Before having kids, I was so obsessed with keeping the house tidy. Sadly enough I would spend 3 or 4 hours cleaning the house from top to bottom every Saturday! I was obsessed with making sure my cushions sat at the right angle, and that my fairy lights were equally draped everywhere! Post Elsi, my house is a different place – it’s home to cobwebs, dust …but it’s also a lot more fun if I’ honest! The biggest struggle I find is how to keep the toys tidy, and making sure they don’t take over the whole house, whilst also making them accessible. I’m sure that many of you can relate to this?!
To help us out I’ve phoned a friend, Gwerfyl Owen – Harding, a mother of two gorgeous young kids and an amazing interior designer! Here’s her brilliant article with lots of useful toy storage ideas!
The kids have just gone to bed and you’re on your way downstairs for a long awaited cup of tea (glass of wine!). You head towards the living/play room and Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh…you’ve just stepped on a plastic car and twisted your ankle. Obviously your request for them to tidy up before going to bed was ignored!
We’ve all been there and increasingly our kitchens, living rooms, play rooms, kids bedrooms are getting to look more like plastic cities!
Children like to start their day in a clutter free play area and floor space, which is far more relaxing environment to play in and also promotes creative play. Clever storage systems allow this to happen, as they promote quick tidy ups and they teach our kids to look after their toys. Storage must be safe and accessible to children and if introduced during baby/toddler stage this encourages good habits. Do it!
If possible, categorise all the essential toys that must stay in a child’s bedroom i.e. books, comfort cuddly toys and then other toys e.g. art and craft materials, table top games, push along toys, that can be placed in a living room/ kitchen or a designated play area. If all toys are stored in a bedroom invest in some concealed storage, because a child will sleep more peacefully if the toys are out of sight.
Good toy storage should be mixture of shelving, drawers, cupboards and baskets which are easy to use and durable. It’s crucial to include an element of fun for example, tiered open cubes to climb on, colourful boxes or anything on castors. Steer clear of themed items as kids grow out of these very quickly!
My top storage solutions!
Sturdy plastic storage boxes that slide onto the brackets for easy gliding access and visibility of contents. Frees-up precious floor space and avoids having to repeatedly unstack your plastic storage boxes to find what you’re after at the bottom of the pile.
Colourful boxes used to sort out toys by type, and helps keep bedrooms and playrooms free of clutter. And because it’s perfect sized for little ones, everything is within easy reach.
A playful and sturdy storage series for storing and organising toys, sitting, playing and relaxing.
Smart mobile storage chest, promoting tidy-ups wherever it goes and great fun too!
Whether new or an old sturdy wooden storage chest….it is perfect for clearing the clutter of toys and teddies in the kids playroom or bedroom at the end of the day.
6. DIY by your own carpenter/ handyman!
If you are fortunate enough to have a designated playroom, a carpenter and plenty of MDF sheets…..anything is possible! Bespoke storage makes the most of odd shaped rooms and ceilings.
This is Nel and Welan’s playroom – This is our hardest working room in the house! Brightly painted storage made up of boxes on castors, drawers and open shelves. All made out of MDF boards.
The colours were chosen by Nel and Welan which instilled ownership and pride in this play space. The blue coloured storage are for Welan’s use only and the pink is just for Nel….with the other coloured boxes for sharing toys. Again, this idea came from the kids and it works!
Gwerfyl Owen – Harding is an interior designer based near Machynlleth, Mid Wales. To learn more about her services and to see some beautiful examples of her work visit her Instagram page dylunio_dy_dy and her website www.dyluniodydy.org – prepare to be wowed!
Mam Cymru would like to thank Gwerfyl for her contributing this article. I’m off to be buy some MDF!
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru
*Copyright – Mam Cymru