Kids’ play areas are one of the most challenging places to keep organised, but it’s well worth doing: a neat and tidy space can help your children feel calm and secure. We speak to Nassim Secci of The Happy Space Co, a home organisation company, for her tips on how to create a clutter-free play room.
Tell us your overarching design philosophy for kids’ spaces.
Our philosophy is to create environments that empower children and nurture their development, foster independence and help them thrive. To achieve this, we design spaces that are uncluttered, accessible, beautiful and calming.
Why is it important to have a well-organised space for toys and play?
Children have a natural desire for order. When they know where their belongings are, it increases their sense of security, boosts their confidence, and promotes independence. Overcrowded spaces and excessive toys tend to overwhelm and overstimulate children. When you eliminate the visual clutter, as well as the physical clutter, you invoke a sense of calm and beauty.
What are some common mistakes that you see when it comes to kids’ storage?
Some common storage mistakes that I encounter:
1. Trying to store too much. Not purging consistently to get rid of the little random toys that kids tend to accumulate, or that no longer suit them developmentally. Using the wrong containers. For example, narrow and deep containers don’t work well for smaller toy pieces, like Lego. For those, wide and shallow works better.
2. Not having a designated place for each category of toys. Without this, it is difficult to know where to put things, so they get mixed up with everything else. Labels are key here.
3. Having everything accessible. Having all the toys available can make for a lot of clutter. It’s okay to put some away to reduce the number of choices available and get that clutter-free play room you’re after.
How does a child’s storage and display needs change as they grow?
As children grow, they become more capable of accessing different spaces. Therefore, you won’t need to keep as many toys out on display. Their interests also change, which might mean you need to reconsider the storage solution you’re using. If they loved pretend play when younger, you might have had a station with accessories and costumes in baskets.
But if they have grown up to become diligent Lego-lovers, then you might need transparent drawers to store pieces by type. We like
to use storage systems that are versatile, especially in homes with multiple children, but adjustments do need to be made as they grow.
Can you share your three most useful storage hacks?
1. Edit by pulling everything out. It will feel overwhelming and maybe unnecessary, but by holding everything in your hands, it will be easier to decide if you need to keep it. Remember, your kids need less than you think!
2. Decant activity sets, puzzles, games and anything else being stored in bulky boxes. You will be surprised how much space you can save this way.
3. If your space is limited, go vertical. Add storage solutions that go up on the walls and be sure to keep items that are out of rotation up there. Keep the daily use items down low for easy access.
What toys do kids need, and what toys can they do without?
Kids need more open-ended toys, the ones that don’t “do” much. These toys stimulate creativity, promote development, and last the longest. They also save you space because they are multi-use. Toys with staying power include Lego, blocks, and dolls.
Kids need fewer toys that can be used only in one way – the ones with lights and sounds, for example. They get bored of their limited use and they break more easily.
Learn more at thehappyspaceco.com.
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