Welcome back Alana organizing blogger from Taylor Made Home. Last week she shared some excellent tips to getting our kiddo's rooms in an organized shape where they can keep it up! This week she will continue to share her wealth of organizing tips, hope you enjoy!
Let me speak to the moms out there first:
Now I know this series is about organizing kid's bedrooms and/or playrooms buuuuut, if we were honest, how many would admit that on any given day our living rooms look more like playrooms because of the toys? Don't be shy. Raise your hand because I've got mine raised too!
Switching gears just a bit, let's talk about how you entertain with other families. Of course, if the children are the same age then they will usually entertain each other and play together. But what happens with you've got a ten-year-old and your dinner guests have a three-year-old? I recommend that as long as you have friends who are still having children, then you have a small assortment of toys for each age group from baby on up.
What do I mean? Grab a basket and put toys in it that are appropriate for babies. Get another baskets and store away toddler toys. Find yet another and stash some games or books for elementary age. Once you've gotten a pretty good assortment and all the toys are categorized, store them in a location that isn't in the way of your day-to-day life but is easy to get to when company comes. (Ex - linen closet? mudroom? pantry? laundry room?- anywhere is fine.)
If you're having trouble remembering what a two year old likes to play with, then go to any online store and search the approriate age group. Most stores have categories like "ages 2-4" and "ages 6-8". From there you can see what will probably appeal to your little guests and then either purchase directly from that store or better yet, go to yard sales and thrift stores to buy secondhand (just be sure to thoroughly clean your purchases before handing them over to little hands).
The only age you really don't have to plan for is the age of your own kids because the toys in your child's room should suffice and it will teach "junior" how to share his own things.
Now, I'd like to talk to those of you who don't have kids of your own:
Even if you don't have kids (yet?), I bet you have friends who do have children. Right? Well, I am about to give you some tips that are going to make those friends think you are amazing!
How often do you invite those friends-with-kids over and the parents end up spending all of their time chasing the little ones around because there isn't anything to occupy them (the kids, not your friends)? Well, the solution is as easy as providing toys for those children to play with. How? Follow the same advice I gave the moms above, beginning with the paragraph that begins with: "What do I mean?...".
Everyone back together now:
Whether your kids make your living room look like a disaster zone or you want to know where to stash those toys for your guests, these products can provide the storage you want with the style your used to:
Take a console table like the one above, add baskets to the lower shelf, and voila! You've got toy storage. The baskets are easily accessible by the kids and clean up will be a breeze.
Behold, the super-multi-tasking storage ottoman. Keeps toys inside while providing extra seating. All you have to decide is whether you want to get several smaller ones (as shown above) or...
Or, go with one large piece. Remember, if you choose the larger one, it's best to categorize the toys and then stash those baskets or bins inside the larger ottoman. Otherwise, it's nothing more than a plush toy box...and you know how I feel about toy boxes!
Another option is to take something that was meant for an entryway/mudroom and turn it into a window bench (placed under a window, of course). Purchasing/using one like the example above will give you three separate compartments for toys.
Of course, if you don't have any of these items above, simply grab yourself a large box or basket and put all kinds of toys in it. Yes, the kids will have to do a little digging to find what they want, but if you don't mind the extra minute or two of clean up (it's really not that hard to toss everything into a basket), then all that matters is that your youngest guests are happy.
No matter what you decide to use, don't forget to label all baskets, bins, or boxes! Makes finding what you need easier for you and for the kids.
Alana is a wife, mother of one, and lover of all things home. She thrives on organizing and believes that learning this skill can improve ALL areas of your life. Although her blog started out as just a creative outlet, it is quickly becoming her passion as it allows her to help women effectively manage their busy lives.
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