Conquer Kid Clutter: 3 Ways to Organize Your Child’s Stuff
Lately my DVR and YouTube feed have been filled with shows talking about minimalism and living tiny. I enjoy watching because even though my family doesn’t live a typical tiny home or anywhere near a minimalistic life approach, we do live currently live in less than 1,000 square feet, which is almost 1,500 less than the U.S. average home size. I am sure my city dwelling friends can relate, when it comes to a small footprint, space is a premium and organization is key.
No matter where you live, or how large your space is, universally having children adds the amount of stuff in your home. While my husband and I are pretty far from minimalists, we do try and be conscious of the kid “clutter” our toddler son, Cab, has by keeping to the age old adage: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
3 Clever Ways to Curb Kid Clutter
When Cab has out grown something, whether it be clothing or toys we let it go.
For clothing items, I have an extra clothing hamper in his room that I can quickly throw items into, once the hamper is full I box it up and store it in our basement for the future.
When it comes to toys and other items no longer being used, I will typically box up my favorites for the basement (for those larger items, like baby swings, try using contractor size/quality garbage bags – they work really well) and donate or consign the rest.
I would say it’s a 50/50 split on items stored and items I let go of, and err on the side of letting those items I know I can get again fairly inexpensively go to free up space.
I personally like to hide Cab’s toys throughout the house, and that tends to mean that I am reusing items we own in new and different ways as creative storage options:
In our living room we have made furniture choices that give us multiple uses; our side tables all hold large bins of various toys, we have tray under our chairs that store shoes, and one shelf of our coat closet houses smaller toys, like building blocks and puzzles we wouldn’t want out all the time. You can also find more creative toy storage solutions here.
In our son’s room we have added a small bookcase in the closet that gives use a place for bedding, towels, and extra blankets; the bookcase fits perfectly under his hanging clothes for the time being and gives more storage space for very little floor space usage and cost.
Since we live in a small space, the only gathering spot in our house is the living room, so as you can imagine it can get cluttered very quickly. Once Cab was old enough to play with toys we kept a small basket filled rattles, music makers, stacking cups, etc. out for him to use as he wanted.
Now that he is older he is looking for more of a selection of toys that he can play with depending on his mood. To keep the toys at bay my husband and I rotate his toys, we have a bin in the living room which we can house that toys that are out to be played with, while keeping the others in places Cab can’t get to, like the coat closet. Since not all his items are out at once, every time a new item is brought into play Cab is excited to get something “new.”
Keeping our small home under control and functional for Cab, my husband, and I is a give and take. We all try very hard to balance out the kids’ stuff and adult space to make it work for all three of us. We try each night to get Cab involved in helping to put his toys in the living room bin and place it in its spot next to the toddler sized slide we have in our living room (we had to have something fun in the house!); but that’s all you will find outside Cab’s room, the rest is cleverly stored away.
I am Aili, a first-time mom and lover of cloth diapers and cute baby fashion. As an avid bargain shopper who will stand in line to snag the right deal, if I’m not searching out an outfit for my little man, you can find me in the home décor. I am excited to share with you all my mishaps and successes as I navigate this thing called parenting.
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