In a house with two children, there is always a need for storage. Without an effective storage solution, we would be drowning under a sea of toys and risking treading on Lego bricks at every turn.
The IKEA Trofast system is ideal for toy storage as it comes in a range of different combinations with plastic storage drawers in a variety of sizes and colours. You can get the units themselves in either pine, white or black and the drawers are currently available in white, pink, green, black and red. In addition to the storage drawers, you can also purchase shelves to add open storage / display spaces. Prices range from £20 for a basic frame to £145 for the biggest storage combination including drawers.
We started out with just the one storage unit - the combination pictured above which is a staircase design. However, this didn't hold all the toys for very long and we now have four additional Trofast units in the house. The majority of these are the lower, bench-style units where the drawers are used for storage and the tops are used to provide a play surface - one holds my daughter's dolls house, another is for Playmobil and the third is for my son to display his Lego models. We also have a small, wall-mounted unit which is half the depth of the others and only fits the mini-drawers.
The Trofast system is very easy to construct - it is a simple wooden unit with ridges for the plastic drawers to slide into. Like all IKEA furniture, it comes flatpacked and needs to be screwed together, but it doesn't require any additional tools or take an excessive amount of time. The units can then be filled with any combination of plastic drawers to suit your needs - we tend to have a mixture of deep and shallow drawers in each unit. From then on, it is up to you to customise it how you want to - I've seen lots of photos on Pinterest with creative labelling to make it easier for the children to tidy up after themselves, although we haven't got as far as doing that ourselves yet.
Overall, IKEA Trofast is a product which I would recommend. It is sturdy and practical, and wears well. It isn't the prettiest or more stylish toy storage solution on the market but it does the job at an affordable price. And, as it isn't so expensive, it doesn't matter quite so much if the children 'accidentally' scribble on it when using it as a surface for their artistic endeavours!
I have always hated having toys all over the place and when I became a child minder I knew that I needed a good storage system. My parents go to the caravan every week and there is an Ikea nearby so he agreed to go and buy me this storage system.
The system cost me 65 pound at the time although checking it now I is selling at 53 pound which is a big difference. You have to buy the trays to go into the Trofast system separately and there are two different depths available and a choice of colours. The system is available in lots of different combinations, here are different heights available and different widths. I bought this option as I though it would be great to display toys and books on the top of it however I now wish I had got two of a narrower and straight topped one.
The system comes flat packed in a cardboard box and is pretty heavy so you should be wary lifting it on your own. The system was pretty easy to put together although it was my husband who built it for me there wasn't much shouting and it didn't take long to do.
The system is made up of plastic coated pieces of wood which are now available in black and white, when I bought it there was only the white option which is a shame as I would have gone for the black one. Inside the wooden pieces there are white plastic runners that have to be attached and then the boxes sit in the runners to move freely in and out.
I have had this system set up for well over a year now and I would say it is a great system. I wouldn't go for this set out again simply as some of the other options would give more storage in the same space. The system is pretty hardwearing, it has no marks on it and the plastic coating is still complete. The system does attract quite a bit of dust but is very easy to clean.
I would give this system 5 stars and think that I will probably move this upstairs and get more storage into the space and the black option in a different layout.
I've recently planned my nursery for baby to be. As we already have a built in wardrobe, a traditional set of furniture (cot, chest of drawers, wardrobe etc) wasn't needed. I thought about buying the items individually but was shocked at some of the prices, particularly chest of drawer sets which generally look pretty much like any other white set of drawers! So, I hatched a plan to put together a 'future proof' room, catering for baby to toddler and beyond - well about seven to ten anyway! The Trofast storage range is an integral part of my plan. I intend to use it to store nappies and clothes i have bought in larger sizes to grow in to, before dedicating the whole unit to contain the inevitable torrent of plastic.
**What the Trofast range is**
The Trofast storage range comes from Ikea. It is described as 'toy storage' and consists of frames made of pine or white foil wrapped chipboard with runners that plastic storage bins can be slid in to. It reminds me of the sort of storage you see in schools or nurseries. The frames themselves come in a range of configurations. I bought the style pictured that has three vertical columns descending in height. There are other variations offered of tall and short units so, by linking them up, you can select the configuration that suits you and fits in your room. The boxes vary in size too so you can choose fewer deeper boxes or more slimmer boxes.
I chose white to match other items however, my personal opinion is that the pine looks a little old fashioned. The boxes come in white as well as bright colours. There is red, blue, green and pink. However, not every size comes in every colour so the choice is not as wide as it could be. I think a teenager may not choose this furniture however, it suits babies and children as there is nothing about it that pins it to a narrow age group. Once assembled, you can see the screw heads and there are quite a lot of them. Not a big problem for me but may be for other people. Make sure they are firmly screwed in so the head doesn't scratch you or the little one.
I've looked at this item for several months and it seems to have been 'reduced' for all of that period. The unit, with boxes, is £75.
** ease of assembly**
This is a heavy item so take a friend to ikea with you to get it off the shelf and load it in the car. Then ask that friend to stay and help you assemble. The instructions are fairly clear but the unit in white is heavy to move around and i can only imagine the pine is even heavier. In terms of size - this item went in the back of a scirocco with the seats down. i think it would have been ok in my corsa too but you would need to put all the seats down. If you cant face a trip to ikea, this item is available to order on line.
The storage unit is constructed using wooden dowels to connect the pieces and screws to hold the pieces tight. Most of the screws are secured using an Alan key that is supplied. The instructions advise that you need only a screwdriver to put the drawer runners in but I needed a rubber mallet too to gently locate the dowels as some of the holes are quite tight. The instructions are fairly clear with the exception of a couple of diagrams where a mysterious hand is pointing to something... I didn't quite work out the meaning of the floating hand but all was well in terms of assembly. The key problem was the weight. As you assemble the unit it obviously gets heavier so it becomes a two person job to shift it into position for the next stage. Doing this at 32 weeks pregnant probably didn't help but the item is heavy and bulky so enlist that friend!
This item needs time and a toddler test to really put it through its paces, however I have some observations already. On the plus side the boxes are a useful size. They will take toys and games in the larger ones whilst the smaller ones will keep action figures, pens etc in order. The item is also robust - to the extent that ikea say its suitable for sitting or climbing on (not something I will be encouraging). On the down side, there are no stoppers on the drawer mechanisms. This means that you can hand the unit whichever way you want, but there is a danger the drawers may come flying out. I think the design assumes you will remove them completely when getting the contents out.
This is a great unit that I haven't seen the equivalent of elsewhere. I think that I'll get a good many years use out of it as the contents of the boxes changes from nappies to toys.
With having four children, good organisation is vital to avoid complete and utter chaos! I must admit, I am quite brutal with the amount of toys they have, and have no hesitation in binning or sending to charity any toys that are broken, haven't been played with in X amount of time or that they don't really need. I cannot stand to see bedrooms overflowing with broken old tatty toys! Having said that, there is still an AWFUL lot of "stuff" to store - and not just single toys like teddies, but lots of little bits and pieces that come with board games, puzzles, Lego etc.
I spent years struggling to keep those little bits and bobs from getting lost - often unsuccessfully or at least untidily. We used to (and still do) use those flexible storage tub/trugs for the children's toys, but like most large toy boxes, we found all the small things sifted to the bottom and got forgotten about or damaged. I remembered the storage units there used to be in primary school, which used to hold all the children's trays, and thought wouldn't it be great if they made something like that for use in the home? However on researching school suppliers websites, I discovered that such units were incredibly expensive and usually far to big. Then I was recommended Trofast units from Ikea by a friend - and these really are the answer to any parents toy storage needs!
The Trofast units come in various sizes both in width and height, and consist of a frame made of either solid pine or white MDF style material, with grooves to accommodate plastic boxes/drawers or shelves. The solid pine frames are on average £10-15 more expensive than the white. The Trofast boxes come in 3 different sizes; either medium (as pictured in the Dooyoo item photo above), large which are 50% deeper, or shallow drawers which are half the depth of the standard. The boxes can be removed from the unit completely, which is useful if you want to take a particular box to somewhere else in the house without having the remove the contents. You can also buy lids for the boxes separately. Over the years the boxes have come in various colours, but currently they are sold in blue (deep boxes), white or pink (standard boxes) and white or green (drawers).
We personally have two of the 'stepped' units - as pictured in the Dooyoo item photo - in solid pine, with pink and green boxes for our daughters bedroom, and red and blue boxes for our boys room. The different colour and size combinations mean you can really customise the space you have to suit your family needs. The stepped units are particularly good as you can make use of the space on each 'step' - we use them for books and items on display (such as Lego projects).
We use the different depth drawers for different types of toy. Cuddly toys go in the larger boxes, and the shallow drawers are used to store puzzles, artwork, and little fiddly toys or bits and bobs we don't want to get lost. Moshi Monsters and Pokemon cards currently reside in my son's drawers!
The Trofast frames are exceptionally sturdy and really stand up to frequent batterings! They are really heavy and solid and I couldn't imagine them breaking easily, so perfect for boisterous children. The drawers are made of plastic, and therefore less sturdy (as you would expect), but by no means flimsy either. However, after a couple of years use some of the rims of the boxes where they go into the unit grooves have split - but replacements are easily bought separately and luckily very cheap to buy. It's very useful to be able to get replacements as other toy storage units rarely have that option, and you find yourself trying to store things in a broken unit and getting into a real mess again.
The Trofast units, including boxes, are a very reasonable price at around £61-73 (depending on pine or white, and box combinations) for the stepped unit as pictured, with smaller or larger units obviously being slightly cheaper or more expensive. The boxes are incredibly cheap to buy, at £1.50-3.50 depending on size. You can buy frames separately too, so you can either make up your own combination of boxes and shelves, or replace an old frame should you wish to.
Really, with Trofast the possibilities are almost endless! I would (and do) recommend Trofast storage to all parents who want a neat, tidy and organised solution to toy storage. They are great to encourage children to keep their toys in order and non-lost toys = happy children, and tidy homes = happy parents!
My favourite section of Ikea has always been the kids bedrooms, even though my own child is now older I still love looking at all the funky stuff. One item which I bought when my teenager was much younger and has stood the test of time is the Trofast storage unit.
The trofast is available in a number of different cominations, the one I have is just a single unit, if you look at the picture above the review then it is like I only have the third of the unit which is on the right. This is one of the simplest units from the range and the wooden frame currently costs £35.
The trofast is a simple concept, you choose your frame size and then choose the colour and size of storage boxes which you put inside it. The frame is available in both white and untreated pine, I have the pine version as it was the only one available when I bought the unit.
The unit is simple to put together because it only consists of a top and bottom and the two sides. I painted my daughter's unit by undercoating it and then using the metallic purple emulsion I had used in her bedroom and then glossing over it to make it more hard wearing. I have simple white boxes in the unit because they looked nicer than the pink or blue.
This is a really sturdy unit which has lasted around 7 years and still looks as good as new. Although the construction is simple it is made of solid wood which, unlike chipboard furniture, does not end up chipped or falling apart. There are no moving parts to break and the drawer runners are just as good as when the unit was new.
The boxes are made of thick and sturdy plastic. I have one large box which is great for throwing toys into and 4 smaller boxes which are great for holding craft materials and books. Even after several years of use they are unscratched and there are no cracks or breaks in the boxes. I have given them a good clean every so often with a multi surface cleaner and they look good.
This is a unit which will grow with your child, my daughter still uses hers as a teenager. You can change the boxes (which cost between £1.50 and £3.50) to give the unit a new look and repaint it too. It is an ideal storage solution for a kid's bedroom because of how versatile and sturdy it is.
Last year, we decided to move Lauren from her box room into the large spare bedroom and due to the amount of toys she had, we needed some sort of storage unit.
I decided to try Ikea (any excuse for me to have a trip there!) and we spotted the Trofast storage unit.
The shelving units are available in either white or beech.
The tray colours available are pink, blue, white, red or green and you can but additional or different sized tray from £1.50, there is also the option to buy lids for the trays, prices are from £1.50.
There are also several variations of the unit: singe towers, wall units, 3 tray high storey units and prices range from £25 to £140.00.
Some of the units can also be purchased without trays so that you can but your own combination.
As with the majority of Ikea products, this comes flat packed, the instructions were very basic yet easy to follow and assembly only took about 20 minutes. No additional tools were needed as the only think I needed was a special shaped allen key which was included.
The assembled dimensions are: W 100 x D 44 x H 94 cm
*Price and Availability:*
The unit we purchased is as pictured above and is available in most stores, you can check the stock at your local store if you visit Ikea's website.
This unit cost £73
We chose the white version which goes from left to right with 6 pink trays and it looks really nice in Laurens bedroom.
The pink trays are a really nice baby pink colour (in keeping with the theme).
The trays are made from Polypropylene and are really strong and durable, this is also handy for wiping down (when Lauren has tried to glue things on them or 'accidently' crayoned on them).
The trays are really deep and I can fit lots of her toys in them. The runners are also quite sturdy and have never come loose, the trays also glide quite easily on them.
We have had the unit for nearly a year now and it still looks like new.
I would recommend this unit to anybody that is wanting a simple yet effective storage unit and would give the product 5 stars.