Toy Organization

Growing up I either wanted to be a crime scene investigator or an interior designer, even better would have been a job where I could have done both!

Reality set it as college decisions came up, and one awesome school counselor helped me to realize that going to school to be a CSI while the number one show on TV was called CSI could result in there being a job shortage. So I went into Marketing and have never looked back, but don’t worry, I still watch all the crime shows. I saw this the other day and it could not be truer.

“Welcome to your 30’s. A cauliflower substitute has replaced all the carbs you love and the only joy you get is watching shows about murder” God I love carbs. Stupid diet.

Anyways, back to the point… I love organizing. Since having Blake I have actually been able to give up everything being in its place at all times. But I still like everything to have a place.

The first house Glenn and I lived in was a spec home. We picked the neighborhood and there were 4 floorplans to choose from. We got to customize a few things but not much. It was a great house but we knew we would outgrow it the instant we had a baby so we wanted to move before we started to build our family. I also LOVE going to the parade of homes. So basically the entire 3 years we lived in our old house I was designing our new house. When we found the builder for our new house I had the entire floor plan designed already.

One of the main things I wanted was a toy room on the main floor with a door that closed. Real doors. Not glass doors. But doors who hid everything! Flash forward and the toys have now taken over the toy room and spilled out to take over half of our basement.

But how do you store the toys? Pinterest is full of ideas, I think I looked at all of them. Before the toy room was a real toy room it was basically the graveyard for all the furniture from our old house that didn’t fit in our new house. I didn’t want to get rid of it until we had the toy room organized. I really liked the thought of using furniture we already had when possible because I was assuming it would take a beating. I am also very type-A so luckily almost all of the furniture matched since most of the furniture in our entire house all matched. 🙂

So we had this old entertainment center from Ikea. It fit perfectly under the window so it was a no-brainer to keep it in there.

So we knew we wanted to put the entertainment center under the window and wanted to build around it. I found these shelves at Target and they matched and fit perfectly, and the price was great too! We did have to put them together but I feel like you have to put together a ton of the furniture you buy these days unless you get it from an actual furniture store.

shelf

The shelf came with the hardware to attach it to the wall for safety. In the past, I would have just skipped that but being this is in the playroom and that Blake seems to have no fear, I assumed it would one day be climbed on. All was good until we stood the shelf up and realized that the shelf doesn’t sit flush against the wall because of the window trim. So we dug through the garage and found some L brackets that fit and we used those to attach the shelf to the wall. Progress is back on!

Now how to find a child-friendly way to store the toys. We decided that these bins were the best. They were easy to throw toys in and fit the shelf perfectly.

We used the bins for a little and soon realized it was working well but something was missing. I was okay with everything just being thrown in the bin but I can’t throw all my organization tendencies out the window so I still wanted everything to have its place. So I wanted to label the bins so we would know what goes in each bin. I normally would just use my label maker but I saw a lot of posts on Pinterest with picture labels, which is such a good idea since Blake can’t read!

I spent forever trying to figure out how to attach the labels to the bins. Finally, I decided binder clips would work best. I found some fun colored and patterned binder clips. I printed the labels with a picture and the word of what goes into each bin. They turned out great until Blake came in to play. He walked in, pulled off every label and then the playroom was acceptable again. I was hoping he would get used to the labels and stop taking them off, but nope! So off to find a new plan.

I googled every label solution I could find and settled on these. They were perfect. The only problem was they weren’t on Amazon so I had to wait a week for them. A WHOLE WEEK. Well, finally they came… and they were good. They weren’t made for these bins so they have a little extra part on the back. So they stick out a little, but all in all, I think they will work great. They came with label inserts but I wanted to make my own. I just made them on the computer and printed them off and cut them out. They have plastic sheets to go over the top to make them look more finished. Here is the finished project.

The toy room turned our great! And the best part, it stayed clean for a whole 5 minutes!!

I knew we had plans to add some toy storage to the basement too. We were already busting at the seams in the toy room and Christmas was coming up. Being the planner I am I already knew what shelving I wanted to get and how many bins so I order enough labels for the basement too.

When we finished the basement we had hopes of it being more of an adult space. So when we realized that was the best place for the bigger toys we also wanted toy storage that hid the toys so it could still be an adult space. But similar to upstairs I didn’t want to spend a ton of money either since I assumed they would take a beating. I found these storage units at Ikea and they were perfect.

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We loved the bins we were using upstairs and so we got the same ones but in more “adult” colors and patterns. We put the labels on and it was a wrap!

We are super happy with how the 2 spaces turned out. They make the 2 spaces look clean but also all the toys are accessible. Blake can get at all of his toys without needing help and it’s easy to pick up every night. Because of course, we clean up all the toys every night. Blake begs us each night to pick up his toys and go to bed. Or maybe a few days a week Glenn and I roll our eyes and buckle down to get all the toys cleaned up, but really this makes it very easy! I found this meme and I think it explains life pretty well!

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