You’re not a parent until you’ve felt the pain of stepping on LEGO, and wondered why, for such small people, kids have so much stuff. Seriously! How do they accumulate all that barang-barang (Malay: things, goods, articles, commodities — A Dictionary of Singlish and Singapore English)? No wonder one of the first skills your child learns in preschool is packing up after playtime! At home however, when there’s no teacher to guide your little one to pick up and pack up after playing, how can you ensure that things remain organised? Esther Tan, Sales Leader (Children’s IKEA) of IKEA Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, recommends the following organisation tools.
1. Box Up The Mess!
Don’t stub your toes on that Duplo block, that LEGO piece, that wooden train, those craft materials or that piece of doll’s house furniture lying around on the floor. The key is to have sufficient storage spaces around the home for kids to keep their prized possessions away, and still have room to play. Opt for storage that can grow with your kids and their treasures. Keep some VESSLA storage crates with castors ($9.90) handy. These make picking up fun for kids as they get things packed up after a long day of play. They can wheel it around to pick up odds and ends for subsequent organisation, or to keep toys away from view until the next play time.
2. See it from a Child’s Point-Of-View
Keep storage units low so that kids can reach for their things (like arts and craft materials) and organise them easily. With easy access to storage, kids can be encouraged to tidy up independently too! The STUVA storage bench ($89) is low enough so that even younger toddlers can pick up and store their books and toys in it easily. And because it has a cover, all that mess is kept out of sight when visitors come over! Add a simple VISSLA bench pad (which has an anti-slip surface on the underside) and the storage bench can also be converted into multi-functional soft seating for a comfy reading corner!
3. Get Furniture that Grows with your Child
Invest in modular pieces to take care of miscellaneous school stuff like stationery, files and papers, and art and craft materials. The TROFAST storage system is a great example of how a furniture item can grow with your child. Available in various combinations, it can be catered to suit the different needs at different stages of your child’s growth. When your child is younger, you can use it to keep picture books or toys in each storage box. When he’s grown up, it will be the perfect height to organise books and files, craft materials and bags, and all the other miscellaneous school stuff (and there will be a lot of these, trust me). You can also cultivate the kids’ creativity by letting them choose the colour of the frame and boxes, and use different colours for different things, making it easy for the kids to organise their belongings. A lovely piece to keep is the FLISAT doll’s house, which can be turned into whimsical, quirky storage for their smaller pieces when they grow up.
4. Give them a Treasure Trove
Organise and display with the SYNAS LED lighting box ($59.90). We’re adults but we love it too! This is such a perfect way to store the kids’ treasures and trinkets, their art creations, collections, and favourite things. They can change the items as and when they like thanks to the removable lid, and the base lighting gives each item that extra museum-like quality that the kids will definitely love! I imagine home-based exhibitions of kids’ creations in them, don’t you?