Organizing Kids Stuff (And Learn Ways To Hide It)
Congratulations on your growing family! Kids seem to add extra life to a home. You can almost see the laughter painted on the walls, and sometimes literally. Something that seems to always tag along with the baby bundle though is stuff. There are always a ton of baby items, that evolves into toddler items, that turns into toys, crafts, and just in general, kids stuff. It can make a home feel cluttered!
It doesn’t always have to feel this way.
I won’t promise that your home will never again be cluttered, messy, or crazy. That’s going to keep popping up until you have an empty nest. But these ideas can help you contain the clutter and make your home feel lived in instead of overrun.
Get your kids on board to help out if you want! Or if you think it will be less of a battle, then you are welcome to face the tasks solo. You do what’s best for you!
Interested in a quick declutter list to get the ball rolling? Check out my Declutter Challenge!
Kids will be Kids
This is important: just because you have kids doesn’t mean that you can’t have nice things. Now, this may be subjective to your situation but generally, boundaries can be laid and items can be off-limits. Yes, accidents happen, even adults break things, but it shouldn’t stop you from decorating your home in a way that appeals to you.
Having a family doesn’t make you appreciate design less. Nor does it make you undeserving of a great space to live in! In fact, I’d say it’s the opposite and you deserve a space that’s welcoming, inviting, and brings a smile to your face. You can have a home that is family friendly and in great taste! There are so many great material choices available now for you to use!
You may be more selective about the materials you shop for, but the options are there. Here are a few kid-friendly product swatches:
- Use linen or cotton instead of silk. Linens are easier to clean, and if it’s white or uncolored, then stains can be bleached out!
- Use wood and metal decor instead of glass trinkets
- Opt for a high-quality wall paint that can stand up to scrubbing the marker off walls
- Install cordless blinds when choosing your window coverings
- Use fake plants and silk flowers instead of potted plants and no longer worry about kids digging in the dirt
- Look for coffee tables and end tables with rounded edges to lower the odds of kids catching the sharp corners
- Get pillow covers that can be tossed in the washing machine when they get dirty
- Same for throw blankets and area rugs; get ones that can be machine washed
Out With The Old
Kids are always growing and outgrowing. Go through clothing seasonally and pack up the outgrown gear. Either put it in storage for future kiddos, sell them online, or donate them! When dressers are filled with clothes that actually fit, your morning routine becomes easier.
The same goes for toys. Kids can outgrow toys quickly, especially babies. Keep a box handy to gather immature toys as you find them at the bottom of the toy bin. Keep them for the next baby or pass them along to a friend. It’s a good idea is to keep a designated bin in their closet to add to as you discover outgrown items. Once the bin is full, it’s time to either donate it or pack it away.
After birthdays, don’t add all the new gifts to the toy box, keep some in a closet to bring out once the novelty wears off. Switching out toys makes kids feel like they have new toys all over again without actually purchasing new ones. Even old and well-loved toys can become playtime favorites again when reintroduced a month later. I learned this one from my mom. She was constantly packing up toys and rotating them out. A few months later she would bring them back out for us to play with while others were packed away.
Round Up and Cover Up
Having specific bins for toys helps make a space look less cluttered. It also makes clean up easier when your kids know where it is supposed to go when they are done with it. Buy matching baskets and bins for a more cohesive look. It helps make everything look more organized.
Kick it up a notch by making the kid’s stuff disappear. Covered totes and baskets are your saving grace. They help to organize toys and some have the benefit of hiding it too. I love solid totes with a lid. They hid the chaos within, leaving you with a peaceful living space- usually after bedtime.
Put a simple label on the outside of the totes stating what’s inside or show a picture of what’s supposed to go in. Sort the toys so that it’s easy to find certain types of items or craft supplies. Your kids will be less likely to dump out three totes to find that one car they were wanting. Then make sure that the totes go back in the same spot for the non-readers to find easier.
Not everything you select needs to be in bright, primary colors either! You can use organizers and materials that work great for kids, but don’t look childish. Just because it’s organizing the children’s clutter and chaos, doesn’t mean it can’t do its job discreetly. The kids care about what’s inside the bins. Mom cares about the outside of those bins and how they look in the room.
Cohesive with Kids
There are some great products out there now to help contain and organize kids clutter. Some are very practical, and others are more aesthetically pleasing. I love when a product is both functional and fashionable. By using simple decor, low maintenance fabrics, and designated spots for everything to return to, you’ll have a fighting chance against the chaos. Every bit helps. Now, it’s time for you to take back your space!
After your cup of coffee.
Denise and Sean | HelpingHunny says
Sara-Lynn, these are great tips! I remember lamenting, “this is why we can’t have nice things” multiple times in the early stages of having our Little. Between the slobbering dog and spit up from Babe it was a mess! I’ve been able to let things go more now that I’ve adjusted lol. It really helps us to keep the toy clutter in 1 main spot with the playroom off our kitchen and a small basket of toys and books by our bed for the early morning wake-ups when we need to snooze a little longer and keep Baby occupied.
Sara-Lynn Houk says
Thanks Denise! And those are amazing suggestions! Your playroom is such a smart use of space!