Posted by Dana Hinders on January 18, 2012
If you’re like most mothers, you’re probably overwhelmed by the amount of toys your children have. If your New Year’s resolution is to get the clutter in your house under control, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to spend a bunch of money on fancy storage solutions.
Before you rush out to purchase expensive toy storage containers for your child’s room, take a look around your home to see what items you can recycle to create affordable storage. In my son’s room, for example, we have his Lego collection sorted by color and stashed inside six large plastic bins that once held packages of Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters. We have coloring books organized inside magazine holders made from sturdy cardboard boxes, and markers organized in a series of plastic Crystal Light containers that have been joined together with a hot glue gun. Tiny board game pieces and parts of puzzles are inside old plastic baby wipe containers. His collection of puppets is hung on the wall in a series of reusable shopping bags that were part of various “gift with purchase” promotions.
Although using recycled containers for storage can be a great way to save money, remember that you still need to make safety a top priority. For obvious reasons, glass containers are a bad choice for toy storage in a child’s room. Avoid anything with lids or latches that could pinch tiny fingers. Toss containers that were originally used to store cleaning chemicals or anything that would be hazardous for a child — they can still be hazardous even if you scrub them thoroughly first. Use caution when storing items in metal cans, since these containers might have sharp edges.
If you’re concerned about the appearance of your storage containers, you can cover cardboard with wrapping paper or scraps of patterned craft paper. Spray paint can be purchased for plastic containers. You can also use decorative scrapbooking rub-on letters to create labels or decorative designs for your recycled storage containers.
Instead of an expense and a chore, clutter control can actually be a series of fun projects for you and your child.