Dealing with the kid clutter

Date: 06 March 2018

As parents, we all start out with great intentions when it comes to kid’s toys: that you won’t be one of those people with lego and my little ponies all over the lounge. You’ll be diligent about minimising the kid’s clutter to just one space (their bedroom, or if you’re lucky enough - the playroom) and because you’ll teach your children how to be responsibly tidy with their possessions, you’ll continue to enjoy a lovely orderly lounge.

Then one day you realise it’s happened: you’ve become one of the cluttered people and your children have zero regard for minimalism.

If they’re still young enough, you’re lucky. Use the hypnotic power of “the tidy up song” - walk into any daycare or kindy and you’ll definitely hear it. The kids love it. Don’t question it, just buy it. Older kids need a bit more convincing, and it’s all about storage that makes it easy for them.

Here are our top 5 storage ideas to control that kid-clutter:

1. Use fabric bins with big handles for dress-up’s.

One for costumes, one for ‘accessories’. Even if they are up-ended for every dress up session, sorting is easy for next time.

2. Use old suitcases.

Old suitcases can work wonders for squishing in endless amounts of soft toys. Trust me. You can get way more in there than you think!


3. PVC ziplock bags.

When you arrive at the lego obssession stage, do get some good quality, durable PVC ziplock bags. Cut out the front of the box, add it to the bag with the lego pieces and the instructions. You can use this approach for puzzles too. Budget savvy parents use the packaging from new bed linen, it’s perfect for this.

4. Storage under the bed.

If your child’s bed has enough space underneath to house storage bins, thank your lucky stars because that floor-space is absolute gold, and the contents easily hidden with the bedspread. Just keep like with like. It’s when toys merge that chaos ensues. Trust me.

5. Think outside the square.

Hanging shoe storage is perfect for Barbie dolls and their many tiny accessories that are otherwise very easily lost. Hang it behind a door to really maximise use of wall space.

Bonus idea

Powder-coated shelving with sliding doors to completely conceal the contents are the perfect addition to any family bathroom. It won’t rust and keeps the dolphins and complete harbour rescue set out of view.

The act of giving – start early.

Lastly, don’t store stuff your kids don’t actually need. Children grow out of certain toys, and while it’s great to have on hand for younger visitors, if your space is limited it’s best to pass that gear on. Get the kids involved. You’ll be surprised at how willing they are to pass stuff on to family, friends or neighbours.

The act of giving is a great one to instill early. Take them to the Op Shop. Explain that not every kid’s parents can afford new toys. It really does make them appreciate it their own toys more. Just be weary that it’s not an opportunity to dump junk. Charity shops incur costs in clearing unwanted junk, which defeats the whole purpose.

Have a think of places your own children have been bored by a lack of toys when waiting: the Doctor’s, the dentist, the mechanic, the hospital, even your favourite cafes. Definitely ring first and check it’s actually wanted, but you’ll be surprised at what’s appreciated and where.

Before you know it, order will be restored. For a few days anyway.


Anna, House of Ralph
House of Ralph

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