Decorating your child’s bedroom can be a lot of fun, but it’s not without its challenges. Storage – or lack of it – is the most common problem. This isn’t surprising when you consider how many tasks a child’s bedroom is expected to perform – somewhere to sleep, dress and play, not to mention provide storage for all those toys. Setting up a practical bedroom storage system is the solution; one that has a space for everything, is easy enough for your growing toddler to use, and has the flexibility to adapt as they move from one stage to the next.
When children are young, most of their play is floor-based, so keep it clear by storing as much as you can elsewhere in the room. A wall of built in shelving will shift an enormous amount of stuff from the bedroom floor and clear the space for play.
Admittedly, built ins can be expensive, but this is one piece that’s sure to see your child right through to adolescence, so it might be worth the investment. By adding doors to some sections of shelves, you’ll be able to hide mess away in a flash, and keep their more attractive toys out on display.
Look around for any hidden storage opportunities; coats and sporting equipment can be hung on hooks on the back of the bedroom door and toy bags can by hung from the ceiling or wall to house dolls and stuffed animals. A floating shelf that goes right around the perimeter of the room will hold a huge number of books or boxed toys.
If your toddler is moving from a cot to a proper bed, dispense with the mattress in the underbed trundle and use the space for extra storage. For older children, a platform bed with space beneath it for a desk or shelves will boost your floor space even further.
Most kids need a mixture of all three bedroom storage types built in, freestanding and container storage. Depending on what sort of toys you need to store, you may need more of one storage type than another.
If you’re faced with a lot of bulky toys, such as trucks and cars, it’s a good idea to invest in a few of those large storage tubs, which are bright and cheerful enough to fit in with most kids’ room schemes, and tough enough to withstand the end of the day toss n’ tidy.
Or consider a sports locker, which has a grown up, utilitarian look and has separate compartments for puzzles, boxed toys and papers.
Stackable storage boxes are perfect for toys and games of all shapes and sizes; they make it easy for kids to keep their toys tidy and won’t swallow up too much space as they can be stored vertically. Underbed storage boxes make the most of dead space under the bed or cot, and they’re also great for storing away toys that are on rotation.
Whatever type of containers you use, make sure there’s a separate one for each toy type, so that kids know instantly what goes where. Add labels with toy type to the front of storage containers, or a photo for pre readers, to make it even easier.
Store oversized toys, such as play kitchens or tool benches, in a dedicated corner of the room so that mess can be contained. You might even consider a play cupboard that allows you to just close the doors on the fun at the end of the day.
When it comes to reorganising your child’s wardrobe, first take a good look at their storage requirements. With preschoolers, most of their clothing is folded, so plenty of shelf and drawer space is essential.
Organise drawers neatly by adding drawer inserts; it makes it easy for your little one to locate their socks and so on in the morning, and they’ll know exactly where to put things away.
Keep everyday folded clothes within easy reach, and out of season clothes at the upper and lower levels of the wardrobe (those space saving vacuum bags will minimize the amount of space this takes up).
Children need less hanging length than adults as their clothes are far shorter. You can double their hanging space by moving the existing rail upwards and adding a second, easy to reach, rail underneath. Consider installing a handy hook on the inside of one door for the next day’s clothes or school uniform.
Shoe storage is far simpler with children than adults, probably because they don’t share our obsession with footwear! Arrange shoes neatly on shoe racks at the bottom of the wardrobe, or use a hanging shoe organiser to store them vertically.
And don’t forget to install proper lighting so that you can both see right into the back of the wardrobe.
In a space-starved room, look for furniture that double duties by incorporating storage. A toy box that doubles as seating with the addition of a cushion on top, or a built in window seat with drawers beneath it will give your child a comfy spot to read and somewhere for toy and linen storage.
If you’re setting up a craft table in your child’s room, look for a modular design where the seating goes underneath, and with generous drawers for art supplies. Or use sturdy, flat-lidded storage boxes that double as play tables.
Keep all those little bits and pieces, such as hair accessories and mini figurines, in one place inside pretty baskets, boxes or empty Huggies Pop Up tubs.
And be creative about finding storage solutions – an unused change table could be used as a chest of drawers for your toddler, simply by removing the changing mat.
Books and toys are never a good mix as they quickly turn into one great big mess. Keep them separate by setting aside a dedicated area for your child’s book collection; a few shelves in a fitted storage unit, a shelf next to their bed or a dedicated bookcase.
Give a bookcase or deep shelves a decorative touch by lining the inside with patterned wallpaper. The trick is not to overfill the shelves – add some breathing space by dotting a few photo frames or your child’s special mementoes between sections of books to allow the decorative paper to peep through.
If you’re short on floor space, consider a slimline bookcase where the books face forwards – it’s also far easier for your pre reader to find their favourite book when they’re arranged this way.
And if you’re looking to add to your child’s book collection, join the Huggies Book Club, which offers hundreds of great kid’s titles and a 10% discount off the retail price.
Children love being able to enjoy their precious collections. Create a special spot – the top of a chest of drawers, a windowsill, or an empty shelf – where they can display their collectibles.