Few things are as frustrating as stepping on a lost Lego or missing Matchbox car in the middle of a dark night. Thankfully, this is easily avoided when toys are properly stored. Finding available space to fit a few toy boxes can be daunting, but if you think outside the traditional toy box, you're sure to find toy storage options that work.
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If you live in a space-challenged apartment or small home, get creative with your toy storage ideas. Hinged ottomans in the living room do double-duty since they offer both a place to kick back and provide a spot for stray toys and books. Leave the bottom two shelves of a bookcase clear for toddler toys, and keep the upper shelves for your books and albums. In living rooms and family rooms, clutter-free floors are key, and shelving greatly minimizes the chance of a fall or someone tripping over loose objects.
Pick up a few wicker baskets to toss stray airplanes in. The toy storage baskets make a great landing spot for pet toys as well. Match the theme of your space while keeping up with the kids – of both the two- and four-legged variety. If you have a blank wall, use a bookcase and line it with baskets. Entryways and foyers offer space for a bench-style ottoman, providing a spot for your little league star to dump a glove and ball instead of on the floor.
Choose Furniture That Grows
While tot-sized tables, dressers and bookcases are utterly adorable for the nursery school set, they become impractical in just a few short years. Tweens and teens might not appreciate storing sweaters and books in pint-sized places. When your baby is ready to make the move from crib to toddler bed, consider buying a twin or daybed. Many of these beds feature extra drawers underneath, providing storage space for everything from blankets to beloved books and games.
Select a low bookcase to display your child's budding Barbie collection, using labeled bins for smaller items or even Legos. Keep in mind that higher shelves can be hard for smaller children to reach
Sharing a room doesn't have to mean cramped space. If a bunk bed set is out of the budget, utilize the space under the bed with larger clear bins as toy organizers. Add a bed skirt, and what used to be clutter is a perfect pulled-together room. As your child grows, the bins become an excellent spot for keeping fashion accessories, makeup or gaming consoles.
Smart Ideas for the Small Stuff
Once you've got the basics covered, it's time to look at everyday items that can make a big difference in keeping up with the clutter of a typical kid. Hang up a pegboard and hooks, and create a spot to hang baseball caps, dress-up clothing or even a large collection of squirt guns. Consider storage boxes or shoe bins in any number of sizes and label them so it's easy to find what you need.
For young children, you might want to string up a toy net across one corner of the room to display well-loved stuffed animals while keeping them in reach. Two nets placed one above the other create a cute and cuddly display that's easy to take down once the passion passes, and the harmless fun of tossing up toys is fun for both parents and kids.
Staying ahead of the inevitable childhood chaos doesn't have to be difficult. Utilizing available space from floor to corner in imaginative ways creates less stress for you and more fun for your children when they know they have a spot to find everything – even if you're still the one who puts it all away!
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