Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tackling the Toys

I already had another topic planned for the first week of the new year. That one is still coming. But this past week three things inspired me to also tackle kid's rooms and closets.  First there was Christmas. When all was said and done, every present unwrapped and the living room looked like it had been ambushed using wrapping paper as artillery, I was the one left to find a home for everything new. 

The second inspiration was that a very good friend of mine is having a baby.  She is FABULOUS in every sense of the word. She has big plans for her new little munchkins closet. But while looking good, things have got to be accessible, functional and versatile. The amount of "stuff" that baby's need and use still makes my head whirl and I've had two.  But what really is dumbfounding is how fast their rooms need to change and evolve into toddler, preschool and then kid rooms.

The third inspiration was another very best bud, who has a gradeschooler, is about to move into their very first home (YAHHH!) And her son needs some toy organization.

My son's room is still pretty sparse as far as decor goes, buy toys we have aplenty.

This is how I keep small toys separated.  Each bin holds specific toys. There is a bin for cars, blocks, music instruments, lovies, animals .... you get the idea.  This is the "go to" area for the kids.  We used to have a toy box when my daughter was a toddler. But toys would fall into the abyss of the bottom of the box.  With this cleaver idea, everything is visible and accessible. 

That's one handsome man there.... I know it's hard not to look at that face but see the big dump truck in the corner?? I like that big toys like that can also become part of the decor. They don't need a designated space.

And here is the closet. It is so much more than just a place to hang some clothes.  Notice the three bars for clothing.  One high rail can allow you to put a larger item or even furniture below until the kids clothes get bigger.  And don't discount the idea of stacking two rails (see the right side of the closet). That makes for great shirt and shoe storage for the big kids.

This basket is where we keep bulky toys.  This basket was the largest of three nesting baskets.  The smaller ones house shoes and socks respectively. 

These cubbies in the middle of the closet were, by far, the smartest thing the previous owners built.  I love them.  We used to have a bookshelf in the kids' room that stored all these books.  And in these cubbies I had canvas bins that held everything from larger size clothing that the kids weren't in yet, to extra diapers and wipes.  I have since gotten a large dresser for my son and diapers and wipes have a home in the laundry room.  I gave the bookshelves away.  And VIOLA! new bookshelves.  The kids love to pick out bedtime stories now.

Don't feel like you need to hire a carpenter or add a line to a "honey-do" list.  In our previous home I achieved the same thing by purchasing these wire frame bins from Target.  

And below the books, front and center, we have large and frequently used toys.  While sometimes I feel like I'm going to start drooling on myself in a corner somewhere if I hear another song the toys sing, I think a worse feeling is the one I get thinking to myself how much money I spent on toys my kids don't play with.  Keeping toys minimized and highly visible allow the kids to see everything and play more easily.  Many times when kids aren't playing with their toys its because either they cant find all the pieces or they are overwhelmed with everything around them.  Simplify: you won't be the only one benefiting.

Until next time...which will be very soon.  Happy New Year Everyone! There's lots to do.


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