At the end of the day I love nothing more than a tidy family room – toys away in their correct places and cupboard doors closed. It makes me feel relaxed and ready for the next day. I have been known to be quite obsessive about it, especially during all of the work that we’ve had going on – at least one room’s tidiness can be within my control. Although currently the contents of our utility room are in the family room (!), so that hasn’t been possible for a few weeks.
We are really lucky in this house that we have two large built in cupboards that house almost all of the boys’ toys as well as games, crafts and jigsaws. Sometimes I joke that they were the selling point of the house for me – I love them a lot. One of them hides the chaos of the craft cupboard and for that I am eternally grateful. Most of the toys are in reach of the boys, which means that I don’t have to get up and down to get them things.
I try to clear the toys out regularly – before Christmas, and after a birthday, which I do when the boys are at school and nursery to prevent arguments.
- Baskets – When it comes to toys, I love a basket. In our old house the baskets and boxes were kept in a wooden chest and in our current house they are kept inside cupboards. However, baskets look beautiful on shelves, on the floor or stored under a bed. Every toy has a place, and the boys know exactly which toys go in which basket. For example, Brio in one, Playmobile in another, cars in another, army men in one and animals in another. It makes it really easy for the younger children to help tidy up, and I love knowing that everything is where it should be.
- Lego – Lego is played with most days in our house. We have a large Stuffel bag for all of the loose pieces, a small Lego head for all of the characters and then a large Lego head for all the the instruction leaflets.
- Games – When we moved house I had a huge sort through all of our games. I bought lots of clear plastic boxes from Hobbycraft and got rid of the battered boxes made of card. The boys can easily see what is inside the boxes and they fit much more nicely in the drawer. For some larger games I have some canvas drawstring bags, which I also love.
- Dressing up clothes – We have amassed a collection of dressing up clothes and keep them in a wooden chest.
- Cuddly toys – These are kept in large Ikea belly baskets in their bedrooms. I don’t know where most of their cuddly toys came from but they each have a little collection. Win loves his cuddly toys at the moment, and Otto is quite attached to a sweet penguin.
- Books – The boys’ books are kept in their bedrooms on fitted shelving. Otto has all of the younger titles in his room, but if we’re reading together during the day he will request to sit in Win and Ru’s bedroom and pick books from their little library.
- Crafts – Again, I bought lots of clear plastic boxes from Hobbycraft to separate various craft supplies like paint, Hama beads, paper, card and lollipop sticks. Our craft cupboard is due an epic tidy, and tends to get out of control very quickly. Perhaps a trip to buy some more boxes is due too?