Stim Toy Storage - At Home Stim Kits
Something I don’t see discussed too often is storage of stim toys, so I’m going to talk about some photos of the ways I’m storing my collection, now that I have a fairly large collection of toys. How often I use an item and how reachable I need it to be impacts a lot on how I store it and where.
Some degree of organisation can help with acceptance, I’ve found, as there’s less feeling of “things everywhere” and “toys for kids” and a little more sense of purpose or focus.
This is my “left over” or “spare” kit - comprised of items that are extras, usually from buying multiple items in a pack because I can’t find them for individual purchase, making too many of a handmade item (I tend to “samemake” in the way I samefood, once I find a pattern or design that works), gifts, or items I reviewed that I just didn’t click with. I like having an extra kit because I dislike other people touching my toys, so having toys meant for handling by others is great for sharing if I’m stimming in front of guests. It’s easy to put a box like this on a table, too, or bring to a community gathering. It’s also something I can show other people, with everything neatly laid out, and a full kit like this is great for introducing people to the idea that stim toys exist.
(I struggle to communicate stimming in the abstract, but putting someone’s hands in a box of toys and letting them explore while I talk is so much easier. I’ve found that NT folks new to stimming don’t necessarily click with any one or two toys I’ve showed them, but having lots of options means at least one “gateway” toy, and once they’ve happened across something that provides a positive/pleasing/relaxing sensation for them, they’re more open to other toys. It happened this way with Mum: she wouldn’t touch anything until I made my marble mazes, but she’s now got her own spinner, massage balls and hedge balls…)
This kit is housed in a cardboard box and two plastic trays which fit inside it. The smaller, more tangly and rattly items (like bead fidgets, marble loops, Tangles, spinners, hedge balls, telephone cord bracelets) are housed in the trays, as I can stack one tray on top of the other and simply lift the top tray out of the box, meaning I don’t have to burrow through as many little items to find things. Some things will still take some burrowing (there’s a marble maze in the top basket, hidden by everything on top of it) but it’s a lot easier to use, and less overwhelming, than my previous method of stowing everything loose in a box.
The larger items like Play-Doh tubs, stress balls and plush are stacked in the other half of the box, with large pieces like plush keyrings and bean bags sitting loosely on top, so I don’t have to move too many things to reach the tubs underneath.
Slinkies are great for neatly containing smaller items, just like a pen caddy or cup: the one in this box holds a stress ball and two makeup blending sponges. I’ve got one on my desk holding several Tangles, a sponge and a few Hama bead loops!
My cardboard box is 31 cm long, 24 cm wide and 11.5 cm deep. It’s deep enough to hold a full-size plastic Slinky and a full-size snake puzzle standing on its shorter end. I paid $2.50 AUD for this from Fantastic Variety, a local dollar shop, but I more often see boxes of this size between $3-5 AUD. The plastic trays I bought from the same store in a 3 pack for $2 AUD, and they’re 23.2 cm long, 15.5 cm wide and 6 cm deep. With all the toys in it, the box is quite heavy.
For this sort of thing, it’s often better purchasing in person (if possible) as you can check that any inner trays fit inside your intended box. For this kind of storage, with a variety of toys of many different shapes, you ideally want a box deep enough to fit two trays on top of each other, leaving the rest of the box for taller items.
There are sewing and gear boxes designed to take larger items, many with compartments and removable trays, but most of these are very expensive. This set up cost me less than $5 AUD and is easy to use.
Image description under read more cut: