life sooner than realizing you and your kids have too much junk, and you need to get rid of it.
Sometimes having a room that is styled for you and your kids is not as crazy as you’d think. Kids of all ages enjoy color, so including some of these vibrant colors in various ways can make you all happy. Think about the color of your pillows, rugs, furniture, and even wall color. It doesn’t need to be a room filled with overly bright colors. All you need is a way to bring in at least a small amount that would appeal to the kids, but still makes you happy.
Kids don’t just like sail boats, dinosaurs, and fairies. They take to patterns that are organic and large-scale. This is something us adults can enjoy as well. Think about getting pillows with abstract shapes, or curtains that have color blocks. Get something that appeals to us adults, but you know would actually please your kids. Or at the very least, they wouldn’t hate it. Sometimes that’s all you need.
all images come from the book Creative Family Home: Imaginative and Original Spaces for Modern Family Living