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Storage OttomanIt’s just common sense — and for parents, common knowledge — that storage needs multiply rapidly when children arrive. Suddenly the DVD and photo collections are found by inquisitive fingers and toys become accepted decor in living areas. So what’s a style-sensitive parent to do?

Happily, there are many simple, inexpensive, and best of all – stylish – storage solutions that do everything from protecting valuable items to neatly disguising mounds of toys. Here are a few tips that can help turn Romper Room into a room welcoming to all family members, even those over the age of 3, in a matter of minutes.

Storage-Style Furniture Safety
When seeking storage solutions, be aware of double-duty storage ottomans, benches, and coffee and side tables. These ingenious furnishings offer loads of storage space, but often have heavy lids that can come down hard on the fingers — or head — of a curious toddler. But don’t be frightened off by safety concerns, instead consider installing a locking strap in an inconspicuous place to limit access.  If you’re very handy, you might consider installing a small household door dampening unit (available at most hardware stores) on to the lid to prevent slamming.

Also, if allowing a child access to items stored in storage-style furniture, be sure they can comfortably lift the lid, and that there is air access within the piece — just in case the item stored is the child himself during a game of hide and seek.

Syd-hatbox-storageGreat-Looking Camouflage
Decorative stacking baskets and hatboxes can be very handy for hiding toys under the coffee table, on the hearth, in a corner, or under a side table. These containers come in many styles, colors and sizes to mix and match. Cleaning up was never so much fun!

Repurposing Existing Storage
You can find storage for little ones’ playthings by reorganizing some of your own. Once they’ve discovered the lower drawers, doors and shelves in the entertainment center, make those areas toy keepers and move more fragile items to higher shelves, or tuck them away in storage containers out of reach until kids are older. Remember – if your toddler can walk, he soon will move and climb on chairs, so keep fragile, heavy or dangerous items safely out of reach.

Display Breakables with Confidence
Ledge-style and wall-mounted shelves offer great storage and display alternatives for your collectibles, frames and fragile display pieces. These versatile shelves complement any décor without creating the “shelf staircase” inherent with wall shelf units. Confidently display fragile items on out-of-reach shelves by securing them with museum-tested products like Museum Gel and Quake-Hold Putty.