I’m back with more of your burning kid-related questions and a handpicked team of home organizing experts. You can meet the experts below, but first, let’s dive into the first question:
Q: Any tips for affordable AND stylish toy storage? Ideally something my toddler could easily access on his own.
Practically Perfect: We love that you want your toddler to be independent! We positively love this bookshelf. It’s just the right height for little ones to reach into, and you can outfit it with any storage baskets/bins that fit your home design preferences – here several suggestions to get you started (option 1, option 2, option 3). Please be certain to safely secure the bookshelf to the wall, in case your little one loves to climb!
Simply Spaced: I am a big fan of soft oversized baskets and bins. It really depends on what kinds of toys you are looking to store, but for soft items like stuffed animals, a storage ottoman is great too. If you are looking to store small toys like cars and figures, I use plastic containers quite a bit because they are safe and easy to label and carry. These white Nordic baskets from the Container Store are a favorite because you can get them with labels.
Assembly LA: I’ve always been a huge fan of Ikea when it comes to storage. They have lots of options for simple designs that can be perfect for kids rooms, and you can usually customize pieces (sizing, colors, shape of storage unit…etc.) making it just right for a toddler.
Q: I have a fifth grade girl who writes and draws like…she’s running out of time. Some stuff is complete and other stuff is part way finished. She wants to hang onto most of it, and frankly, having had a mother who didn’t (hang onto things) I’d like to have it for when she grows up. My problem is where/how do I store her day-to-day work? Neither of us are big on executive function. She often complains she doesn’t know where to put it. Help this messy shelf mommy.
Practically Perfect: How wonderful that your daughter loves to create! We love utilizing magazine files like these to corral paper collections. Try purchasing a few and labeling each one purposefully – “works in progress” and “keepsakes.” This way, your daughter will have quick access to the projects she wants to work on as well as a safe place to file away her completed masterpieces. When the keepsake file fills up, either transfer the creations into a larger box/bin or, if your daughter is willing, consider digitizing them and creating beautiful books (we love Artkive!)
Assembly LA: As a fellow mom, I know it’s hard to let go of precious artwork that our kids make, however, not having a home for it turns it into forgotten clutter real quick. I have two suggestions that can work sort of hand in hand, depending on what you’re really looking for. The first suggestion is finding a medium sized file box and keeping the volume limited to just that box for all her recent work to look at and come back to. This box can be for the month, for the year, however much she is turning out. Once you two decide on a time limit for that box, or once it gets full, things need to be decluttered together, but they can still be saved by using–the second suggestion–an app called Artkive, where you snap a picture of every piece and you can keep them safe electronically. Not only can you make real, hard cover books out of all your images, but they also offer a concierge option, where you can send the art to them, and they will combine in printed books for you. It’s a win-win!
Simply Spaced: We are all about honoring kid’s art, but it is also important to set limits on what you keep. If you keep everything and deem everything important, you’ll be buried in papers. Allocate a box for each child for the year. You determine what size is appropriate for a year, and label it 2017 art. You and your daughter get to keep that much and when it’s full, you can evaluate which pieces are the best, keep those, and recycle the rest. That way, you’ll always have at least that box full, which will be plenty, and you can feel better about letting go of the overflow. You can also create a simple kids’ art wall like this for temporary and alternating works or purchase some easy snap frames like this one from Target that can be changed out easily and frequently. We are also big fans of the Artkive App for storing kids’ art digitally with the option to make books from the best of it. Check out our post on the books we made here.
Love these ideas so much and three cheers for crowd-favorite Artkive! If you have a burning question or organizing dilemma for the team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, subject: Ask an Organizer to have your question selected for a future feature.
Meet the Experts
Assembly LA is a home and office organizing company based in Los Angeles that helps you simplify your life so you can focus on the fun stuff.
Practically Perfect is a Los Angeles based company devoted to constructing creative and functional organizing solutions that simplify daily activities, maximize space and exemplify practicality.
Simply Spaced is an organizing service and lifestyle company focused on transforming cluttered minds and spaces.