What’s The Best Way To Organize and Store Toys in a Small Room?
When your child has a lot of toys, you need a good spot to store them all. Everyone has had the unpleasant experience of accidentally stepping on a toy during the night and hurting their foot.
If your child’s play area becomes cluttered enough, they won’t even want to use it. Keeping your rooms organized is essential for the health and happiness of your entire family, not only for you or your child.
As a parent, it can be hard to figure out exactly how to store your child’s toys, however. There are many different organizational systems for storage, but you want your child to be able to access their toys.
You also want to give your child a chance to build their organizational skills by arranging their toys in the way that they think is relevant. Building organization early on is essential to raise an effective adult.
Likewise, you want your child to put away their toys without being prompted once they’re done playing. This is easier said than done, as you already know. So, what’s the best way to organize and store toys in a small room?
In this article, we’ll walk you through all of the toy storage modalities that you’re likely to find useful. By the end of the article, you’ll know exactly which storage solution is the right one for your family to restore order and make the most out of your small playroom.
The Default Solution
We all know the default solution when it comes to toy storage in a small room. Everything is on the floor. When left to their own devices children tend to leave their toys directly on the floor as soon as they are done playing.
This solution leaves a lot to be desired. Leaving the toys on the floor causes them to take up the entire space of the room. Toys are more likely to get broken when they’re left out. If you have pets, they’re at more of a risk too.
Nonetheless, there may be a few situations in which it is appropriate to let your child leave their toys on the floor of the small room. These situations include times when they are playing with friends or when you have a separate room dedicated solely to your child’s playtime.
For most families, the default solution isn’t good enough. The more toys your child lets accumulate on the floor, the more hazardous the environment there will become. It’s better if you can avoid letting the default solution become the only method of organizing toys.
Cabinets And Shelves
Cabinets and shelves are the next most common choice for organizing and storing toys in a small room.
Cabinets and shelves have a few advantages, which include:
- Making use of vertical space
- Keeping toys off the floor
- Dividing toys by type
- Dividing toys by size
- Protecting toys from pets
Once you work out a sound organizational strategy for your child to follow, you can reward them for properly placing their toys on the cabinets or shelves. Cabinets and shelves also keep toys ready to go at a moment’s notice which lets your child be even more spontaneous.
You can purchase cabinets or shelving systems very inexpensively. The shelving systems may require some work to set up, but once they’re in place, you can keep them for a long time. Cabinets, in contrast, may require a helping hand to get into position.
Both solutions are unlikely to go anywhere unless it’s time to move residences.
There are a few challenges with using cabinets and shelves, however. These challenges include:
- Children not being able to reach the toys
- Toys falling from high shelves and breaking
- Toys gathering dust
Especially for shorter children, placing their toys on a shelf can be placing them out of reach. This fact means that the child will need to ask you or an older sibling to fetch their toys when they want to play — an annoyance at best.
Still, as a parent, you could exploit this feature to prevent your child from accessing their toys and playing when they should be doing something else like sleeping or their homework. Try not to make your child feel too disempowered to access their toys, though.
The biggest strength of cabinets and shelves is that they give your child the optionality to organize and access their toys.
For a more equitable yet less organized approach to storing toys in a small room, bins may be appropriate. Bins are useful because they let your child stack their toys in one giant place.
Bins make for easy putting away of toys. Retrieving toys from the bin can take a little bit longer, however. The downside to bins is that fragile toys will not fare well. Bins work the best for larger toys which are durable, or for many smaller toys which can stand to be banged around a bit.
Bins can take up a lot of floor space in a large room. However, they can also be as efficient as cabinets or shelves in terms of vertical space thanks to the ability to stack multiple items in a bin.
The more principled you can be about teaching your child to stack things carefully into the bin, the better off the bin organization system will be. Remember that the bin, at its worst, is a big pile of the items which your child picked up off of the floor.
At its best, bins are repositories which are organized by size. They still won’t be easy for your child to access, but they won’t need your help. Likewise, your child can put items away into their bin very easily, which will reduce the barrier of putting things away without being told.
Bins are very inexpensive to purchase and are often very portable. Portability means that you can take a bin with you on the road when your family stays in a hotel to prevent any of your child’s toys from being left behind — a niche benefit, but a very useful one to be sure.