Savvy storage: books, CDs, DVDs and toys

Handy tips for managing household mess

Here are a few ideas for controlling the clutter easily so the tidying habit isn’t a chore.

Storing books, CDs and DVDs

Savvy stacking. Store books, CDs and DVDs on shelves that are easy for you to restack rather than packing them in too tightly together, as this increases the temptation to just cram stray books on top. (Attach shelves to the wall as small children might pull them down.) 

CD control. If you have a large collection, IKEA’s long-running favourite, the Billy bookshelf, can be customised as a very cost-effective and flexible way of storing around 1000 CDs for about £100. The shelves are a little too deep, but if you put old cassette cases (or something similar in size) behind the CDs, they line up just right.

Toy storage 

Keeping cuddly toys in check. A fabric, pop-up ‘laundry basket’, like the ones you can get from Wilkinsons for about £5, is really useful as it can be folded down when not in use, plus it’s easy for children to move around.

Choose storage tub drawers. For toys, opt for a two-level storage unit that you slide tubs into rather than having fixed drawers. IKEA’s Trofast system is a good-value option. This way you can put all the Lego in one tub, cars in another, or dolls in another, and just that tub comes out when needed. Then it’s filled back up again and returned to the shelf unit in one piece for next time.

Savvy tip
Keep DVDs the kids like to watch in a box by the TV, otherwise your main DVD collection will be pulled apart every time they are looking for their favourite film.

Pass it on – kitchen solutions for a child’s bedroom
A plain wood kitchen wall cupboard can be a perfect alternative to regular shelves that get dangerously over-stacked with books and games. Choose cupboards with wooden handles, or go for funky doors so they look less ‘kitcheny’.