I have never enjoyed what you might call an austere minimalist design theme in my living areas, mainly because I am a packrat and kind of messy and I’m not very good at picking up as I go. My husband is even worse than I am (I mean, at least I don’t take off my socks and just . . . leave them on the living room floor, for the love of god), but even the two of us combined have NOTHING on the impact a kid has on a household’s decor. Toys, clothes, furniture, balls — and that’s just the toddler! The baby gear takes up even more space, and I sometimes suspect everything is multiplying in the dead of night like Tribbles.
So I’m always on the lookout for good storage solutions for kids’ stuff. Currently we have two major places I’m keeping toys: one is a big tote I have in the family room (it looks a little bit like this, only wider and without the fake croc detailing), the other is a wonderful wooden toy chest in the toddler’s room that doubles as a bench (sort of like this). However, even though I try and pare down and rotate the toys on an ongoing basis, it’s clear to me I need MORE places to cram all the children’s accouterments — especially during that glorious time of night when they have gone to bed and the adults can spend a minute or two de-cluttering before settling in front of So You Think You Can Dance.
Tot Tutors Deluxe Wood Organizer. I like this colorful bin organizer, the open tops make it a perfect place to just toss stuff in a hurry. Plus, you can just take down a whole bin at a time if you need, say, a bunch of crayons or something.
Klutter Katchers. This is a cool idea: mesh bags for storing small, easily-misplaced items. I’ve been keeping some things in Ziplocs, but they tend to fall apart over time.
Canvas Book Display. Love this book holder, although I wonder if smaller books would end up getting hidden behind larger ones.
Arch Book Browser. This storage “browser” can hold both books and toys, and while the pricetag is quite steep ($250) I really like how it looks.
Lifestyle Storage Chest. I don’t think this plastic storage chest would look all that great in the house, but we need something weather-proof for the toddler’s outdoor toys — this seems perfect.
Parents Busy Bench. A cute storage bench that doubles as an activity center — looks like a neat addition to a very young toddler’s room.
Aqua Strip Crunch Can. I have one of these and it’s awesome, I use it as a laundry hamper for Riley’s room and I bring it with me when we travel, because it crunches nearly flat.
Via Toy Boxes. These boxes (which are meant to be stacked) are crazy expensive, but they look amazing. They come in a ton of different colors and feature a variety of fronts.
Magic Cubes. The advantage of these canvas cubes is that they can be twisted completely flat when they’re not in use — another good item to travel with.
If you’ve got any storage products or tips to share, please do so! My living room thanks you in advance.