Cutting the clutter in your home by paring down and organizing all of your own belongings isn’t always easy, and it often seems even more difficult to accomplish these same tasks in your child’s room. The sheer volume of toys that they manage to collect over a relatively short period of time can be overwhelming, making it hard for little ones to keep their rooms clean without any extra help and presenting a challenge in logistics after gift-giving holidays and birthdays.
I don’t know about you, but I have a very hard time getting rid of all their “friends”. Especially, when I know they still enjoy playing with them. These ten common items can, with a bit of creativity, become interesting and effective toy organizers. Thinking outside of the toy box can help you keep your child’s room inviting and clutter free.
10 Common Items that Make Great Toy Organizers
Baskets – Woven baskets are functional storage items that can also become whimsical decorative items, stashing away toys and lending a polished air to the room. For even more ornamental power, line baskets with fabric that coordinates with the color scheme of your child’s room. Micheals craft store carries a lot of different kinds and they always seem to have great sales.
Storage Benches – There’s often a shortage of seating in kids’ rooms, which can begin to present a challenge as they get older and start to have friends over. Solve the seating problem and your toy organization woes by stowing toys under the lid of a storage bench, which becomes functional seating as well as an organizational tool.
Wire Bins – Wire bins, especially those that have flat edges to facilitate wall mounting, can be great ways to keep smaller toys off the ground and out of the way. Just be sure that they’re mounted low enough for your child to see inside and retrieve a desired toy himself, or you might find yourself in the position of both taking them out for him and putting them away at the end of the day.
Storage Cubes – Typically made of plastic and covered in durable, brightly colored canvas, storage cubes are functional toy organizers that also lend splashes of color to the room. They have the added bonus of being lightweight enough that your child can move them himself, provided that the toys themselves aren’t particularly heavy.
Coffee Cans – Painting a coffee can in your child’s favorite color and personalizing it with his name makes for a storage system that puts the fun back in functional. Before turning your newest project over to your little one, however, be sure that the inner lip is completely dull to avoid any accidental cuts when he reaches inside.
Diaper Wipe Containers – By the time your infant reaches toddlerhood, the number of lidded plastic diaper wipe containers that you’ve amassed can be impressive. Rather than tossing them into the garbage to take up space in a landfill, it might be better to take the green route by repurposing them to hold small toys or crayons.
Buckets and Pails – With their handles and sturdy construction, small buckets and pails are great choices for kids’ organization. Not only can your child maneuver them easily with the handle, they can also double as toys themselves.
Suitcases – When you’re not traveling, kids’ luggage simply sits in a closet collecting dust. Rather than storing non-functional pieces all year only to use them once or twice, fill them with toys, doll clothes, or other items, then stash them under the bed. Your child can still access her favorite toys, but they’re no longer taking up space all over the room and her luggage is being put to a functional use year round.
Spice Racks – Older children that are becoming arts and crafts enthusiasts can acquire a lot of glitter, sequins, buttons, and other supplies that aren’t always easy to store. A new spice rack, might be just what you’re looking for. Shaker tops built into the jars are ideal for glitter, ribbons can be neatly coiled and stashed inside, and buttons or other small bits can be collected into them for easy storage. Glass or clear plastic jars allow your little one to see what each of them contain, and they are easily corralled in their very own rack.
Cabinets – Though you certainly can install wall cabinets in your child’s room, it’s likely to be an involved and fairly expensive project. Rather than investing in custom cabinetry, stop by your local builders’ supply and pick up a couple of cabinet sections intended for upper wall mounting. Arrange them in a straight line, then cover the top with pine or some other type of lumber. Stain or paint the entire new piece of furniture you’ve created the color of your choice, then enjoy the custom credenza you’ve built with a hammer, a few nails, and a minimal investment of time or effort.
In addition to utilizing some of these toy storage ideas, it’s also wise to cull your children’s toys periodically to make room for new ones. Unless they have some sort of particular emotional significance, any playthings that are broken, damaged, or rarely played with should be discarded in the interest of maintaining order and organization.