There are so many great organisation tips available on the internet and an unbelievable array of child-friendly furniture and storage you can buy. But have you considered if these ideas or products are actually any good?
What seemed like a great idea is now adding to the clutter problem and expense of keeping a home tidy and organised.
The Frozen toy chest was a good idea during that Elsa and Anna obsession, now your darling’s moved onto something else and you’re stuck with it.
Kids adore film, TV and book characters that they identify with. Fixating on a character gives comfort, security and routine, particularly to younger children and is all part of growing up. The downside is marketers play on this obsession and brand everything possible including toy storage and furniture.
While character branded furniture served its purpose last year, now your kids have moved on and constantly updating furniture to match their latest obsession is expensive.
Look for non-permanent ways to incorporate a favourite film or theme into your children’s furniture or storage. Buy furniture in colours that match the colour scheme, for instance – orange for Finding Nemo and varying shades of blue for Frozen.
Add branded decals or stickers for the finishing touch. Use see-through plastic storage boxes as toy chests and insert character-based wrapping or wallpaper around the insides of the box.
Large plastic boxes
Found in the corners and lofts of many family homes. Usually contains a varying mix of toys or clothes. These boxes can be a blessing or curse, depending on how they’re used.
After a hard day’s playing, small toys tend to get mixed up or left lying around. The temptation for parents is to chuck anything into the box and sort it out at an unspecified date. This ultimately results in a box stuffed full of odd bits and pieces that requires a good de-clutter after a couple of months.
In the meantime, your kids struggle to find that missing jigsaw piece or item of doll’s clothing. Worse, you end up with random bits of plastic toy and no idea where it belongs.
Either divide up a larger box with smaller ones or just use smaller boxes. Label the boxes into categories such as musical toys, dolls or cars and take more care over the evening tidy up. You’ll thank yourself in the long-run.
This system makes it easier for children to keep their toys organised too; use picture labels to encourage them to put things away correctly.
Boxes without lids
As families grow so do their collection of boxes. There seems to be a box for everything, from outgrown baby clothes to craft items, toy collections and seasonal items. Boxes are great but they can become dust traps, especially if they contain soft toys and you don’t use a lid.
Easy! Make sure each box has a lid and use it. If you find yourself forever losing lids, try plastic crates with hinged interlocking-lids instead.
Setting a rule of keeping boxes closed will help avoid dust-catching and overloading of boxes too. Regularly clean out boxes and give stuffed toys a wash, especially if your little ones have an allergy.
Bulky shelving units
When decorating your baby’s bedroom, you probably thought of installing a multi-purpose modular shelving unit.
Now your children have grown. The unit now doubles up as an impromptu climbing frame and dumping ground for toys, clothing or even toast from breakfast.
Safety first – ensure all units are secured to a wall to prevent accidents. Even if your warnings of ‘no climbing’ go unheeded, you can be assured that injuries are less likely.
Rather than keeping open shelves put those boxes with lids to good use and store them here. Boxes make it easier to stay organised and can be moved for cleaning rogue food spotting.
Ultimately, however you keep organised, turning a bad storage idea into a good one is always possible.