If your little ones are running around with action figures and baby dolls, your home is probably starting to resemble a toy store. Keeping a clutter-free home after Barbie, Superman and friends take up residence can be a challenge.
“In family spaces, multi-use storage pieces are really handy for camouflaging toys,” says Krista Fabregas, interior designer and founder of KidSmartLiving, supplier of family-friendly products.
Spruce up the décor of your home and conceal all those toys by choosing stylish furnishings that also function as storage for toys.
An ottoman can add a trendy look to your family’s living space while also disguising the toys that are typically sprawled across the floor.
“Accent pieces are generally a good choice because they can be situated in corners and other out-of-the-way areas of a family room,” says Fabregas. “Plus, they can be moved around by kids and as needs change.”
Select a cube-size storage ottoman that matches the décor of your living room and fill it to the brim with stuffed toys, trains and plastic farm animals. Opt for a multi-use storage unit that will store toys for the entire family.
“Larger pieces like storage ottomans offer plenty of space and they collect remotes, magazine stacks on top, limiting easy access for small hands,” says Fabregas.
Trunk of Treats
Revive your décor with a vintage style and storage solution. Large antique trunks are often deep and provide plenty of storage for everyday toys for the tweens and teens in your home. Throw in board games and video game controllers to transform a teenage hangout into an entertaining adult space when company is visiting.
Trunks come in various sizes to accommodate both large and small trinkets, although for the safety of young children, secure the trunk with a lock and store items suitable only for older children.
“Any decorative home accent retailer should have a few decorative trunks to choose from, too,” says Fabregas.
Dust off those books on your bookshelf and replace a few of them with toys that have covered every inch of your floor. Deep bookshelves with low shelves offer the perfect solution for toys around the house.
“A deep storage shelf that is visible makes toys more easy to see and for a child to use,” says Linda Varone, interior designer in Massachusetts. “And the bonus is that it is easier for your child to put their toys away when they can see and reach the designated ‘home’ for each toy.”
Ensure the safety of your children by tethering all bookshelves and storing items on lower shelves easily within reach—you don't want the little ones climbing or pulling on the shelving to reach their blocks or crayons. Choose a bookcase in a style to complement your other furnishings. This will turn your living room into a visual playroom with a bookshelf that pleases parents and kids.
If toys are taking over your child's room, opt for cubbies to keep each toy safe and sound—and off the floor. Cubby bins are available at most retail outlets and are designed with attractive wood finishing or colorful plastic containers. These bins are easy for kids to use, too, says Bonnie Joy Dewkett, a Connecticut-based certified professional organizer and author of 50 Tips to Get You Organized—In Ten Minutes or Less.
“Kids can use one set of toys at a time and easily grab and move the bins on their own,” says Dewkett. “It’s great to let them pick the colors of the bins or even decorate them, and if they are too young to read labels, have them draw a picture of the bins’ contents.”