It’s about this time every year that we need to ramp up our efforts to get our homes organized and looking awesome for holiday guests. It’s like, what the heck happened to all that spring cleaning I did six months ago? Yeah, well, welcome to parenthood. And one of the organizing solutions that can be the biggest bane for families is all those gadgets, video games and controllers; especially if you know that a few more of them may end up in your homes around oh…say, December or so?
So we’re really happy, on behalf of our sponsor, the brand new VTech InnoTV, to share 9 of our favorite smart ways to organize your game controllers, cartridges and other equipment.
– Don’t miss an exclusive InnoTV giveaway just for our readers. Details below! –
We imagine more than a few kids are going to be opening up brand new InnoTV systems this year, especially considering how smart and affordable this new educational, TV-connected gaming system is. It’s a great holiday gift idea for kids 3-8, and we love that not only are there a ton of games available for download or streaming, but that it’s compatible with many of your existing InnoTab cartridges too. Plus lots of the games are collaborative, designed to get families playing together. We’re all for screen time that becomes family time.
But hey, as much as we love the awesome look of those cool, kid-friendly InnoTV controllers, we also know that they’re going to need a home when family game night is over. We really hope these ideas help!
Toss Game Controllers in Pretty Storage Bins
Just toss it? Yep. Getting your kids to clean up their gaming equipment can be easy as just stashing it all in a roomy storage bin. We are liking these colorful storage bins and baskets at Land of Nod, though they have lots of options so you can pick out the size and color that works best with your room decor and storage needs. You can even choose different colors for different kids, or label one bin for cartridges, another for controllers, and so on. A few of their options even have lids in case you want all those devices out of the way of company — and not underfoot — when they aren’t in use.
Organize Gaming Equipment with a Kid-Sized Shelf
Sometimes a small storage unit, kid-height, is all it takes to keep organized. The handmade storage shelves from Etsy’s Turquoise WoodWorks come in so many fun colors. And we love that this husband-wife team of woodworkers can even take custom orders to fit the exact size space you have.
Alternately, use the bottom shelves of an existing media tower that may already be in your living room to stash your most-used controllers; with so much streaming media these days, we bet you don’t even use a lot of those DVDs and CDs these days, and you could probably stash them somewhere less accessible and not miss them at all.
Repurpose a Shoe Organizer for Gaming Controllers
We like looking at alternate uses for existing organizing solutions you might already have at home. One smart option: Try a low shoe organizer shelf like this one at The Container Store in your gaming area. The small compartments are the perfect size for controllers, and they cost way less than a lot of dedicated gaming controller storage shelves which can be pricy but yield the same results. It’s also a good size to stash smaller gaming cartridges like the ones for the InnoTV.
Repurpose a Magazine Rack to Hold Gaming Controllers
Another way to repurpose one organizational tool for another is by using something like Winsome Wood’s versatile canvas magazine storage rack, which we spotted at Amazon. It’s the perfect size for video game controllers, and you can mount it on the wall near where your kids (and grownups) like to play games. Each 10″ canvas basket is just large enough to hold most gaming controllers, and the entire unit can be hung in rows as shown, or as one long vertical unit if that works better in your space.
Convert a Shoe Bag into Over-the-Door Gaming Storage
If you have limited space by your television, or if you just don’t want to have to see all your kids’ controllers out all the time, this game controller storage idea from Time2Save Workshops is really smart. With loads of individual pockets, a hanging shoe organizer gets everything off your floor and tucked out of the way in a nearby closet or over a door where it’s not too obtrusive. Visit her site for a few retailer options for bags like this one.
Use a Personalized Game Controller Tub
If your kids haven’t yet amassed an arsenal of gaming controllers, it’s easy to encourage your child to pick up after him or herself with their own personalized game controller tubs. Of course any bin or basket would do, but we think this 12″ one from Aly Chris Boutique on Etsy is so cute. And if you have more than one child, they could each have their own personalized tub so they can keep what’s theirs, theirs. Plus, it’s easy to look at the empty one and know just which kid to yell at for not cleaning up. (Kidding. Mostly.)
Hide Video Game Controls in a Storage Ottoman
The bonus of hiding game controls in a comfy storage ottoman, as shown in this photo from BHG.com, is that you get extra seating too. Not a bad idea for family game night when you’re all around the TV. Plus, it’s roomy enough for larger accessories like gaming instruments or paddles. The smaller boxes inside this one are a clever way to help keep it all from turning into a jumbled mess.
Hang Game Controllers on the Wall
Get all your video game controllers and accessories up and out of the way by using your open wall space as storage space. Whether you feel up to DIY-ing the versatile wall clips shown above or if you’d rather just buy them in one of many available colors, Instructables has information on both options. We like this idea most for an informal play room or maybe down low against a wall by to the TV in the family room; this way it’s not at adult eye-level making it a focal point of the room, and your kids can still see where their stuff is at a glance.
Store Smaller Game Accessories in Vintage Suitcases
We love these vintage-style suitcases at Land of Nod that come in a bunch of color combinations. It’s a clever gaming storage idea we still like since we first suggested it in our post about 6 Creative Ways to Store Video Games. This is probably a better idea for those smaller game units with the tiny games that tend to get lost in couch cushions or under the car seat. But this trio of suitcases looks neat enough to be stacked in a bedroom, playroom, or an informal den.
If you want something authentically retro, search eBay or Etsy for vintage suitcases like this gorgeous green one from AirFare. Find the perfect one to match your decor, and it will look so awesome, you’ll even forget that it’s containing a big collection of games and controllers when it’s closed.
Thanks so much to our sponsor InnoTV Educational Gaming System for making a smart, affordable option for families with hundreds of expert-curated educational games. And yay for backwards compatibility with your existing InnoTab cartridges! You can visit VTech Toys on Facebook for more information and be sure to check out the InnoTV in action over on YouTube.
EXTRA COOL: WIN IT! We’ve got one InnoTV console up for grabs for one lucky winner. Congrats to the lucky winner! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED