When chaos reigns

Feeling suffocated by children's clutter? Rein in the chaos with some simple storage solutions.

Every child needs a space to play; with forward planning it is possible to accommodate child-friendly activity areas while retaining your own grown-up identity. So how does one retain an adult space while catering for the little one who has not yet learned the subtleties of tidiness and organisation? The answer is not a simple one: It is about making deliberate design choices and planning spaces for that extraneous clutter. Spring is the perfect time to reinvent your living space into one of functional style and practicality.

Baskets and boxes with lids
This is a great place to start for those who are budget-conscious, or want quick and simple solutions. There is an abundance of shapes and construction materials, including PVC, plastic, wicker, cane, and wood, with each having their own individual attributes. The key to savvy storage is not only look, but placement: If you store where the children generally play, then they are more likely to put things away when they are done!

Floor-to-ceiling cupboards
A great investment, ensure that these are created with extra deep shelving and doors so that the larger items can be folded and put away out of sight. Locate children's items on the lower shelves and your display pieces where little hands cannot reach! If it is not practical to create cupboard spaces, open shelves are the next best things - invest in good-quality boxes or baskets with lids; these are practical and stylish and can hide a plethora of visual headaches. 

Wall-mounted storage
Buggies, umbrellas, boots, and ride-on toys all require space away from the bedroom but with easy access. The hallway is the easiest answer: wall-mounted shelves are effective, with space below for shoes, umbrellas, and strollers. Pegs are a simple means of adding interior detail, as are large baskets to house shoes and outdoor toys.

Multifunctional furniture
Finally, there are those whose homes, due to house style and/or budget, do not allow for ample shelving. In this case aim for planned "functional furniture" purchases, such as a coffee table with drawers. The options here are manifold, although quality is key. Look for items that are safe, will not catch small fingers, and, more importantly, will withstand the rigours of childhood play.




Kirstin Bailey is the Director and Designer of Gorgi New Zealand and is mum to three boys. Anna Church is Creative Stylist and Designer of Gorgi New Zealand and is expecting her first child in September. For more information visit or email




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