As Seen in The Electric City News: Designing With Kid's Toys

In many of our homes kid’s toys are a reality. Over the years the supply grows, the clutter spreads and before you know it (especially after Christmas when the pile seems to double) what was once a room with your pretty adult things is now a room with adult things completely covered in less attractive, kiddo things. But do not fret! There are ways for your beautiful pieces to cohabitate with your children’s (grandchildren’s, pets) pieces in a cohesive, pleasant and amicable way.

When organizing toys, the first step is to purge. Go through them, throw out broken ones (so many broken toys!), donate the duplicates and ones that your children no longer have interest in. The next step is to separate the toys into groups: books, cars / trucks, Legos, trains and dolls so that they can be stored by category. I find in our house that when we pull out one or two things at a time that my kids play more intentionally and creatively. Once you have the toys organized, I like to set aside the attractive toys… yes, there are attractive toys! The wooden blocks, whimsical or sculptural toys and nice books. When selecting toys to have out and on display, choose the ones that will elevate your décor. Last, find a home for the remaining toys. When planning furniture for a room, especially a play area, storage is key. You can load up a dresser with clear plastic bins of toys, plan storage drawers under a window seat, or designate a cabinet for toys. For the items that don’t have a home in a piece of furniture, store them in decorative baskets, boxes and jars. I have two boys so in our house, we have a ‘car basket’. It’s a huge basket filled with all of the boy’s cars and trucks that sits under a chair in our Living Room. Never would you know that the pretty basket under the chair is home for monster trucks and Lightening McQueen (except for the wheels that stick out of the top). Pretty baskets in a bookcase are great for small toy storage, a huge basket with a top is great for stuffed animals, markers and pencils become pretty when stored in a nice jar or wooden bowl. Get creative!

By intentionally storing and displaying your children’s toys, you and your kids will both have a new appreciation for them. In the end, a home should reflect everyone who lives there, parents and children alike. Turning the storage of your children’s toys into a design project is a great way to allow them to represent the personalities of both you and your littles.