Uncategorized October 19, 2023

Preparing To Sell: Reining In Kid Spaces – What About Toys?

I’m a busy single Mom with two very busy kids. When it comes to keeping their spaces neat and tidy, this is an area that I choose to “pick my battles.” My primary rule is that all toys must remain in their room. This allows me to shut their doors, essentially shutting off the mess, when necessary. If you’re preparing to sell your home, reining in the kids’ spaces so that they present well to potential buyers is very important. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Having a lot of toys is okay. If you have kids, buyers expect you to have toys. I recommend keeping toys in the kids rooms and out of important common areas like the living room and kitchen, and out of the master suite.
  2. Minimize and Donate before listing. If you’re preparing to sell, now is a great time go through all of the toys, trash what is broken, donate what you can, and sell when appropriate. Bonus – this will make packing and moving easier because you will have less to take with you.
  3. Organize what’s left. Use bookcases and containers to make toys and other kid-related items appear orderly. I love the Kallax bookcases from Ikea and have used them in my kids rooms since they were babies. They are great quality, come in several colors and are very reasonably priced. Baskets are a great way to corral like items such as stuffed animals and dolls.
  4. Use the garage for storage if necessary. If after paring down the toys, you still feel like you have an abundance, I recommend packing up the excess and storing in the garage (or offsite storage building) until moving day.

When thinking through the design of my kids spaces, I tried to make sure ALL THE THINGS have a home. I hope these pictures inspire you to pare down and tidy up your kids spaces if you’re preparing to sell. And, for fun, I’m including some real life/everyday pictures of what my kids’ spaces look like on a normal basis.

My daughter has TONS of Barbies and Barbie accessories. I use rolling containers purchased from Amazon (that hide under her bed) to contain most of it. For these photos, and to give a good example for those preparing to sell, I stashed a Princess house, Barbie plane and another dollhouse in the closet.

Here you’ll see the Ikea Kallax bookcase that I mentioned above. The gray felt containers are also from Ikea. I love this piece of furniture for organizing books, toys, collectibles, etc. Plus it looks pretty and holds so much! Peep the beautiful handmade wood and leather items made by my talented brother :).

Thankfully, my son has far fewer items to contend with. But, the downside of his room is that it is located just off the kitchen. Here’s where closing the door really comes in handy :). Bookcases and baskets keep his space organized.

Bookcases and baskets for the win!

This is our arts and craft area located upstairs. Glass jars keep markers, crayons and colored pencils organized but easily accessible. Yes, they have been dropped, a lot, but have held up really well. Plastic bins from Target keep coloring books and play do neat and tidy. My kids love seeing their artwork on display and the bookcase is a fun place to decorate for the holidays. If I were putting my house on the market, the only thing I would change here would be removing about half of the hanging artwork.

On the other side of the space is their table and chairs. The table belonged to my Mother and her siblings – I love having it here! The chairs were purchased from Amazon. The gray hooks on the left hold our Christmas advent calendar.

Calvin also has a Kallax bookcase for organizing toys.

Real life in Carson’s room.

Real life in Calvin’s Room.

Are you wondering where my kids’ clothes are kept? The three of us share the walk-in closet in my bedroom. I find this much easier and convenient, after all, I’m the one washing, folding and putting away the laundry.


Carson’s beds: Purchased from a local antique store and painted by Lori Tucker.

Carson’s linens: Potterybarn Kids

Carson’s Rug: Wayfair

Calvin’s Bed: Haverty’s years ago.

Calvin’s Sheets: Potterybarn Kids

Calvin’s Bedding: Wayfair

Calvin’s Other Furniture: Given to us by family.