Having children comes with its fair share of challenges, for me one of those daily battles is keeping a tidy house with two young, very active, excitable children. Their toys could probably furnish a small play school.
Having a child of each gender and a three-year age gap in-between, the toys in our home range from 99 Barbies jostling out of their storage box (usually naked with one shoe on) and noisy racing cars of all types, sizes and colours. Being somewhat obsessive about keeping my house tidy and clutter free, it’s certainly not a walk in the park. Never be fooled by anyone’s picture perfect home on Instagram. It takes a lot of effort and time having young children and running a household to any sort of presentable standard. You may be completely happy allowing the toys flow into your living room and perhaps do a big tidy up at the weekend and that’s wonderful! As long as the kids are happy and you feel like you’re getting some down time, that’s really all that matters. My problem is that I can’t truly relax in a cluttered environment and I like to have a place for everything that can be accessed quickly and easily at the end of the day so that come that glorious bedtime hour for the children, my space is as Zen like as possible!
If possible, I like to have most of the children’s toys stored in their own bedrooms. Luckily, both of our children have rather spacious individual bedrooms, but this is of course more difficult if your children share bedrooms or they are on the smaller side but we can get to that later. I like to have the toys arranged in some sort of category/order where they can easily be found. I have the majority of their toys in canvas storage boxes arranged in white shelving units. Ours are from The Great Little Trading Company. I love their style, durability and array of designs and colours. You can have these mixed and matched but I chose to have them all in the same colour and style.
Their storage boxes are made of canvas and are collapsible and also bend around the edges to make it easy to carry around the house. The children regularly carry their boxes downstairs to play and when they grow bored and want something new, we scoop the toys back into the boxes together and swap for something fresh.
My daughter has an abundance of tiny little toys such as Shopkins, Num Nums and baby Hatchimals. Fellow mummies of little girls can sympathise (and they bloody hurt if you stand on them!) These canvas boxes are perfect to store away these pesky little pieces out of sight and make tidying up a doddle!
The children also have a toy box each. I use these to store toys that are bulkier, brightly coloured plastic tat if you will! Sofia’s toy box is home to her larger toys such as her Barbie campervan and boat as she plays with these every day. Her toy box was made by a store which I discovered on Instagram called dreambox.toyboxes They make so many beautiful products and made this toy box to my exact specification. It has so much space inside as well as being crafted lovingly and of good quality. I think it just completes her room!
Leo’s toy box is packed full of his favourite larger dinosaurs that wouldn’t fit in a small storage box. They’re always accessible for him and easy for him to tidy away afterwards. Leo’s toybox was made by beausandbuttons but he is due to get a larger one soon from the same store that made Sofia’s as I am simply in love with the style and cushioned seat! I have their toy boxes placed underneath their windows as a focal point and a little window seat.
The children’s books can mount up too. My children love to read, especially Sofia and we have always had an abundance of books. As we all know, reading to our children is so important and I love to create a cosy little reading corner for them to enjoy. Make a feature of their books by having them on shelves on display. Leo loves to sit on his bean bag and cuddle up with a blanket after his bath for his bedtime story. His shelves are from The Great Little Trading Company and they have different colours too to add a little pop of life to your child’s bedroom.
Being a little older, Sofia has her books stored in a pretty little bookcase shaped like a dolls house. It holds all of her books easily which is quite something as she has quite a collection. This was also from The Great Little Trading Company however it was quite some time ago, but similar products are available.
Both of my children are very crafty. By that, I don’t mean sneaky (Or maybe I do!), I mean in the arty sense. Playdough, glue, paints, crayons and glitter – it can get out of control! I like to store every day essentials in a little caddy. The Great Little Trading Company have some gorgeous designs to fit your theme. They’re compact and easy to carry downstairs to the kitchen table for messy play fun and look great in their bedrooms.
If you are short on space, here are my top tips to keep the toys out of sight!
*Get a beautiful ottoman for your living room. It could be a luxurious crushed velvet design, sitting proudly beneath your window, but secretly it could house all of that multi coloured plastic!
* Invest in a unit with some storage boxes to match your lounge décor. Ikea has some fantastic options! Imagine how easy it would be at the end of the day to quickly scoop up the toys from the carpet and pop inside. Try to keep them in some sort of order for example cars, barbies and books. It will encourage you to keep on top of the tidying.
* Store bulkier items on shelves in their wardrobes. We have Ikea wardrobes which allows you to choose the depth of your shelves. We have a deep shelf on top of both the children’s wardrobes which is home to large items such as my son’s farm and wooden castle.
* Store toys in your garage, if you have a one of course! Invest in some Perspex boxes such as THESE We have lots of these stacked in our garage and these house toys that we only occasionally bring out such as playmobil and board games. It’s nice to have some toys completely out of sight. Our kids get excited when something comes out of the garage, like it’s a brand-new toy!
* Get a storage bed! There are so many amazing children’s beds these days. My daughter’s bed not only has another single bed hidden underneath, it also has three large drawers which are perfect for toys and books.
I would like to point out that this post is not sponsored by The Great Little Trading Company, I just love their products!
I’d love to hear what your storage solutions and tips are. Let’s get organising!