A pro’s storage solutions for helping corral children’s clutter

Mari-Jane Williams

THE WASHINGTON POST – Almost a year into this pandemic, we’ve had lots of time to look at our homes and contemplate what works and what doesn’t.

And, of course, with everyone at home all day, every day, there’s more stuff everywhere. School stuff. Work stuff. New hobby stuff. Life stuff. Or at least it seems that way.

Parents, in particular, are constantly battling the tidal wave of kids’ clothes, toys and now schoolwork and supplies that threatens to take over every surface and room. I asked interior designer Andrea Hysmith, founder and owner of ASH Interiors and Design in Ellicott City what parents can do to contain the chaos.

A mother of a 14-year-old, Hysmith said one of the biggest mistakes people make is looking for kid-specific storage solutions, which seem cute and fun when you purchase them, but they don’t age well.

“I would love to have the girls in a cutesy pink polka-dot room, but what are their personalities going to be in two years, in five years?” she said. “They’re going to grow and change.”

For kid storage, look for pieces that don’t look “kiddie” Hysmith said. Shop with an eye toward evolving functions as your child ages – something that can store toys now, but will work for art supplies or books later, for example. It’s fine to choose some fun, kid-themed smaller pieces to add some personality, but think long-term for bigger pieces; you want to choose items that will last five to 10 years or more.

And just because pieces aren’t kid-specific doesn’t mean they can’t be fun or interesting.
Quirky items in bright colours can add personality to a space.

Toy storage for children. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST