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Handpainted storage pots and paintings on a washing line in a child's playroom

Creative storage solutions to keep things tidy when you have a playful toddler or preschooler on your hands

If your little one’s bedroom, playroom or nursery could do with a spring clean, we’ve got some easy ways to transform it into a more tranquil place to play with minimum DIY required. Some of them even double up as fun craft projects your little one can help with.

Art storage

Plant pots: Wash out a few small terracotta plant pots, paint each one a different colour and when dry, you can use them to store pens, pencils, crayons, chalks and paintbrushes. Give one to your little one to decorate so they can get creative and feel involved.

Revolving spice rack: A spice rack is just one of many household items that can be used creatively for storage. If you’ve got one of these gathering dust at the back of a cupboard, it’s time to give it a new lease of life. Wash out all the jars and then fill with glitter, pom poms, sequins, googly eyes, buttons etc.

Clip hangers: Display your child’s latest artistic masterpiece quickly and easily by using a clothes hanger with a clip. Just knock a nail into the wall and hook the hanger on. For multiple art works, string an old washing line at ceiling height from one side of the room to the other and use pegs to hang the paintings – perfect when they’re not quite dry.

Books

Plastic boxes: When reading time is done, your little one will be straight onto the next thing – which often means you’ll end up with books all over the floor. Putting them back neatly can be a big ask for a small child who wants to play – or a very tired parent – so make it easy and pop them in a plastic box with a lid instead.

Wall-hung spice rack: A couple of wooden spice racks attached to the wall make great bookshelves – hang them low down so they’re accessible or if you’d rather they were out of the way of little hands, hang them higher so you can be in charge of story time.

Cuddly toys

Laundry basket: A large laundry basket is a great storage solution for cuddly toys. If you’ve got one with a lid you can fit a lot in and then keep them neat and tidy by closing the top.

Mark an area: Designate a corner of the room for cuddly toys – you can even mark it out with tape – then encourage your little one to put the toys back there each evening. Make it into a game by seeing if they can organise them by size, colour or animal type, or get them to say goodnight to each one as they put them to ‘bed’. They might not be stored away exactly, but at least they’ll look neat and won’t trip anybody up!

Lego/Duplo bricks

Over the door shoe tidy: Sort your bricks by shape or colour into the different pockets of a shoe tidy to keep them off the floor and out of the way of little feet (or big feet). The see-through pockets mean you can look at what’s inside quickly and easily.

Lego table: Use an old side or coffee table to create a Lego table! Simply attach a few Lego baseboards to the surface with super glue or adhesive strips and store all the bricks in the drawers or in plastic tubs underneath. That way your little one can easily find all the pieces and then use the top of the table as the base for building. Genius.

Dressing Up

Vintage suitcases: Dig out an old-style suitcase from the loft or try and find some from a charity shop to store fancy dress costumes. Kids will love opening them up and pulling out different outfits – you can have one for clothes and one for accessories. Then at the end of the day it’s easy to stuff them all back in and shut the lid!

Hanging rail: If you have the space, a hanging rail is ideal for dressing up. Each outfit can be displayed on a hanger so your little one can easily choose which costume they want to put on. Or as an alternative if you don’t have the space, use a single bar bathroom towel rail that attaches to the wall to suspend the costumes from using hangers.

Do you love a craft project? Try creating a windowsill garden.

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