As parents, we need to have an ever-changing bag of tricks to deal with the challenges of parenthood. My nemesis is space. I am constantly looking for new places to store items that make sense, are easily accessible, and aesthetically pleasing. My most challenging space has always been my daughter’s bedroom. She is just like me – a hoarder natural collector of things. Her first love is stuffed animals. While she still sleeps with a dozen or more buddies on any given night, we have come leaps and bounds by putting her furry friends through a rigorous cleansing process. First, we encouraged her to choose only her favorites to share her bed. We allow her to change her mind about who holds this coveted spot, but each time a new one joins her, another must go. We also chose some of the largest animals to live at her grandparents. A 95 square foot room just will not hold a six year old girl, her bed, her dresser, her bookcase, her reading chair, and a giant teddy bear. Or two. Or five. Finally, the remaining stuffed animals were hung in two fabric storage hangers from Ikea.
Utilizing vertical space in her room has done wonders for not only organization, but also my sanity. Another vertical space often forgotten that we use well in Emma’s room is the space behind her door. We hung a shoe organizer, which she uses to store small items ranging from dolls to random knick-knacks. My son’s die cast cars also store easily in an over-the-door shoe organizer, and although they’ve been downgraded to the “sometimes” toy box, we used to also employ this technique for our gigantic collection of Little People.
My new favorite place to hide items in my daughter’s room is under her bed. While I have long since employed under-the-bed storage boxes for her bedding and out-of-season clothing, I’ve upped the ante recently with the purchase of a tall bed lifts from Bed Bath & Beyond. Adding these lifts to my daughter’s bed bought us seven more inches of vertical storage space under her bed. For her safety, we use the back half of the space for bedding and other items she won’t want access to. However, being able to line the under-the-bed space at the age of her bed with some of her favorite toys has been a life-saver.
One thing that has made this new storage trick successful is the fact that as my children grow, their toys seem to shrink. In fact, I have become such a fan of small toys, that I’ll be hosting a giveaway of some of Emma’s favorite tomorrow. Please check back for great prizes from Littlest Pet Shop, Strawberry Shortcake, and more!
In the meantime, tell us your best toy storage trick…
3. Martha Stewart Toy Chest Project
4. Nursery Storage Ideas from BabyCenter