If your house is anything like mine, you’re fighting a constant battle against a flow of toys. The fight can only be won with the help of decent storage. Of course we have the Ikea Trofast and Kallax units as a base (who doesn’t?), but some toys call for more ingenious solutions. And, let’s face it, it’s nice to have something that is aesthetically pleasing as well as practical.
We’ve been living with a rather stylish wooden Tidy Books Sorting Box for a couple of months now and. I have to say, it has been fantastic. The inner dividing boxes are perfect for tiny treasures (think Sylvanians, Lottie Dolls, wooden animals, Playmobil) and make tidying up a breeze – even the children don’t mind joining in. They can just take one box out at a time, rather than having to sift through lots of different toys in a drawer and I’ve found that the toys being more organised has meant they play with things for longer, because they’re not missing vital characters or accessories. Sorting Boxes come in five colours (Soft White, Pale Grey, Dark Grey and Natural) and cost £59 each, plus £12 for a lid. We have two stacked up with a lid on top which works really well as a chic side table, so in the evening you literally don’t even know the toys are there. Win!
You know how much we love rainbows, so you can imagine how excited we were to discover the Rainbow Box. It’s a Scandinavian birch plywood box, handmade in South Wales, with rainbow colours and cut-out cloud detail, designed to hold 60-70 books or toys. It’s sturdy, but light enough to be carried around. We borrowed one to have a play with and it is a fabulous bit of kit – definitely the place to show off your most beautifully illustrated books. Choose from Natural or White and Natural finishes for £99.95, with the option to add your child’s name for an extra £15. Would make a lovely gift for a nursery.
Ah, the eternal quandary of Lego. Marie Kondo has no idea what’s ahead of her *evil (but satisfying) laugh*. We’ve manage to keep the chaos vaguely under control with those massive Lego brick boxes, sorted by series, with a Lego head for minifigures, but it’s the ‘in progress’ stuff that poses the biggest problem. There’s no parent alive who hasn’t experienced the agony of barefoot treading on a piece of Lego left strewn on the floor. Nil desperandum – Play Pouch to the rescue. This is a seriously brilliant way to encourage children who aren’t keen on clearing up after themselves (all children?) as all they need to do is tighten the rope and they’re good to go! Play Pouches come in two sizes (the mini ones are perfect for outings and holidays) and in a array of colours (Mustard, Red, Blue, Pink, Green, Black) and patterns (Gold Dot, Honeycomb, Bat Mask, Crosses and Triangles), are made from tough cotton canvas with a zipped pocket on the front and cost from £29.99.
If you’ve seen pictures of Kitty you’ll know that her hair needs a lot of taming, so we are awash with clips and hair ties. We keep them all in a super-cute Bohemia Tiny Sequin Basket, but it occurred to me it would work equally well as storage for the sort of minuscule toys that small people love to collect (those little puppies in a tin that come in machines at Sainsbury’s, anyone?) I love baskets of all descriptions, and this sequin-bedecked version is particularly pleasing. We have the multicoloured version, but it also comes in White, Black, Pistachio, Orange, Powder Blue and Neon Pink) and will set you back £10.50 from Not on the High Street.
We gave Kitty a Luggy basket for Christmas and she adores it, so I know she’ll love OlliElla’s Piki basket – the yellow one has gone straight onto my must-buy list. Yes, it’s essentially a picnic basket, but also ideal for Easter egg hunts or, in this case, storing and transporting treasures around. I’m thinking that the collection Living Nature mini soft toys that grandparents are always press ganged into buying from National Trust gift shops will be very happy living in a Piki. Available in Natural, Pink, White, Blue or Yellow, the Piki costs £25.