As a parent of small kids there is something that baffles me completely, the amount of things such little people have, and mange accumulate is contrary to any physics’ law familiar to me. I mean it seems like toys breed more toys that breed even more toys. As a parent and designer I have witnessed many odd storage solutions around me. From hiding the latest V8 stroller behind the shower curtain, to homes where the kids’ furniture has become a legitimate form of seating for adults too.
Many are parents who want to design the perfect space for entertaining do so, only to find a group of stuffed animals joining them for the candle lit dinner. I mean the house gets full of stuff you always snickered at when you were a hot-shot young designer living in a swanky downtown high-rise. To be honest I’m so tired of my home being filled to the brim with really large font books, toys, board games, sippy cups, etc. I feel like I want to move out, or rent a small swanky unit all for myself, or at least move to a 10 bedroom home. But here in lies the problem – we love our kids, we are short on cash, it’s the stuffed animals & co. that should get the evection notice. But before you run off and box all the toys away to charity there are some solutions that might help.
First define where toys and play area are, define where YOU would like to spend your quite evening post bedtime rush. Then figure out what your target age group audience is; kids 3 and under will need a child proof environment, older kids will require a small drawing table, I mean you know your crowd best. This is the start for a good design program. After figuring out these 2 things measure the the space you allocated for play. Go online, walk around furniture stores, and look for nice storage furniture pieces, something you would feel happy looking at after 6pm. I found that using a decent looking high chairs makes me happy.
Now go shopping, I know it sounds counterintuitive (trying to get rid of things, yet running to buy more things). What I have learned from years of both personal and professional experience is that an actual physical box/cupboard makes me see and understand better the space I have at my disposal. Once you have your nice looking storage boxes make 4 piles – Keep, Store, Donate, Trash. I was amazed and surprised to discover so many hidden gems, lost puzzle pieces, and half eaten apples…
Quick-Tip: Stay committed to the size of the play area you defined, it will force you to keep things tidy and not to over stuff your “adult”living area. It also makes it easier on kids to put things back in their place when there is room for it.