Fabulously Functional Storage Tips

Storage doesn't have to be boring or costly - here are some great ways to hide the toys in style

Marlynn Jayme Schotland lives in Portland, Oregon and is the mother of two adorable kids ages 5 and 7. She’s slightly obsessive about making home organization pretty and functional, and she’s sharing her tried and true tips with you!

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all of the Legos, dolls, and stickers that seem to take over your house once you have kids? You don’t need to sacrifice style – or empty your wallet — to tame the clutter that comes with having kids. Here are some simple storage ideas to help busy moms turn any room full of kids’ stuff into fabulous, functional space.

Tame Toy Sprawl

  • Buy furniture that doubles as storage: ottomans and benches with hidden storage for easy stashing of clutter can be a frazzled mom’s best friend when last minute company comes over (a bright idea: Brighten White Storage Bench, $399, Crate & Barrel)
  • Organize open bookshelves with bins. Label the bins so kids can help you clean up easily and quickly. (Check out: IKEA Expedit shelves $89  and IKEA Branäs baskets $12.99)
  • Save money by purchasing furniture that will grow with the kids. This locker storage unit is stylish for ages newborn through college and it’s classic look never goes out of style. You can hide massive amounts of toys, games, and books, and your elementary-school aged kids can use it as a homework station. (Cute cabinet option IKEA PS cabinet, $99)

Keep Craft Supplies Organized

  • Wash out peanut butter jars, jelly jars, or even yogurt containers. Group together those little items that have a habit of being sprinkled throughout your house: stickers, jewelry beads, googly eyes, stamps.

  • Round and square glass candle holders from the dollar store can store odds and ends.
  • Store pencils, pens, and crayons in easy-to-grab-on-the-go little buckets. (photo)

Don’t Just Stuff Your Stuffed Animals

  • Big wicker baskets serve as easy, beautiful (and inexpensive) resting places for beloved stuffed animals.
  • Use canvas bins to keep Pooh Bear, Dora, and Sponge Bob safe and sound and out of your way while adding a hint of class to any room. (Look up: Elephant Canvas Bin, $31.99, Container Store)

 Style Your Storage

Dress up storage bins and baskets with fun labels that match the décor in your kids’ rooms. It’s easy to make your own. Just download free printables, like the ones on the jars above, or check out Martha Stewart Clip Art and Templates.