Simplify Your Toy Room Storage
September 12th, 2022
Many child development experts say playing is essential for a child’s healthy development. And, when children are enjoying their toys and playing independently, it gives parents the freedom and opportunity to accomplish their work around the house. A win-win!
However, just as adults become distracted by clutter and experience difficulty focusing when surrounded by too many things, so do children. Moral of the story: When it comes to toys, more is not better. We understand that minimizing a toy room can feel overwhelming. But, if it’s overwhelming for you to think about organizing the room, it’s probably overwhelming for your child to play in—let alone tidy up. Don’t worry; we’re here to help!
Choose a Designated Toy Area
While this blog post is about minimizing a toy room, we understand that many families do not have one. Whether you have a toy room or not, oftentimes the toys end up in every room and overtake the living space in the home. So, whether you have a toy room or not, the very first step in this process is to choose one area—just one—to store the toys. Our goal is to limit the toys to one space, so that you can use the rest for living.
Basements are a common and understandable area to set up a toy room. However, this is not an option for most people in areas like Texas and Florida where basements don’t exist. For these families, storage can be a serious problem. If this is the case for you, renting a storage unit to declutter your home might be the best option for you. That way, you can use an extra closet or area in the home to create a space for toy storage—not your holiday decor or paper records.
Also, it is absolutely possible to store your child’s toys within your child’s bedroom. You’ll just need to declutter, get organized and maintain a system. Don’t give up just yet; we’re going to help you every step of the way. The main point here is that there should be a designated area for the toys in your home. It’s stressful for the whole family otherwise.
Execute the First Sweep of Decluttering
After choosing your designated spot, it’s time to start minimizing your toy room. If you’re starting from ground zero, you might be wondering, “Where do I begin?” Start with what’s easiest and most obvious. Begin tossing the broken toys and other trash that can easily accumulate in the space. This will get you into the mindset of letting things go and help you gain momentum for the next step in decluttering.
Pro tip: You may want to do this initial sweep when your child is away from home with another parent, grandparent, or at school. It will be easier and quicker.
Next, it’s time to start a pile for things that your child has outgrown or doesn’t play with anymore. You could choose to donate these items or you could consider holding a yard sale. A yard sale is a little more work, but the profit could help cover the cost of any new organizational items you buy for the room, like bins or shelving. If you’re in the zone and would rather have the instant gratification of removing the clutter right away, by all means—drop it off at Goodwill or a local thrift store! If you have some special mementos that you want to keep for your child, consider putting those in storage.
Cube Storage for Toys
Once you pick your space and declutter it, whatever is leftover needs to find a home. A great way to organize and minimize your toy room is by incorporating a cube storage system, or cubbies. Measure the area you have in the room and select a unit that will allow for the most cubes. Or, you can always set the cube organizer up vertically to save floor space.
The bins that fit inside the cubes are perfect for stuffed animals, shoes, action figures, and things of that nature. Group like items, and organize them in such a way that would make sense to your child. Label the bins (you can use pictures) and explain the setup to your child so that he or she understands the system and can help tidy up with no problem.
Some people choose to place only one toy or item in each cube, as if it’s on display. This obviously limits the amount of things your toy room can store, but remember, that’s not always a bad thing! Limiting the amount of toys that are visible encourages play. Too many options and clutter can cause sensory overload.
Use Vertical Space to Minimize Your Toy Room
Shelves are a perfect solution for books that would otherwise occupy a lot of space. For artwork, you can hole-punch it, place it into a binder and set it on the shelving with the books. Another option for artwork is to hang a few shallow wall ledges, and display it there. Or, you can even hang a string with clothespins to attach the art for display.
Methods to Minimize Your Toy Room
Some people set a limit to how many toys a child can keep, such as 20. This concept may seem drastic at first…but also freeing, right?
If you don’t think you can go that route, you may be interested in toy rotation. That’s when you keep a certain number of toys out and visible to the child and store the rest away out of sight. Then, every 7-10 days, you switch out the toys in the toy area with ones that have been stored.
It keeps the toys fun and exciting to the child and keeps the room feeling neat and tidy. Another win-win!
Okay, so now you’ve got this toy room to a place where everyone is happy. But how long will it stay that way? Nothing lasts forever, but there are a few ways to maintain things without getting to the point of needing another complete overhaul.
First, just know that you’re not the only family who accumulates clutter. If you’ve got a good system down, try to encourage your child to tidy up with you every night before bed. Or, at least try to do this once a week. A great day to do so is on Sunday so that everyone starts the next week feeling organized and focused.
Try to do a bigger decluttering session twice a year. Usually the holidays or your child’s birthday will bring an influx of new things. These are both excellent times to get rid of the old when your child is excited about the new.
Another good rule of thumb is that for every new item your child brings into the toy room, something old must find a new home.
This project will be so worth it. Declutter, get organized, reduce stress and enjoy the sanity restored to your home.