Entering a child’s playroom can be a dangerous endeavor. In addition to the headache from the sight of Play Doh-encrusted carpet and the rapid heartbeat caused by scratched DVD’s littering the floor, you risk a doctor’s visit to extract Legos and Hama beads from the soles of your feet. It’s a room we often apologize for or avoid altogether.
Yet, connections are made in the building and pulling apart, and ideas are hatched in the creating of art and imaginary worlds. There’s value in the mess. But there’s also value in learning responsibility—and cleaning up is a great teacher.
Here are nine products that will help organize toys, books, stuffed animals and the other thousand-odd things your kids love to scatter about.
This two-sided library cart is a great space-saver with shelves for books on both sides as well as display shelves on the outside. The wheels allow the cart to be rolled to any cozy spot.
School Library Cart by Guidecraft, available at Hayneedle, $222
While low rods and hangers are a nice idea, often kids don’t have the patience and dexterity required to hang costumes. We prefer this swiveling option complete with low, easy-hang hooks; cubbies for shoes, jewelry, and hats; and a full-length side mirror.
Dress-Up Carousel by ECR4Kids, available at School Outfitters, $277
If your child’s stuffed animals clutter closets and beds, corral them in a way that also adds kid-friendly seating. With this toy bean bag, the animals act as the seat’s stuffing and mesh zippered windows offer kids easy viewing and access to their buddies.
The Zoo by Hulton House Corporation, available at Little Zookeepers, $157
The Zoo is another space-saving stuffed animal organizer that takes up only two square feet but holds enough animals to populate a real zoo. Safe cords covered in bendable plastic form the “bars” and offer access while the cage top is left open for scoring baskets during quick cleanup.
Pastels, pencils, and paintbrushes…oh my! So many tools, so much mess. This lazy Susan organizes stuff in style right on the art table within easy reach. Four colors match any decorating scheme.
Mini Lazy Susan, available at Pottery Barn Kids, $39
An artist must create where inspiration strikes. This wheeled art supply cart can roll to the action. It has seven storage bins and eight side pockets for holding and sorting all that your little Monet needs.
Kids Art Supply Organizer, available at Organize-It, $173
There are better places than your kitchen to display your darling’s art. Hang these magnet strips anywhere you want to create an ever-changing exhibit. Your refrigerator will thank you.
Stick with Me Magnet Bar, available at Land of Nod, $15
Toys, Toys, Toys
One key to keeping toys neat is keeping them visible (the other is convincing your kids to pick them up—good luck). Wire cubbies allow kids to view contents without dumping or rummaging. Plus, this organizer boasts a vintage industrial feel for modern spaces.
Industrial Wire 9 Cubby Storage, available at Restoration Hardware Baby and Child, $299
This completely customizable storage set allows you to choose bin sizes to fit your needs, and colors to complement your palette. Add on as collections grow or switch out bins as toys change—lots of choice at a reasonable price.
Trofast Toy Storage Series, available at IKEA, $2-$175
Lastly, a clean playroom means a pared-down playroom. Clear out toys your children no longer play with. Use “donation town”—a charity matching service—to find a local charity that will pick up your donations for free.
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