We have four kids and that means that we have more kid stuff than we can handle sometimes. While I love our kids to play, explore and learn, I also like to keep the house neat, which means keeping their toys out of view when they are not being used.
Update: this post was written a few years ago, but I know that cleaning & decluttering is always relevant, so I wanted to share it again today. 🙂
I accomplish this by putting most of their toys in their rooms but hiding all of the other kid-things downstairs. I just don’t like the look of primary-colored things everywhere. If kid toys were “coastal colors”, I’d be on board, but the red, blue & yellow look just isn’t my style.
So- I have certain spots in the room where I hide them when they AREN’T BEING USED. (I’m all for forts being built, toys being brought out, obstacle courses being made… all in the living room, but I just want them “hidden” (put away) at the end, because I also like our home to be kept neat.)
My goal is to have a good balance- a clean home and a kid-friendly home where your kids WANT to be.
Here are my favorite toy-hiding storage ideas & the affiliate links to find them. 🙂
1. A rolling bin.
Something like this would give you an easy way for your preschoolers or grade school children to clean up (If the child was under four, I would simply remove the strap, because straps make me so nervous with little ones! It would still be a great pushing rolling pin!) I would roll these right into a closet!
2. Cleaning short-cuts:
I even have my kids use the little tikes shopping carts to clean up their toys. They pick them up with the shopping cart and dump them into a nice toy box or ottoman.
4- Use an Ikea bookshelf turned sideways to hide toys like this one from 2sisters2cities.com. (I would put those Ikea baskets in all of the spots)
5. Have double-duty rooms.
If you can have furniture that doubles as something else, this would make things so much easier.
(Ottomans that hold toys, living-room sofas that double as beds or a DIY wall-bed, making a guest room into a playroom)
6. Have things where the kids can reach them.
If you can have your cups, plates, etc.. where your kids can reach them, then they can help you clean up and put things away. We keep our cups in a basket that they can reach and we keep our plates and bowls in drawers for easy access.
7- Make kid-items prettier!
You can make so many kid-items pretty! Wooden tables, old-fashioned wooden train tracks, and trains, even plastic picnic tables. I saw this picture on Pinterest a while back and think its a fantastic idea! I could do this to a lot of different things in our house!
I tried to visit the webpage to see how it is done, but it takes me to a page that is no longer in use (so you can’t find this one anymore). Here is how I did it.
1- Use a screwdriver, take it apart & clean it.
2- Use Krylon Fusion Spray Paint and paint it black and the top and benches off-white.
3- Using a stencil, (you can make your own), make the polka dots
4- Using a stencil, paint the circle and the H.
5- Spray a protective coating on it.
8. Turn a closet into a playroom.
Our daughter, Allie, has a beautiful walk-in closet, but she is three and can’t reach any of her clothes. We turned her closet into her playroom.
Her clothes are hanging up top, and Mickey added a second shelf for her shoes, etc… At the bottom, she has all of her doll houses, princesses, toy cars and baby dolls. She sits in that closet and plays for hours (literally) with her brothers, myself, Mickey or just by herself. It is her own mini playroom.
9. Hide them in a beautiful basket!
10. Have a bench that can double as a storage spot. You can hide toys in the seat, but you can use the rest for decorative items. You could have it in your mudroom or living room and it will look beautiful.
- Or you can make your own DIY mudroom bench like ours:
- Or you can even do a long one like this from Houzz:
Whatever you decide, if you leave toys out or hide them, you have to do what you love. I love walking into an organized home but filled with the laughter of kids.
If that means that toys are out all day long and they are only put away at night, so be it. Luckily, with so many places to store/hide toys, it is pretty easy to keep our house looking organized. 🙂
*** If you want to print out my room by room cleaning guide, you can find it here:
If you need help getting started, you can join my Whole-Home Declutter Course. I will send you my FREED FROM CLUTTER book for free and a series of 7 emails that give you specific tasks every single day and in a week your home will look decluttered, cleaned, organized & fresh. 🙂