It’s been said that home is where love resides, memories are created, friends and family belong, and laughter never ends. It’s also been said that it’s the place where toys become mountains and busy moms can feel overrun. And if your children are young, the list of things that never seem to get put away is long – puzzles, books, board games, electronic games, trains, dolls, dress-up clothes, stuffed animals, matchbox cars, microscopes, globes, and more. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to say goodbye to feeling overwhelmed and hello to an organized home with space for kids to play.
Toys come in all shapes and sizes. Some include all kinds of accessories– Hello Barbie!– and others seem to come in a never-ending supply– thank you Legos!
With such a wide variety of toys to wrangle, it can seem impossible to get them organized when you keep stepping on Legos on your way out the door. You may have even tried to find the right mix of creative toy storage ideas to tame the toy mountain that seems to grow by the day. Solutions like bins, boxes, baskets, and bookshelves may have worked for a while, but once your child’s toy collection evolves, they became obsolete. And to make matters worse, none of these solutions coordinate with each other, let alone match your décor. So even when all the toys are stored away, your kids can’t find what they need and you don’t have the organized home you were hoping to achieve, leaving everyone frustrated.
There’s a researched-based concept that is driving you to keep trying different storage options but not solving your organizational challenge. Experts believe we have an internal predisposition towards optimism that leads us to underestimate things like time and space and it’s called optimism bias.
Noun | English
Ⅰ. The thought process leads us to think about the best-case scenario and rely on our feelings instead of facts.
So, what does this have to do with the matchbox cars you keep finding under the couch? Think about the last time you packed a carry-on suitcase. There’s a good chance you not only overestimated how much you needed to pack, but then struggled to shove it into the overhead bin because you could barely get it closed in the first place thanks to all those extra things. That’s optimism bias at work.
And when you apply this same optimism that you’ll be able to fit 39 dinosaurs into one plastic bin, you can finally see why the patchwork solutions you’ve tried simply haven’t worked.
The great news is our guide to toy storage solutions is here to help you end the continuous cycle of trial and error, and when we work together to create a custom home organization solution, mastering your kids’ playroom and bedroom storage is easy and fun. Better yet, you’ll find yourself enjoying time spent in the playroom again knowing that when it’s time to clean up, there’s a place for everything and everything in its place. These simple tips will show you how customized toy storage solutions can be the final answer to a forever-organized play space.
Let’s start by recognizing what’s continually not working with your current kids’ storage solutions. Check out our thought-starters to help guide you through identifying what bothers you most about how the space your children play in currently works.
Now, let’s talk about space optimization. Did you know your brain craves negative space? Negative space is the blank space between different items. When your eyes look out at an overly cluttered or busy space, your brain must work extra hard to take in all the visual information and interpret it. And without even realizing it, that cluttered and disorganized view is causing your brain to work harder which leads to you feeling stressed.
When you create uncluttered negative space, you not only make the space feel more relaxed, but you also give breathing room for your brain.
Creating negative space can be achieved in a few ways. For example, placing books in a wire basket on a shelf can establish negative space. How? When the basket is less wide than the shelf, you have open space on either side, creating the illusion that there are fewer items on the shelf than there really are. Prioritizing negative space can also have overall benefits for the room, like freeing up valuable floor space for active play.
First, observe how the room is currently being used and think about its long-term purpose. Will it change from a playroom to a bonus room as your child ages? Instead of toy cars and dress-up clothes, perhaps it’ll eventually serve as a space to practice instruments, do homework, or for your future teens to hang out and game. Then take note of how this space compares to other areas in the home. For instance, the toy room might be best for active, social playing while the bedroom is where kids can choose more introspective and calm activities to play on their own. Depending on the different areas, items like Legos and toy cars might stay in the playroom while beloved books and stuffed animals might have a more appropriate home in the bedroom. All of these are important considerations to design the best toy storage solution for your family.
Finally, look at the lighting in this room. Dimly lit spaces make it harder to visualize clean-up and bring down the overall energy of the room. On the flip side, well-lit rooms feel more energetic and bring feelings of joy and activeness—the ideal lighting for play. In fact, you might even find that you hear “Mom I can’t find my Rubik’s Cube!” less often because toys are visible and in a designated space. When things aren’t lost in the back corner of a shelf or end up in the wrong bin in a place that can’t be reached, your kids can easily see and access their favorite toys anytime they want to play These are just a few instances of how creative toy storage can make a big difference.
Just like families and children are unique, the same is true for playrooms and homes. The great news is our expert team of designers have worked with a variety of families to create custom storage solutions built around each family’s unique needs. When it comes to the playroom—or any other kids’ room storage—the often-overwhelming inventory needs a solution that can be as flexible as your child’s toy preferences. That’s where we come in. Inspired Closets is experienced in creating custom kids’ storage solutions that support your individual needs.
Let’s visualize the future for a minute. Close your eyes and think about your future, a well-organized kids storage solution.
Take note of how it makes you feel when everything has a place and there’s a place for everything.
You walk into the playroom (or shared family living space where the toys are stored) and the floor is entirely clutter-free, not a Lego to be found! Instead, they are stored in easy-to-access shallow drawers. They’re even separated by color! Remember the corner where cars and tractors used to be permanently parked? They now have a garage space on a floor level open shelf making the room feel larger. And instead of dress-up clothes being draped over chairs or strewn across the floor, they’re hung on dedicated clothing racks inside kid-friendly storage cabinets and shockingly, wrinkle-free. Feels nice, doesn’t it?
Not only will our closet experts help determine the right combination of products for your kids’ storage needs, but they’ll also help determine where things can (and should) live including how to create that all-important negative space. For instance, toys that are frequently used like dress-up clothes and bouncy balls might be kept on easily accessible lower shelving, while things that need more supervision such as art supplies or puzzles live on higher out-of-reach shelves.
When things are stored this way, you’ll also find it’s easier to “gather as you go” during clean-up when you don’t have to spend time deciding what goes where.
Finally, we’ll help make the space feel unified by creating a design that compliments your personal style seen in other areas of your home. Instead of mismatched bins and shelving, your solution will be tastefully customized while supporting your child’s favorite activity: play!
Once we’ve tackled the physical organizational solution, it’s important to implement processes to help your family use the tools they’ve been given. Custom lighting solutions can play a notable role in making this work. Why? Because when you can see everything and know where they are supposed to go, your kids naturally have a better environment for play.
You can display bigger and more attractive toys on well-lit shelving while creating negative space by compartmentalizing other items in labeled bins. This is also a system that encourages your family to go all in when it’s time to clean up. The best part? As your family grows, a customized kid’s toy storage solution can and will fit your needs now, and in the future.
Label drawers and bins by activities/topics.
Creating a solution that isn’t defined by a developmental season in your children’s lives is the secrete to long-term success. Don’t be afraid to reorganize how you store items when it makes sense for your child. That’s the beauty of adjustable shelves. As your child grows, the primary functions of the playroom or children’s room storage are likely going to shift. This means small toys may slowly be replaced with homework supplies. Perhaps the space once used for play roads and bridges might now house a new TV. Even the shelves that once fancifully displayed favorite stuffed animals might be swapped out to show off sports trophies, collector memorabilia, or various knick-knacks.
Since these changes will happen gradually over time, one way to keep the space optimized for “the now” is to keep a “Bye-Bye Bin,” which can be as simple as a dedicated basket for donations. That way, instead of setting aside time for a decluttering overhaul, you can gift those gently used action figures and stuffed animals periodically and get them in the hands of another playful child without delay.
Raising a family is all about change. And with each age and stage, the needs of your children will also grow. When you create a custom-designed children’s storage solution with functionality, negative space for the eyes to rest, and adjustability, you’ll have everything you need to transform it as time passes and your needs change.
Life (and your kids’ playroom) can get crazy and cluttered. And in all the hustle and bustle of your busy days, it’s easy to underestimate what solutions you truly need to help organize your home. While the optimism bias of temporary fixes might work for a moment, they can be an around-the-clock investment that just ends up bringing everyone more frustration than joy. Custom toy storage solutions can help the whole family get and stay organized for years to come and you’ll love the way it looks! With help from an Inspired Closets designer, you can focus more time enjoying your family and less time worrying about the mess that surrounds you and the clean-up after. Complete this form and we’ll reach out to get started.
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