Storage Ideas For Kid's Clutter
Control the Clutter
Kids, especially young ones, seem to have so much ‘stuff' that is bulky and hard to store, like the pretend kitchen or work bench. As they get a little older the stuff gets smaller, but has so many bits and pieces, such as Legos or craft supplies. Storage becomes quite a challenge. You want the storage areas to look nice, but you also want them to be easy for the kids (and you) to use.
One of our big storage dilemma's was stuffed animals. Doting grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors were very generous with these. The kids enjoyed them, but didn't actually play with them much. We purchased a decorative fisherman's net and suspended it across one corner of the room where all those fuzzy critters hung out, so to speak.
We put shelves and ‘cubby holes' made with shelving in part of their closet. This made space for the clear plastic storage boxes (we measured the boxes first). The boxes held the smaller items like blocks, craft supplies, little cars, Barbies and all their accessories quite nicely. Getting the kids to use them on a regular basis was another story, but it did help to have a place for them .
You can put a few book shelves above your child's bed or build a bookcase headboard.There are many DIY videos for this on YouTube.
A friend of ours has a little girl who loves her Barbies and keeps them in a shoe storage bag or unit that hangs on the back of her bedroom door. These shoe hangers are also great for other small toys - or even shoes!
Older kids want a more sophisticated look. Baskets that are lined with fabric, and sometimes have matching lids, work well. A wooden storage chest at the end of their bed can also double as a place for their friends to sit. Simply add a few cushions or let your child pick a fabric and add some padding for a custom look. If your child changes their mind often, make a cover with an elastic edge, so you can easily remove it. Make several and change with the seasons or their many whims. .
If you have the space (and money) check out antique stores for wardrobe cupboards. Most homes built before the 1940's did not have closets, so wardrobe cupboards were popular. They can be expensive or, if you look hard enough, you can often find ones that need to be refinished or repaired for a couple hundred dollars and because they are vintage or antique, they will also be an investment. Sometimes there is only a scratch or the imperfection may be placed against a wall where it will never be seen.
When we were first starting out and had very little money (sort of like now) I found sturdy cardboard boxes (Like the kind computer paper comes in) and covered them with fabric or painted them and let the kids decorate them with their own drawings, photos cut from magazines, stickers, etc. Back them I used ‘Contact Paper' and still use a couple of the boxes. These days you could print out their photos or phrases and use those to embellish their boxes or for identification purposes (the child's photo of their dolls, toy truck, DVD's, etc.)
If all else fails, try cutting down on the amount of ‘stuff' the kids have. Go through their room with them and decide if some of their toys, books and clothes are no longer used or fit and suggest that other children who are less fortunate may enjoy them and donate them to charity. At one point, when my neighbor felt her daughter had just way too much ‘stuff', she made a rule that for every new toy she got, one old toy had to go to the Goodwill. This kept her room from filling up and also taught her a lesson on making choices and the concept of ‘want' vs. ‘need'