Do you struggle to find space for all of your kids’ things? Join the perpetual battle of parents everywhere!
It sometimes seems that no matter how much stuff you get rid of, you still struggle to find space for all of the toys, clothes, play dough etc…
Finding space for your kids’ stuff is a particular issue in a small home, but even when you have lots of space, things just seem to expand to fill the space that you have! Of course, most of us parents want our home to feel ‘lived in’ and with all that playing and exploring comes mess! But most of us also want a little organisation to keep on top of things – the key to that is ensuring that everything has a ‘place’ that it belongs to. But how do you find space for everything?
I have by no means perfected this area of home organisation, but am always striving to find better ways to keep on top of and organise Little M’s things.
Here are a few space saving ideas that I have found useful…
Purge toys and clothes every few months
The best way to keep on top of any clutter is to stop it building up in the first place! By clearing out unused toys, or outgrown clothes every few months, you can keep on top of the stuff that you need to find space for. Give away to charity or make some cash by selling your used kids stuff. Organise any baby things you want to keep in labelled plastic boxes, to protect them from dust.
Double furniture up as storage
Every piece of major furniture should have more than one use in order to maximise storage. Put your furniture to work! A tv stand can double as toy storage and the under the bed space can be used to store clothes or bedding in boxes or drawers. Be creative. You can disguise toy storage if you want to by using ottomans with built in storage, or a tv cabinet with doors.
Use storage that also has a useful surface
Again, give your furniture double uses! Furniture like kitchen islands and dressers are great, as they give you storage underneath, but also a useful surface on the top. Think multi-level. For a baby, buy a dresser instead of a change table – you can store clothes and supplies in the drawers and use the surface for changing. When baby is bigger you can can repurpose the top surface to store books and other knick knacks.
Store frequently used things in easy to reach places
Toys that are played with regularly should be easy for your kids to reach, play with and (hopefully!) tidy away again. Use storage boxes or bins that are at a low height for easy reach and make sure they are not overfilled or too heavy. Anything that is being stored for a longer time, such as baby clothes can be stored in a harder to access place, such as in a box under the sofa. This means you can still utilise those awkward to reach spaces with things you use less often.
Use back of the door as storage
The back of the door is an often under utilised space. In kids rooms you can hang storage pockets to store small toys or supplies. You can use a hook over the door if you want to avoid putting nails in the door. Over the door hooks can also be used alone as a space to hang coats or dressing gowns.
Utilise the wall space
Utilise your wall space for maximum storage. Use high shelves for things like soft toys or decorative items. Just make sure your children can’t reach up and pull down or tip any furniture, it should be securely attached to the wall. Plus, especially in kids rooms, only put light weight things on high up shelves – nothing heavy that could fall and injure them. If you don’t mind hammering a nail or two then you can also use wall space to hang fun storage pockets. You might also find storage pockets useful in the bathroom, for your own accessories, as well as kids bath things.
Make sure everything has a ‘place’ to belong
Clutter always accumulates when things do not have a place to belong to. If craft things don’t have a set space, but are just left on the kitchen table they will inevitably build up into clutter. Although our kitchen table is a complete mess when Little M is busy crafting (and definitely doesn’t get tidied immediately!) the craft things do have a special box they go into, onto a special shelf. So when everything is (occasionally!) tidied away, then the craft things do not become clutter.
Store things in the room they will be used
Some people like to keep all of their children’s toys in their bedrooms, so that they are all in one place and the rest of the house is ‘toy free’. Personally, I think it is easier, especially in a small home to store things in the room in which they are going to be mostly used. This makes for easy clean up, especially to encourage children to help tidy up.
Little M’s room is very small and there is not space for many toys in there. Plus, I personally believe that ideally the bedroom should be kept as a calm space for primarily sleeping (if possible!) Since Little M mostly plays in the living room we store most of his toys in there. Any ‘messy’ things like play-doh or craft things are stored in the kitchen where he would use them. To avoid that ‘toys all over the home’ feeling, simply remember to ensure that everything has a ‘place’ to go back to!
This is by no means a comprehensive list, as I am constantly looking for new space saving ideas for Little M’s things. With a small apartment and a baby on the way I need all the ideas I can get! So please do share any other space saving ideas you may have.
What space saving ideas do you have for kids things?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, however all thoughts are entirely my own.