By Timothy R. Schulte
Parents have plenty to worry about: getting kids dressed, fed and to bed, and hopefully catching a little shuteye themselves. Clearing up the toy clutter around the house often isn’t too high on the priority list. And once they’re put away, they often find themselves right back where they were: strewn all over the house. The best plan is keeping them contained but accessible to the kids, so they’re as easy to put away as they are to play with. Here are some tips for a tranquil toy situation.
More often than not, kids have too many toys to begin with. Reducing the amount will make controlling them a lot easier. Kids’ tastes in toys change about as fast as they grow. The ones they’re no longer using have no business being in your house. You can give them to a neighbor, donate them to a charity or drop them off at a local thrift shop. Or you can turn your child into a mini guru and let them reap the profits of what their toys net at a garage sale.
Use closets to your advantage by adding shelving or adding containers, such as rolling carts. This keeps toys contained and at close proximity, and more importantly, off the floor. If you’re looking for a more whiz-bang solution, consider investing in a customized storage or shelving system to fit your closet’s specifications.
If the closet is too full of school and soccer uniforms, long, short plastic storage containers are a perfect solution for under the bed. Armoires and chests make good toy-hiders while fitting seamlessly into a room’s furniture arrangement.
Toss out the soap and loofah and turn a shower caddie into a toy caddie. That means no more superheroes on the shower floor, and your child will feel more adult-like as he or she totes their shower essentials to the tub, just like mom and dad do.
3. Family/Living Room
Some of the same rules from the bedroom apply here. The under-the-bed container will work perfectly beneath a couch, and some space in the entertainment center or in a chest will keep toys hidden and ready for play. A wicker basket makes a great accent on a bookshelf, and filling it with toys is a great way to keep them out of sight – the lower shelves are good for easy access for your short stack. There’s nothing wrong with going old-school with a toy box, just make sure it fits the room’s theme and décor.
You kid will be proud for keeping the toys under control, and you’ll feel good about your clutter free house.