Shelves are our answer to many problems around here, but shelves in the boys' bedroom solve various problems at once.
Brian built shelves all around the top of two walls. On the underside of the shelves he put hooks. Not only does having the shelves and hooks let us get most toys, games, and sports equipment up off the floor so the boys can play in a fairly decent-sized open space, it also keeps most things out of reach of little hands.
This means they physically cannot get a ton of different toys out at the same time: they cannot get the dress-up boxes down themselves so they must clean up the blocks and have Brian or me put the blocks back on the shelf before we will bring down the dress-up gear for them.
Picking things up before getting something else out is a great habit to get into in any space, but is particularly important for minimizing clutter and maximizing sanity in small spaces.
Below is a picture of one wall of the boys' room. The other side is only one shelf along the top. You can see that we also hang up wet artwork to dry from a string connected to the lowest shelf. This leaves a bunch of open floor space.
Go build a high shelf!
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