Hiding Kids Toys in the Loungeroom
Before I had Matthew, I was a TOTAL NeatFreak.
I would gladly and happily spend an entire day cleaning my house each week, plus a few hours every night. The thought of kids in my home, made me honestly…cringe…lol.
Motherhood has changed me in so many ways. Funnily, I am less anxious, and am much much happier. I have always been a really happy person, but I guess now, my happiness is coupled with joy and wonderment:) I now gladly welcome kids and actually LOVE having them here…who would have thought!!!
Its also funny how I can now overlook the dust on my skirting boards in favour of jumping, dancing and craft.
BUT I still really have a problem with toys and mess. I love the toys being there, as they sybolize the amazing life Matthew has created for us. But in saying that, they drive me crazy…lol
I have developed a few strategies to hide the toys, and organise the toys.
Organising kids toys means your kids play with them more, get bored less, and you save money:)
I have also found, with the below methods, that EVERYTHING gets used and played with, as so often, things can get forgotten and never used at all…
I have also tried to come up with ideas that involve no money. Sure, you can buy baskets, ottomans with storage inside, privacy screens etc, but I find if you look outside the square, and take your home, and lifestyle into consideration, you will come up with a solution, rather than constantly just fighting fires:)
ORGANISE THE TOYS
I have 3 areas where toys are kept. Their PRIMARY LOCATION (discussed in the next point), the DESIGNATED PLAY AREA (discussed in point 7), and OUTSIDE.
Firstly, I keep all toys in a Primary Location. For me it is Matthews bedroom. I store larger items on one side of his wardrobe, and smaller items in baskets in a cube unit:) If you can, keep all your kids toys in a cupboard in their Primary Location, or somewhere not visible. That way, the kids are less likely to just pull random things out if they can’t see them:)
The unexpected can be the best fun of all for kids. So to keep the fun, and weed out the boredom, try Rotating toys:) I pack up all small toys at the end of each day, put them away in the Primary Location, and plan the next days activities in advance. I get out those toys, and put them in the Designated Play Area, so when my little boy wakes up each morning, there are new things to play with:) I used to have a roster where each day was a different theme. Eg Mon Puzzles, Tue Music, Wed Cars, Thur Teddies, Fri Banging, Sat Animals, Sun Art. I now just do what I feel like each day:) But this helped in getting used to using all our toys:)
Make packing up part of your day. Encourage the kids to help, and make a fun game of it before all meal and snack times. Sure, the house is going to get messy again, but if you continually control the mess, it will be less.
Pick a Designated Play Area in your lounge room if you can, and leave the toys that you are playing with that day there. If they find their way out of the play zone, each time you pack up, bring them back and start a fresh after meal/snack time:)
Use existing furniture in your lounge room, like your entertainment unit to keep toys. Keep bigger toys like rideon’s Outside under cover, and the larger items like Nurserys, Tool Work Benches, Desks etc, I rarely rotate, but occasionally do, and when they come out again, they are the flavour of the month!!
HIDE THE TOYS
Depending on your lounge room and room size, here are a few ideas that can hide or contain the toys:) I have also included a few floor plans to get you thinking to see if you can do this in your home:)
If your room is large or long, instead of having your furniture up against all walls, think NY Loft style, and float your furniture a metre or so in from the walls. If you ‘float’ your lounge in front of a wall, you can put all your toys behind the lounge and create a mini play room. Your kids will love their secret place, and you will love having your lounge room back:) The idea is to not see the toys when you walk into the room. The arrows indicate the line of sight when you enter a room:)
I have artificial grass in my Designated Play Area. It is super easy to clean, as you can just wipe over it, and kids LOVE it:)
FINAL MAGICAL SECRET
Unless you banish all toys from all living rooms, you are going to have to step over things and manage the toy clutter. But that’s what family life and kids are about!!!! FUN, TOYS, HAPPINESS and MESS!!! lol
The closest thing I have to a magical secret is the ‘Pick Up’ I am constantly picking up!!!! See here for my blog on ‘The Pickup’.
Hope you found one thing that may help:) Have FUN and Inspire your Inner Neat!