Organizing Your Kids Toys With Custom Shelving

Boulder Display Unit Tall CoucouManou

If you don't have the right storage options to keep your child's toys organized, this can soon turn into an area of tension between you and your toddler. Walking in a toy-strewn room is dangerous for you and your child, as it's easy to slip and fall on a stray stuffed animal or toy car. Make your child a part of the solution with kid-friendly shelves that keep toys contained yet accessible.

Planning

Get buy-in from your wee one by talking about the project together. You may have luck pitching this to kids who want to do everything for themselves as one more thing they can do without parental help. Together, talk about the shape, color and design of shelves. Does she want something in purple because it's her favorite color? Does she want large cubbies like those at preschool or flat reading shelves perfect for storing books and electronics?

Preparing

Once you have an idea of the type of shelves she wants, browse storage blogs, DIY blogs and magazines for free or inexpensive plans. You don't have to be a pro to build your own shelves. All you need are some basic woodworking tools, raw materials and finishing materials.

Before you begin, carefully measure the space where you'll build the shelf. Sketch out your design, including dimensions, on graph paper or refer to the plans you found. Decide whether you'll build the shelves on site or put them together in the basement or garage to have more work room.

Essential Supplies

Your plans will suggest a list of supplies for you, but in general, expect to have on hand the following supplies:

·Measuring tape

·Spirit level

·Circular saw or hand saw

·Sandpaper

·Wood glue

·Cordless drill and screwdriver bits

·Hammer and assorted nails

·Paint or stain to finish the shelves

·Paintbrushes or rags to apply the stain

·Protective eyewear

·Work gloves

Take a quick trip to the hardware store to put together the basics. You may prefer to ask an employee to cut the wood to the right length at the hardware store. Not only does this make transportation easier, but it's useful if you don't have the right kind of saw at home.

Once you've got everything you need, build those shelves. Refer to your plans for the fine details.

Finishing Touches

While you can hang plain wood shelves, they'll look unfinished. Once you've finished putting the shelves together, sand any rough edges using sandpaper. This is an absolute must as you do not want to be pulling wood splinters out of tiny fingers. When the wood feels smooth, it's finished.

Now you may stain or paint the shelves. If your child is old enough, she may enjoy being your helper for this project since they're going to be her new toy shelves. Have her help you apply the paint or stain, or pick out the right color. When the finish dries, it's time for the final stage: Mounting your shelves. Using your level as a guide, make pencil marks where you plan to hang the shelves. Then use brackets appropriate to the task and hang the brackets using a cordless drill.

If you've opted for standalone shelves that rest on the floor, you're done! Simply place your shelves on the floor of your child's room and fill them with toys.

The right shelves will make her feel special and help reduce clutter from toys and books. In just one weekend, you can build your own shelves, getting custom design and quality at a very low price.

Lindsey Harper Mac is an Indianapolis native with a love for decorating. In her spare time, she blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she enjoys.

(Note, it is important to know what you are doing with a saw.  Please get help if you are planning to use heavy equipment without experience.  We don't take any responsibility with accidents)

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