Getting Organized: Toys
You guys, toddler toys are the bane of my existence.
I kind of want to just throw them all away sometimes, but that’s not a very nice thing for a mom to do, so I restrain myself.
I don’t know how it happens, but the toys seem to magically multiply. We put so much effort into keeping things minimal, but out of nowhere it feels like I’m running a freaking toy store. It doesn’t help that we had Christmas and his birthday practically back-to-back and now the house is overflowing with way more toys than I know what to do with.
But! If you came into my house on any given day (assuming things aren’t too chaotic and I’ve actually had time to keep it clean…) you wouldn’t know that my house is stuffed-to-the-brim with toddler paraphernalia.
I manage to hide it pretty well.
What’s my secret? Baskets.
Yup. Forget diamonds – baskets are this girl’s best friend! They keep everything corralled, neat, and out of sight.
In particular, I’m currently obsessed with this new Ikea piece we got a few weeks back – it’s the NORNAS sideboard and it’s perfect. We’ve been wanting something new for our entryway for a while now, and after the Christmas season we knew we needed a better solution than just the big basket we used to have to house all of his toys – baby toys are nice and small and can easily fit into one basket but toddler toys? They’re a whole new ballgame.
So, I did a bit of research and found this beauty and knew we had to have it. Corey had actually planned on building something himself, but this was only about $50 more than we would have spent to build it ourselves, so we were willing to throw a little bit of money at the problem to make it go away.
This piece comes in raw wood, and while I originally planned on staining it I decided to take a wait-and-see approach and I’m kind of loving the raw wood look! I oiled it up with some oil we have on hand for our kitchen island, and I haven’t touched it since. I may still change my mind in a few months and decide to stain it, but for now I think it’s perfect as-is.
Once we had it built and in place, it was time to get to organizing. I took all of Jackson’s toys that used to be stored in a big basket and separated them out into the baskets in this unit. Now, instead of one big basket (plus one smaller one for Legos), he has four different baskets with toys – which means that when he’s pulling out new toys, he’s no longer dumping every toy he owns onto the floor at one time. It’s just a quarter of them.
We also keep less-frequently-used toys upstairs in his bedroom. Every once in a while I’ll rotate those toys in so that he doesn’t get bored with that’s available to him. Oh, and remember the gold bookcase that used to be in the living room? It now lives in the garage and stores some more toys so that he has something to play with when we’re hanging out in there. It isn’t our prettiest organization system, but it works and that’s what matters, right?
I’m thrilled with this new entryway table and I love how much cleaner my house stays now that Jackson’s toys are spread out into more small baskets. I’m still debating how to decorate above it (that flower print won’t live there forever) and whether or not I want to paint or stain it, but even if nothing changes, I’m still in love with it just for the organization!
How do you keep toys organized in your home?
We have a toy cubby holder, a few whicker baskets under our coffee table, toy boxes in her room, and a bench with storage in the basement.
We live in a small (like less than 900 square feet) house with a large living room area. We decided to split it in half and have a playroom type area on one side and our living room on the other. We tried Expedits (similar to your new piece) and it just didn’t work for us long term. Since we spend almost all our time in the living room we store all his toys in the living room and there just wasn’t ever enough room in the Expedits/baskets to keep everything organized! It drove me crazy because he would just dump the baskets everywhere! We now use several IKEA Trofast (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/series/19027/) units. My plan has always been to use them in a future playroom because the family I nannied for had them and I always loved how easy it was for the kids to pull the buckets out and find their toys themselves. They aren’t the prettiest (very much kid colors!), but I figure we live with a toddler and it’s his space too and I’m happy with how well they work for us!
Books are our biggest struggle. We need a new bookcase in our living room (we previously lived in a place with built-ins) and I’m hoping to dedicate a shelf or two to some baskets for blocks and books. But we will still have a lot of books to keep in his room! I want to get the picture frame ledges for one wall in my son’s room for books and some decorative items, but they are pretty low priority right now!
Those are great storage units too! Books are hard for us as well – he has SO many! It works best for us to have them spread out…he has some on shelves in his room, and some in baskets all around the house. They’re everywhere!
Good question! haha. We have a small duplex/apartment house, so we have a living room, our bedroom, kitchen, Jacob’s room and bathroom. I really try to keep all of his toys in his bedroom, but his room is so small, as is our living room, which is why I keep them in his room. I need to find a way to store things, since he has some bigger things, which are just taking up half of his floor!