Storing Toys In The Living Room : Good Or Bad Idea?

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Storing Toys In The Living Room Good Or Bad Idea

Storing toys in the living room is not all bad. In this article, I also talk about the advantages and solutions to keep your living room tidy.

"And who's going to have to put the toys away? Looks like a tornado has passed through the living room! Thousands of toys are scattered everywhere. Playmobils and legos are mixed in with the dinette. And I can see from here hoodless markers lying next to a beautiful coloring book. »

All parents of young children recognize themselves in this situation. I often experienced it when my boys were small and I didn't know anything about tidying up and setting up play areas. In my mind, I thought a playroom would be the ideal solution, but I didn't have the space. I also wondered why my boys preferred to play in the living room rather than in their bedroom.

Today, with hindsight, with the experience and skills I have gained, I want to talk to you about the pros and cons of letting your children play in the living room. And I will also give you tips and advice on how to simplify the storage of games and toys in the living room.

Advantages of letting children play in the living room

Even though I like tidy and minimalist interiors, I find that there are many advantages to letting children play in the living room.

First of all, your children are close to you. You have them right in front of you. You can watch them while you're doing other things: preparing meals, ironing or doing other household chores, doing homework with the older child, watching TV, teleworking. In short, you can be together while each of you goes about your respective occupations.

Your children are reassured to know that you are there. They need to feel your presence and to be surrounded and mothered. When they are in their room or in a playroom, they don't see you. They can't hear you either. So you're not there. Well, I am, but not really. This can make them anxious and make it easier for siblings to scream and argue.

Besides, in this case, the advantage of letting your children play in living spaces is that you can intervene quickly in case of bickering and prevent the situation from escalating into a brawl.

Disadvantages of a play area in the living room

As I mentioned in the introduction of this article, if your children are used to playing in the living room, chances are your living room is no longer really a living room. Or at any rate, many toys are lying around on the floor and are starting to invade other living areas, such as the kitchen or hallway.

I guess I don't have to draw you a picture. The living room can quickly look like a mess if all the toys are scattered on the floor and the storage space is not a minimum aesthetic and well thought out.

Then, these plastic toys with their garish colors have nothing to do with beautiful decorative objects. We agree that the mini kitchen made in China is not frankly matched with the Scandinavian decoration of the living room.

Moreover, all these mixed toys that invade the living room can weigh on your morale. They can also make you feel like you can't handle the situation. It's hard to relax on the sofa when you know that a tidying up session of at least 1 hour is waiting for you.

Fortunately, I have some solutions and advice to offer you!

My tips for storing toys in the living room

Delimit play areas

Willingly or unwillingly, you have decided to let your children play in the living room. It is therefore essential to delimit a play area and toy storage space in one part of the living room.

You can define this perimeter in a playful and visual way. For this, the simplest way is to use a carpet that is not afraid of stains. You can also use a trunk or a small shelf to mark a slight separation between the play area and the common living space.

This separation, even a slight one, is important. For you and your children. It will allow them to become more independent little by little while feeling safe with you. As time goes by, they will be less afraid of loneliness, relative loneliness of course.

Choosing child-friendly and modular storage units

Provide a storage system that allows children to easily store themselves. The preferred type of storage for games and toys are bins without lids and open shelves. This is the easiest solution to put in place and provides storage within reach of all children of walking age.

The bins are used for bulk storage of building brick-type toys, small cars, dolls and their accessories, dinette elements, etc. Group toys by category into bins with labels that are easy to identify for children who cannot yet read.

Also provide shelves for large or specially shaped toys. Leave a few empty shelves at children's height where they can place their unlikely world installations without having to unpack everything at the end of the day. By preserving their creations in this way, they will be able to play on them again later and the floor space will be cleared.

Of course, when it's time to put everything back in order, you will certainly have to help them. Take this as part of the game.

Set up a game rotation system

You can also set up a rotation system in the toys. Provide the children with only one part of the games, and put the other part aside. You can put them in a closed cupboard or high up on open shelves with modular lockers and bins.

This system of modular bins is really very practical since it is very easy to change the bins in place and offer other games regularly. You can change the arrangement of the bins every week or according to the interests of the moment, mix toys, etc. You are only limited by your imagination and that of your children. The possibilities are endless!

Lead by example

Unfortunately, tidying up is not innate. You can learn to tidy up. And children learn by seeing us do it and then imitating us. So don't wait until children are in bed to put away all their toys. Do it together and show them how to do it.

For smaller children who can't tidy up on their own yet, tidy up by showing and explaining in simple words what you're doing. You'll see that in no time at all, they'll want to do the same as you do!

Getting into the habit of tidying toys

The storage of the play corner will have to be draconian and daily so that the living room does not look like a battlefield after 3 days. You can set up rules for storage: no more than 2 or 3 game bins taken out at the same time, I can take out a game if I put the previous one away, etc. It's up to you to define your own rules according to your loustics and your level of tolerance for the mess they generate.

Get into the habit of putting away toys lying around the living room at the end of each day. Again, don't do everything in their place. Do it with the kids, of course, because you're not only teaching them good tidying habits, but you're also getting everything out of the way faster when you get together with them.

Besides, it's always more fun to tidy things up together. And you can make the tidying up a fun, playful moment. You can offer to time them and challenge them to beat the previous day's record. Or put on some catchy music and tidy up in rhythm. In short, whether it's music or a game, make this tidying up moment the little ritual before going to bed.

Sorting toys

If your children have a lot of toys, it may be time to sort through them. Overcrowding is detrimental to their development, not to mention the clutter and disorder it creates in every room of the house.

There's no point in keeping broken toys and incomplete games. Throw them away. Decide together to give some toys to other children who would be happy to enjoy them. This action makes them more aware of the importance of sharing.

If they are still in excellent condition, you can of course also resell the games and toys your children no longer play with. With the money earned, you can buy them other games, toys or books more appropriate to their age.

Letting go

You have to get used to the idea that it will be a mess when the children play in the living room. They're going to take out a play box, poke around in it, spill it and spread it out on the floor. Then they'll pull out another tray or suddenly decide to play doctor or dinette. Then they're going to want to make a shed out of the plaid on the couch. It smells like life, doesn't it?

As soon as everything is tidied up more easily and quickly, you won't have any difficulty letting go of the mess because you know that it won't take long for everything to be put back in order.

Finally, good or bad idea?

In this article, we've seen the advantages and disadvantages of storing toys in the living room. While there are some disadvantages to storing toys in the living room, I think that the advantages, even if they are not more numerous, are more important and should be considered at their true value. For me, allowing children to feel safe in a safe environment is more important than the mess they make when they play in the living room.

In addition, the major inconvenience of living room clutter can be solved with habits and storage tips. So I think there's really no reason not to allow children to have their toys in the living room.

And you, for or against toys in the living room?

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